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Pets & Animals: Meet Brock, A&J Home Hardware’s pest control manager

Not only has Brock eliminated the store’s rodent problem, he’s won the hearts of customers and staff alike

If you’re ever at A&J Home Hardware, be sure to pay a visit to the South End store’s extremely cute pest control manager, Brock the cat.

Brock’s human, A&J bookkeeper Karri Marcoux, explains that the store was having a bit of a mouse problem, with the rodents playing havoc with the birdseed aisle.

Knowing that cats are really the best way to deal with rodents, Marcoux got the go-ahead and paid a visit to the Small Things CATS adoption agency in May of last year. 

“They were showing me other cats, but every time they'd show me somebody else, he just kind of get in the way and go ‘Hello!’,” she said.

Brock is A&J Home Hardware’s pest control manager. Here he is with the store's bookkeeper, Karri Marcoux. Heidi Ulrichsen /

“So he was there on top of the counter and rubbing up against me. So I said, ‘You know what, stop showing me other cats, I'm taking this one. So he jumped right into the bin and said, ‘Let's go.’”

Brock eagerly got to work, all but eliminating the hardware store’s rodent problems. She said when they first brought the cat to the store, his ears would suddenly perk up if he heard something that sounded like a mouse, and he’d go investigate.

“We no longer have the problems we did,” said Marcoux. “We used to have messes that we had to clean up because he’d get into the birdseed and whatever else. And now, no problems.”

While the five-year-old cat has ably filled his primary role, because he’s such a friendly feline, he’s also taken on another job: pet therapy. 

Brock loves customers and staff members alike, with even A&J staffers who weren’t previously cat people admitting they love him. He’s especially beloved by kids.

The cat is given the run of the store building during the night, and during the day, he lives in Marcoux’s office, which is close to the store’s entrance. They don’t let him out during store hours because he might accidentally get out of the doors.

Even through the office’s windows, Brock manages to lure people over. 

“Sometimes he’ll get up in the window, and if you make eye contact with him when he's feeling kind of flirty, he'll start rubbing up against the window, giving eyes, rolling over, saying ‘Come in and see me!’,” Marcoux said.

She delights in dressing the cat up, including Christmas outfits and his own tiny A&J Home Hardware uniform.

Because Brock is such a people-person, Marcoux has even created a Facebook page dedicated to the cat. “He likes the attention,” she jokes. “Oh, he knows. I’m sure he knows …

“People kept telling me, they said, ‘Why doesn't he have a Facebook page? Because we want to know what he's up to.’ Because you know, he gets into shenanigans. And so me and one of the other managers post things on there when he does silly things, or has a little fun. And, yeah, that way the customers can see him all the time.”

Heidi Ulrichsen is’s assistant editor. She also covers education and the arts scene. Animals & Pets is made possible by our Community Leaders Program.