The Hazards of Working From Home

Sometimes working at home is not as easy as it should be.

For whatever reason, the paperwork I am trying to use is so much more comfortable than anything else in the house, to include the two catbeds he has in different rooms.

And, of course, I am the jerk for daring to wake him up.






46 replies
  1. 1
    Boombo says:

    Damn, he sure is a cutie.

  2. 2
    demimondian says:

    I wish I had my digital camera right now. One of our cats has decided that my mouse is his — and if it isn’t his, then my keyboard, or my monitor, or the paper I’m trying to typ from.

    I wonder — d’you think Sirius wants, like, attention.

  3. 3
    Davebo says:

    I can tell you horror stories from working at home with my Lab/Golden mix.

    And believe me, when it comes to seeking attention no cat can compare.

    He knows he can lie down against my computer and shut it down and has done so many many times. I have a old partners desk so he can come through the other side and climb up onto my lap. And the old leather chair in the corner of my home office is obviously just for him. And it shows.

  4. 4
    SoCalJustice says:

    And, of course, I am the jerk for daring to wake him up.

    Which is why god “intelligengly designed” some dogs for us.

    Very hard to piss of a dog with that whole unconditional love thing they’ve got going.

  5. 5
    Jackie says:

    I “share” my desk chair with the cat. I get the left-front corner, along with a couple of bitchy growls to let me know she’s not happy sharing…

  6. 6
    Krista says:

    Very hard to piss of a dog with that whole unconditional love thing they’ve got going.

    They don’t do the “how dare you, you peasant” glare like cats do. Instead, dogs have an exquisite talent for making you feel guilty. Especially beagles, with that long-suffering martyr look. My lhasa apso tries to give me the guilty stare, but he just winds up looking like a beligerent Ewok, so I laugh at him instead.

  7. 7
    demimondian says:

    To be fair, none of them competes with a toddler on the “pets not to have when you’re trying to work from home” front.

    Then again, there is the time that the littlest fell asleep in my lap while I was working from home. Very productive afternoon, that one was.

  8. 8
    Lauren says:

    Tunch and Doug are long lost cousins.

  9. 9
    Mary says:

    Tunch obviously has one of the classic moves perfected. Our tag team of dark cats are adept at some other methods. Pooka is currently perched beside me on the chair, purring loudly through her nose, and trying to exfoliate my right elbow with that belt sander she calls a tongue.

    And earlier today, Fergus the Rottweiler (got him from a Burmese breeder, but he’s a Rottie through and through), knocked my tea onto my paperwork and part of the keyboard. I yelled at him and gave chase, but he somehow doubled back and hid in the office closet for an hour. When he carefully walked out, I was still pissed him him and sternly ordered him to come to me. Which he did, being a dog and all. Then he rubbed his cheek against my pointing hand and purred, being a cat and all. He was forgiven. Little shit.

  10. 10
    binky says:

    If my view of the papers in question is correct, they are student exams? One thing I have learned is that my kitties are fond of, how shall we say, herbs and sometimes, the students impart a certain flavor to the papers.

  11. 11
    BIRDZILLA says:

    Cats always find the oddist places to sleep we had one that would sleep in a big wooden salad bowl or in a plastic dishpan under the sink and aother the slept under the bed covers

  12. 12
    stickler says:

    I know this is really, fundamentally wrong. But here:

    Cats always find the oddist places to sleep we had one that would sleep in a big wooden salad bowl or in a plastic dishpan under the sink and aother the slept under the bed covers.

    is an example of the kind of writing that sets professors on edge. And I’ve just spent a weekend grading this kind of thing. Judas Priest.

    But on thread, it’s quite clear that our gracious host has a deeply flawed relationship with his cats. Cat on work desk? Cat learns to fly.

    Repeat.

    Eventually — cats are not quick learners — the cat learns.

  13. 13
    demimondian says:

    I’ve just spent a weekend grading this kind of thing. Judas Priest.

    I guess you must not be in the sciences. Back when I used to grade papers as a part of my quotidian labor, I would have been thrilled to obtain a hallucinogenically-improved prose sample like that.

