Staff can’t keep Clover the Commonwealth Cat away from Saanich Commonwealth Place. The feline has too many friends to stay away. (Emile de Rosnay photo)

Staff can’t keep Clover the Commonwealth Cat away from Saanich Commonwealth Place. The feline has too many friends to stay away. (Emile de Rosnay photo)

Meet Clover the Commonwealth Cat

Feline has made Saanich Commonwealth Place a second home

She might be the most popular cat in Saanich, if not Greater Victoria.

Clover the Commonwealth cat has been visiting Saanich Commonwealth Place for years but since last year, she’s taken up a daily residence at the otherwise cat-free recreation facility. Clover is a house cat from a nearby neighbour.

She shows up at 5:30 a.m. and spends her days hanging out, mostly in the SCP lobby. She’s been found sleeping in various locations but she’s not allowed just anywhere and is often relocated to the lobby, where she comes in.

READ MORE: Group wants Saaich to lick roaming cat problem

However, she’s extremely friendly and there’s no keeping her away, said Commonwealth building manager Charlene Parker.

“We take a soft-handed approach,” Parker said. “She’s very friendly and very well loved, patrons cuddle her and staff love her. We’re a public building and we don’t have any way to control the cat.”

That said, Commonwealth Place has some no-go areas that are off limits to Clover, who is now mostly aware of this.

“We have food preparation areas, we have health concerns, some people have serious allergies to cats, so staff are often wrangling her back to the lobby area,” Parker said. “But the reality is we don’t have a full-time cat keeper-outer.”

And so, Clover does what Clover does.

READ ALSO: Cat video fest coming to Victoria for first time

“We’ve found her asleep in a planter, on the counter, in the lost and found, on a keyboard,” Parker said. “She goes into the offices but we do have some staff with allergies so she’s not permitted everywhere.”

Parker only took over as SCP manager last year but Clover’s relationship with the building and its visitors predates Parker’s arrival by a few years. She has only become a daily visitor in the last year. At one point she was even clipped by a patron driving their car in the parking lot though that hasn’t scared her away.

For most people, Clover is a welcome sight and she has a noticeable effect on staff and visitors, Parker said.

“It’s heartwarming to see her with patrons, especially kids who love spending time with her.”

Cat therapy is in fact an evidenced-based psychological therapy, showing that spending time with cats de-stresses humans and strengthens their quality of life.

“She is so absolutely lovely, if health and hygiene weren’t an issue, we’d have [more] cats in the building,” Parker said. “People bring their stress and you can see it disappear when they pet Clover.”

Staff do contact the family of Clover to pick her up and staff also make sure she’s not trapped in the building when SCP closes at night.

reporter@oakbaynews.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Victoria Hospice staff Brianne Ohl, left, Angela Chalmers, right, and Sandi Ogloff, at back, show off their buttons that show a picture of them smiling. Staff has worked hard to maintain the connections with patients despite the barriers of PPE and rigid COVID-19 protocols. (Victoria Hospice Photo)
Hospice provides compassion in a time of COVID

Victoria Hospice 40th anniversary on pause during pandemic

Look for the Random Act of Kindness Day colouring contest in Black Press issues Jan. 17. Physical entries can be mailed or dropped off to local Black Press offices. A scanned or photographed entry can be emailed to info@victoriafoundation.bc.ca. Winning entries can get a $50 gift card to Bolen Books and a $100 donation to a charity of their choice from the VIctoria Foundation. (Pixabay)
Colouring contest coming for Kindness Day

Kindness Day colouring contest in partnership with Victoria Foundation

Sidney has moved the remaining parts of its public consultation phase part of the Official Community Plan online. (Black Press Media File)
Sidney moves to an ‘all online engagement’ process for OCP

Staff says OCP charrette scheduled for mid-February

(File photo)
‘Very lucky’: Two passengers, dog escape rollover crash in Saanich unscathed

Vehicle flips on Trans Canada Highway after hitting median, possibly due to ice, firefighter says

The large metal gate stolen from Muddy Valley Farm in rural Saanich on Jan. 18 reappeared less than a week later. (Muddy Valley Farm/Facebook)
Large metal gate stolen from Saanich farm makes mysterious reappearance

12-foot gate returned to Muddy Valley Farm less than a week after it was stolen

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sits in on a COVID-19 briefing with Dr. Bonnie Henry, provincial health officer, and Adrian Dix, B.C. minister of health. (Birinder Narang/Twitter)
PHOTOS: Bernie Sanders visits B.C. landmarks through the magic of photo editing

Residents jump on viral trend of photoshopping U.S. senator into images

Nanaimo Regional General Hospital. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared at Nanaimo hospital

Two staff members and one patient have tested positive, all on the same floor

A long-term care worker receives the Pfizer vaccine at a clinic in Nanaimo earlier this month. (Island Health photo)
All Island seniors in long-term care will be vaccinated by the end of this weekend

Immunization of high-risk population will continue over the next two months

A 75-year-old aircraft has been languishing in a parking lot on the campus of the University of the Fraser Valley, but will soon be moved to the B.C. Aviation Museum. (Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Vintage military aircraft moving from Chilliwack to new home at B.C. Aviation Museum

The challenging move to Vancouver Island will be documented by Discovery Channel film crews

A video posted to social media by Chilliwack resident Rob Iezzi shows a teenager getting kicked in the face after being approached by three suspects on Friday, Jan. 22, 2021. (YouTube/Rob i)
VIDEO: Security cameras capture ‘just one more assault’ near B.C. high school

Third high-school related assault captured by Chilliwack resident’s cameras since beginning of 2021

FILE - In this Feb. 14, 2017, file photo, Oklahoma State Rep. Justin Humphrey prepares to speak at the State Capitol in Oklahoma City. A mythical, ape-like creature that has captured the imagination of adventurers for decades has now become the target of Rep. Justin Humphrey. Humphrey, a Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season, He says issuing a state hunting license and tag could help boost tourism. (Steve Gooch/The Oklahoman via AP, File)
Oklahoma lawmaker proposes ‘Bigfoot’ hunting season

A Republican House member has introduced a bill that would create a Bigfoot hunting season

Economic Development and Official Languages Minister Melanie Joly responds to a question in the House of Commons Monday November 23, 2020 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Federal minister touts need for new B.C. economic development agency

Last December’s federal economic update promised a stimulus package of about $100 billion this year

FILE - In this Nov. 20, 2017, file photo, Larry King attends the 45th International Emmy Awards at the New York Hilton, in New York. Former CNN talk show host King has been hospitalized with COVID-19 for more than a week, the news channel reported Saturday, Jan. 2, 2021. CNN reported the 87-year-old King contracted the coronavirus and was undergoing treatment at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP, File)
Larry King, broadcasting giant for half-century, dies at 87

King conducted an estimated 50,000 on-air interviews

Comox Valley RCMP are looking for witnesses after the theft of a generator worth thousands of dollars. Photo supplied
RCMP asking Vancouver Island residents to watch for stolen generator

Vehicle may have been travelling on Highway 19

Most Read