Have you ever wondered who the staffers are at the Tourist News? Meet publishing's power couple - Cliff (Tiger, age 11) and Figgy (Angora, age 11). Cliff is the official Office Manager and Figgy is the official Desk Clearer and Office Princess. Together, this dynamic duo (with a little help from mom, Judith, and a few freelancers) keep Southern Maine informed and entertained during the spring, summer and holiday seasons. We aren't quite sure how two little kitties can be so in the know so we decided to ask them.
Scalawags: Tourist News has been around for almost 60 years, which is quite impressive! How long have you two been ‘working’ here? Because if you have 9 lives, does that make you older than the paper..?
Cliff: We’ve been here for all of our lives, about 11 years. Mom’s owned the paper for 25 years and we’ve been here since we were little kittens.
Figgy: There have always been cats here at the Tourist News since Mom has owned it.
S: Tourist News isn’t a traditional newspaper, how do you describe it and what makes it so unique?
C: That’s a great question! I would say that we are both a reader and advertiser-friendly, arts and entertainment newspaper. We are equally popular with tourists and locals alike.
F: I think we’re also the most artistic paper in the area which is pretty cool!
S: Since you have been around for so long, how do you keep the publications ‘fresh’? Do you find the stories or do the stories find you?
C: It’s a bit of both, the stories finding us and us searching them out. We are definitely not running out of ideas; we do keep running out of space for our ideas though!
F: Our covers are a staple to the paper. We scout cover ideas year round and we get a lot of local artists’ submissions for covers too!
S: We know cats are typically nocturnal so does this mean you have to pull all-dayers to complete the newspaper sometimes?
C: Sometimes, yes. During the summer, we have long office hours so it wouldn’t be unusual to work all day that time of the year.
F: On deadline days, I make sure to block the computer screens as much as possible because I don’t like anything to be more important than I am.
S: There must be plenty to do around here, what are your primary responsibilities?
C: As the office manager, I make sure there is always a chair or lap available for me to sit on and nap. I also monitor the fish tank and make sure that none of the fish get out of hand.
F: I take care of clearing the desks of anything unnecessary such as pens, cell phones and piles of paper. I am the mouse chaser as well. I keep the computer screen free of those pesky buggers by swatting at the screens while people are working.
S: You cover events for 12 towns. How do you keep it all straight?
C: Since we’ve been doing this for quite a while now, we have a good system in place. Luckily, we also have a high energy level, when we’re not napping, so that helps a lot.
F: All of the staffers here like to keep the Tourist News to a high standard so it really is a team effort which is great.
S: Our source informed us you two like to nap a lot. How does that affect your work productivity?
C: It provides us with maximum energy for the few hours that we are awake.
Reporter's note: Figgy had no comment as she was napping.
S: True Confession Time: What is the most scalawaggish thing you've done on the job that your boss may or may not know about?
C: We are pretty good, other than napping during work hours or knocking things off of desks.
F: There was one cat before us named Reefer. He was a wild boy who just couldn’t be contained. He really liked to play with the fax machine and press the buttons on it. Well, one day Mom had had enough of hearing the beeps so she turned the machine off. Reefer didn’t like this much and a few minutes later Mom heard, “Hello, Help Desk, how may I help you?” Reefer had managed to hit the Help button and contact someone to fix his issue. He was a goof!
S: The Tourist News is a seasonal paper. Do you use your down time to prep for the upcoming season or is the off season strictly for R & R?
C: We do use the down time to prep for the upcoming season. We just get so busy during the time that we are in production that we need to be prepared ahead of time for it all to work smoothly.
F: We are not travelers. But Mom does make sure she takes about three weeks off during the low season. It’s important to have a break here and there.
Celebrating its 59th year, the Tourist News is Southern Maine's go-to newspaper for places to visit and things to do in the area. Its calendar of events is indispensable to tourists and locals. The Tourist News supports local businesses, community organizations and the tourism industry throughout the spring, summer and holiday seasons.
179 Cat Mousam Road
Kennebunk, ME 04043