    Of course, now that I’m in industry, I…hey, wait! I thought that I’d start getting legible text after I stopped dealing with students!

  14. 14
    stickler says:

    I guess you must not be in the sciences.

    That would depend on how you define “science,” I suppose. Is history a “social science?” My grad school said yes. Others are not so sure.

    And engineers double over with laughter when they hear the question.

  15. 15
    Beej says:

    Well, of course you’re a jerk for waking him up! How dare you! Don’t you know that in the cat universe our only reason for being is to provide food and creature comforts for the superior feline beings?

    One of Shadow’s favorite perches is on top of my monitor (I haven’t yet gone to a flat panel). It’s nice and warm, you see. We’re so ingenious at providing them with comfortable places to sleep. That’s why they keep us around.

  16. 16

    Stickler, you seem to have the highly debatable notion you’re more important than a co-resident cat, so you’re justified in making the cat “fly” if you don’t like where the cat is.

    I’d be surprised if your place is blessed with the presence of a cat, since you claim they are slow learners. If you have one, I submit you are the slow learner.

    Cats learn what strikes them as interesting, fun and/or useful. The mere fact you might want a cat to learn something only cuts ice with the cat if the cat feels some particular need or desire to please you. From your remark about flying, I’d be surprised if any cat of yours were to have much enthusiasm for trying to please you.

    One thing cats are especially quick to learn is who is a potential friend and who’s not suitable friendship material. Plus, they’ve got good, long memories.

  17. 17

    John, you have one good-looking friend there. I see in that face intelligence and lots of personality.

  18. 18
    Stormy70 says:

    Cat beds are a waste of money, and my oldest male cat just pees in them anyway. No beds for you!

    My Meadow, 2 yr old, likes to sit on the back of my computer chair and meow at me until I go into the livingroom. She yells at me because she hates the computer, I guess. If I am on the phone, working, she will come and lay on the files on my desk and meow in my face, and purr her head off. She is just strange, but very cute and squooshy, otherwise.

    My kitten will come and lay on the mousepad, and push the mouse away. Silly Cato!

    Gotta run, Meadow is yelling in my ear. :)

  19. 19
    ET says:

    Why is it that cats both the paper(s) that you want to use the most? Why is that pencil on the table so fascinating? What is so special about my beside table and my glasses? Why of all the places on the floor to sit does my cat choose to sit on the piece of paper that fell from the table that I hadn’t yet picked up? Why do cats go to the one place you don’t want them to and do the things that you don’t want them too? Why is it they get comfortable on you or show you attention when you are least in the mood for it?

  20. 20
    Krista says:

    Why is it that cats both the paper(s) that you want to use the most? Why is that pencil on the table so fascinating? What is so special about my beside table and my glasses? Why of all the places on the floor to sit does my cat choose to sit on the piece of paper that fell from the table that I hadn’t yet picked up? Why do cats go to the one place you don’t want them to and do the things that you don’t want them too? Why is it they get comfortable on you or show you attention when you are least in the mood for it?

    Because they are cats, and because we are there for their comfort — not the other way around.

  21. 21
    mutterings says:

    stickler – I know who the slow learner is in your house

  22. 22
    stickler says:

    Gosh, some people are touchy about their cats.

    Stickler, you seem to have the highly debatable notion you’re more important than a co-resident cat, so you’re justified in making the cat “fly” if you don’t like where the cat is.

    “Co-resident cat”? It’s your pet, not your legal client. And if I’m the one buying the cat food, then damned right I’m more important.

    Besides, cats land on their feet.

    In any case, they’re primarily useful as mousecatchers. I don’t have mice, so I don’t need a cat.

  23. 23
    tzs says:

    “Every man should have both a dog and a cat. A dog to make him feel like God, and a cat to remind him he’s not.”

  24. 24
    Krista says:

    stickler – in other words, you’re just not a cat person. No shame in that, as long as you can understand that many people view their cats (or dogs) as tiny, furry best friends, who provide up to 18 years of entertainment and companionship for the low, low cost of a bowlful of food a day.

