By Nancy Bowman

Spice has added a little spice to the daily mix at the Miami County Animal Shelter.
A lively feline sporting a bright purple collar, Spice has basically taken charge as the official shelter cat.
As a visitor walked through the front door heading toward the cat room last week, Spice peeked a curious head out of the director’s office before making a beeline to the visitor and the cat room.
She arrived at the shelter last fall without a tail and as a stray about six weeks old.
“We had her for maybe a week and my staff said, ‘She would make a good shelter kitty. They said they had one a long time ago,’” said Kandice Kriebel, who also was new at the shelter as its director.
She liked the idea but first ran it by the county commissioners, who thought a shelter cat was “a great idea,” Kriebel said.
Ever since, Spice has made herself at home in the shelter. She’s been spayed but retained her claws.
“She loves people petting her, she is very friendly,” Kriebel said. 
Her favorite hangout is Kriebel’s office where she will stretch out on the desk or walk across the keyboard to get attention. Her favorite toy, a pen, was batted across the office floor as Kriebel talked about her office pal.
“Sometimes I have to kick her out. She plays on my keyboard,” Kriebel said.
She also helps out. After getting use to being around the shelter’s dogs, Spice is at times asked to help gauge how a dog someone is interested in adopting would react to a cat already in the home. 
If Spice is hanging around, the dog will be brought out to see if they pay any interest, are curious or if they lunge, Kriebel said. “That kind of gives us an idea,” she said.
Anyone looking to adopt a cat will have to look beyond Spice, who has won more than one heart at the shelter. 
“I think we are very lucky. This is her forever home,” Kriebel said.
The Miami County Animal Shelter is located on County Road 25A just north of Troy. Its website is www.co.miami.oh.us/shelter.