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Dot.tom millionaire [22/08/2000]

Office mascot, Ziggy, was so popular with workers that the boss decided to give him something even tastier than a bowl of salmon - shares in the company.

Rachel Hawkwood, co-founder of web retailer Intersaver.co.uk, bought Ziggy as a kitten at the same time as launching the company last year. Long hours meant that 31-year-old Rachel had to bring him into the office every day. Ziggy became so much a part of the office that staff insisted there should be a special 'claws' giving him a share of the profits.

Rachel, from Cambridgeshire, said: "It started as a joke, really. But everyone kept talking of Ziggy as if he were a colleague, so we signed some shares over to him. It might sound silly, but he was a real tonic in the stressful early days of the company. He would pad around the office and his friendly face would have a calming effect. He certainly earned his cut.

"As the company has grown, so have his shares. I'm sure Ziggy can sense his new found wealth. He'll soon be turning his nose up at his cat food and demanding lobster!"

Black and white Ziggy is definitely developing some airs and graces. He was more than happy to pose for the cameras on a velvet cushion and he was distinctly miffed when attempts were made to remove the diamond collar he wore for his media appearance.

Rachel added: "There are no plans to sell Intersaver at the moment, but Ziggy would make a killing if we did. I don't know what his dream purchase might be - maybe a gold mouse!"

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