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Pet Projects

Cats and dogs and babies, oh my! It's just another day at the office for these entrepreneurs.

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This story appears in the November 2004 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Remember back in the 1990s when every dot-com insisted they were cool because, on top of stock options and casual dress codes, employees could bring dogs to work? Now that most of those companies have gone to the dogs, we thought we'd see if dogs (and related life-forms) really do improve the quality of life at the office.

Company:Hilary Kaye Associates, a PR firm in Tustin, California, with sales of just less than $1 million a year

Number of employees: 6

Number of cats: 4

Cat perks: The four office cats are adopted, but employees' cats are welcome, too.

Pros: "There's always a little, fuzzy, warm animal to talk or play with, regardless of how stressful the day is," says Hilary Kaye, 54. "We try to keep them out of the office when clients are here, but they've all seemed to think it's great. Cats represent a little piece of humanity, and people appreciate that. I think it also makes us more creative."

Cons: "On weekends, I have to come in and feed them. It's a big responsibility."

Memorable moment: "One of our cats recently had a kitten, and one of our employees took [it] home. That same week, her 12-year-old cat died," says Kaye. Seems like it was meant to be.

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