In her four years of working at Babar Hair in Melbourne, Australia, employee Betty Boo has never taken a day off.
The hardworking salon cat has an vital task: she cuddles with clients while they get their hair cut. Betty Boo’s heartwarming lap naps are not only adorable, but can also reduce anxiety in clients.
Chris Guglielmi, salon owner and Betty Boo’s “mum,” says Betty Boo’s affectionate personality has helped her clients during stressful situations.
“If someone’s had a bad day, is tired, or upset, she’s there with them,” Guglielmi says, “People seem to instantly calm down petting her.”
And it’s backed by science — a study at the National Center for Biotechnology Information found that spending time with animals actually increases oxytocin, the hormone present during infant-parent bonding and is known to reduce stress.
Her Instagram account, complete with captions written from Betty Boo’s perspective, shows her doing what cats do best: lounging around and demanding pets.
“She is definitely the favorite here with people traveling far and wide to see her,” Guglielmi says, “She even has more Instagram followers than myself and Babar Hair!”
And one of the benefits of employing Betty Boo, Guglielmi says, is that when she sits in clients’ laps, the clients generally won’t pick up a magazine or look at their phones.
“They actually have time out, which is rare these days,” Guglielmi says.
Named after the British icon of 90’s pop, Betty Boo abandoned as a kitten. Guglielmi took her home from the vet at eight weeks old, and nursed her back to health.
Now seven years old, Betty Boo reigns over Babar Hair with an furry fist, keeping clients company through washes, cuts, and blow outs. The multitalented cat has a blog, too, where she updates followers about the salon and complains about her vet-mandated diet.
Most recently, she wrote about her newfound Instagram popularity: “While my resurgent fame has dominated most of my time of late (my paws are tired from replying to all my fans on Instagram), the salon has been equally busy since it reopened after the end-of-year break.”
And don’t worry, she isn’t too popular to hang out with the commoners — Guglielmi says the beloved cat still gives her clients affectionate “Betty kisses.”
“You may be wondering if I’m now too famous to mix it with salon customers,” Betty Boo blogged, “But I can assure you I am a woman of the people and can’t wait to warm more laps this year.”