    They don’t ask you when you’re going to get a real job, or when that report is due, or borrow your best shoes without asking. They don’t care if your ears stick out, or if you can no longer see your genitalia due to the size of your belly, or if you’re having a bad hair day. They don’t play mind games, belittle your opinions, or criticize your taste in movies. All they want is food, water, a warm place to sleep, a daily treat, and for their resident human to scratch them in that spot behind the ears.

    Pets are easy…it’s humans that are increasingly difficult.

  25. 25
    ppGaz says:

    I don’t have mice, so I don’t need a cat.

    Oh no, that’s wrong. Everybody needs at least one cat. A cat teaches you the futility of being human.

    I have four of them. At any given time, I am a bad mood away from taking two of them to the pound. The knowledge that I have that power is what keeps me going.

    The expensive cat foot, salmon, tuna, turkey and catnip that I purchase regularly is what keeps them going.

    Like I said. Resistance is futile.

  26. 26
    ppGaz says:

    foot = food

  27. 27
    stickler says:

    I need to bill Mr. PpGaz for a new keyboard, because of sudden coffee eruption:

    foot = food

    If you have four cats in your house, and something (God forbid!) should happen to you while you’re there, then you’re absolutely correct to make that association.

    There are stories of cat owners who passed on to their eternal reward. And the cats, trapped in the house with the owner’s earthly remains … ah … didn’t starve, shall we say.

  28. 28
    ppGaz says:

    There are stories of cat owners who passed on to their eternal reward. And the cats, trapped in the house with the owner’s earthly remains … ah … didn’t starve, shall we say.

    It seems appropriate. They know full well that I exist only to serve their needs.

  29. 29
    Krista says:

    stickler – same thing has happened with dogs. Hell, same thing has happened with people — you saw Alive, didn’t you? No matter how civilized the animal is, when it is starving, in agonizing pain, or fearing for its life, the veneer of civilization wears off in a hurry, and all it is left with is the survival instinct.

  30. 30
    ET says:

    John I have been meaning to comment about those two “spots” on the cat’s forehead. Position and shape of them seems suspicious – they look like horns. Hopefully not indicative of personality – beyond that generally found in cats.

  31. 31
    Krista says:

    He does look like he’s got some Turkish Van in him, doesn’t he? I presume, John, that he’s not into swimming, however?

  32. 32
    stickler says:

    Krista:

    I’m just saying that the “veneer of civilization” is a lot thinner on cats.

    Don’t turn your back on ’em.

  33. 33
    tzs says:

    Well at least cats don’t have a huge ego problem the way small yappy dogs do….

    (I refuse to have a dog I can smush with the weekend edition of the FT. They’ve got to be at least big enough to handle that.)

  34. 34
    Krista says:

    tzs – oh dear, that just brought about a disturbing, but funny mental image. I agree with you, though. I can’t deal with the whole idea of being able to carry my dog in my purse. My old fanger is 26 lbs., big enough to be sturdy and playful, but not big enough to eat us out of house and home, or to be too heavy to lift onto the vet’s table. A friend of mine has two 125-lb. Irish Wolfhounds. Gorgeous dogs, but it’s like having two extra people in the house.

  35. 35

    In any case, they’re primarily useful as mousecatchers. I don’t have mice, so I don’t need a cat.

    Suspicion confirmed. Stickler, the ironic reality is that becoming friends with a cat can do much for a person’s humanity. About the time you realize they not only think but plan ahead, you gain a measure of humility. And, on those infrequent occasions when a cat does something foolish, causing it to be embarrassed, maybe even humiliated and vulnerable, you can’t help but feel a kinship, as between intelligent beings. Their self-image and sense of dignity is as important to them as to ours is to us.

    I wouldn’t cast aspersions on their incredible survival skills, either. Nature builds that in, for a reason.

    However, for a balanced appreciation of what cats are capable of, just watch a cat go out of its way to be close with and comfort someone who’s sad or in pain, maybe even someone the cat normally has little to do with. You’ll see compassion and generosity that exceeds what many humans are good for.

  36. 36

    My Meadow . . . yells at me because she hates the computer . . .

    It’s possible your computer’s fan or power supply (or both) emits a high-frequency whine that annoys your cat. It may be too high for you to hear, or you may hear it and selectively tune it out. I have a backup PC that annoys me for that reason.

  37. 37
    Stormy70 says:

    It’s possible your computer’s fan or power supply (or both) emits a high-frequency whine that annoys your cat. It may be too high for you to hear, or you may hear it and selectively tune it out. I have a backup PC that annoys me for that reason.

    No, she’s a talker. She talks for about one hour in the morning. She has alot to say, apparently. She just feels like I am not giving her enough attention when I am at the computer. She has this cheap wire toy with cardboard at the end she used to play with at the computer. I would hold it and it would bounce around while she played. She would go nuts to the point of panting sometimes. Once she got tired of trying to pin it down, she’d grab it in her mouth and pull on it like a tug-of-war until I let go. With head held high, she would drag her toy off to be killed in the kitchen. After 30 minutes, she would come yell at me in the office, and run ahead of me to the toy, and the Great Game would begin again. The toy is on a month long haitus, so Momma can have a break. The talking and yelling still goes on, though.
    She rules the roost. She does hunt the spiders around here, so she can do no wrong. We nicknamed her Snake Pliskins because she likes to unhinge her jaw and chew on the office chair. She also buries her toys under the throw rug about two feet in. Very disturbing when you walk across a lump under the rug, and not know what you will find.

    Even now, she is putting her paw on my shoulder from the back of the chair, and crooning at me. It is time for the soft food.

  38. 38
    Stormy70 says:

    One more thing, Meadow sleeps on my husband’s desk after they share his ice cream sandwich every night. The computers don’t bother her when the ice cream comes into play. :)

  39. 39
    Krista says:

    Stormy – your cat sounds about as spoiled as my dog (who loves kitties, by the way — to hang out with, not to eat.) Right now, Dreyfus is at my feet, and he had a bit of homemade meat sauce on his supper, so he’s a very happy camper. He’s looking up at me and laughing, which makes him resemble a tiny Chinese dragon (big googly eyes and a mouth like a monkfish).

  40. 40
    Stormy70 says:

    Dogs are great fun! There is no such thing as too much spoiling in a petlike situation.

  41. 41
    Krista says:

    I concur. There are certain things we won’t tolerate from him (biting, stealing food, destroying stuff), but we definitely spoil him with attention, and take him with us most everywhere we can. He has his own special seatbelt, he sleeps at my feet and my mom buys him homemade dog treats from the bakery when we visit her. We only got him last year, and he’s 13, so we figure, “why not spoil the heck out of him?”

  42. 42
    Bruce Moomaw says:

    Don’t let the little bastard push you around, John. Almost all cats are Ayn Randians at heart.

  43. 43

    Meadow sounds like quite a cat. I once had a very vocal, very demanding Siamese, so I know the type well. The cat in my life now almost never makes a noise, although at times when I ask him something, he’ll open his mouth appropriately enough. He relies heavily on body language, at which he’s superb.

    Krista’s dog sounds like a delight, too.

  44. 44
    Larry says:

    Shared Thanksgiving with the owner of a Pot-bellied pig.

    We met ‘Barbara’ the next day, and she completely explains pork chops and bacon.

    BTW, more like this. It does me good to see ppgaz in a light I recognize.

  45. 45
    Stormy70 says:

    Yes, cat’s speak volumes with body language. My kitten was quiet, but now he talks like Meadow. He copies everything she does, which does not bode well for the Stormy70 household.
    Le sigh.

    Cats are just the best. Dogs are up there, too.

    Larry – I heard Pot-bellied pigs are great pets.

  46. 46
    Larry says:

    Stormy,

    According to Barbara’s ‘owner’, they are prey animals (unlike cats & dogs) who may repeatedly charge at visitors, respond to correction with increasing aggression, care only about food, show no affection, emit thunderous screams, and force YOU to adapt. And smart. Very smart. He says the only way he’d do it again is if he had room for a herd of three.

    Pass.

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