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Sunday, February 22, 2009  

Coworkers

I do love the fact that I work at home. But not nearly as much as the cats do.

It was Exie who started it. A few months ago, he started spending weekday mornings curled up in my lap. I mean, entire weekday mornings. I would settle down at my desk to work, and ten minutes later he would claw his way up into my lap. That is, until I learned to pick him up to forestall the clawing. Hey, at least one of us can be trained.

And there he would stay for hours. He would purr for a while, snuggle, and eventually fall fast asleep. And so would my leg. And so would my other leg. You know how sometimes your foot gets tingly if you don't move around enough? On a regular basis, my foot got tingly all the way up to my shoulder.

As long as I was risking deep vein thrombosis for his comfort, I figured I might as well make use of the time. So I moved his grooming comb to a spot on my desk where I can reach it without getting up. This has multiple benefits. One is that I have something productive to do during boring conference calls, but not something that demands all my attention. Another is that his long fur is always sleek and smooth, without any of the stinky dingleburrs that used to plague him (or, rather, us). Thirdly, he hates it, but not enough to leave, so he keeps rolling around and presenting me with new areas to comb, which has the added benefit of forcing me to move my legs around so they don't go numb. And finally, with the amounts of hair I've been collecting from him, I'll soon have enough to make a new cat.

Now Phantom's into the lap-snuggling too. Being a shorthair, she doesn't need the comb and likes it even less, so I don't bother getting into it with her. But she also likes to snuggle and purr and nap. Except she doesn't do it all in one sitting. She's up and down for most of the afternoon. And the evening, frequently. Right now, in fact. The only problem is that when she gets too relaxed, she farts. And I've already talked about what a Satan's barbecue that is.

I sometimes wonder if it makes me any less productive. I don't think so. Sometimes, when I'd normally get up to turn on my printer or get something out of a file drawer, I put it off until later while I do something else that needs to be done. It just changes how I prioritize things is all. I might find myself doing a round of edits on a document at a time when I might otherwise be peeing. And no, I don't often run into situations where I could complete both tasks at the same time; I prefer "Track Changes" to a judgmental stream of urine. More professional that way.

The only thing that worries me is how dependent they're getting on their snuggle time. If I get started late some morning, Exie's way more stressed about it than my boss would ever be. He'll frantically follow me from room to room, mewing, "Work! Work! Worrrrrk!" Phantom's not to that point yet, but when I'm walking and she's walking, she hardly ever runs away from me any more, and that can't be a good sign.

If I ever have to go back to a regular, eight-fifteenish to four-forty-fiveish office job, it's going to be bad enough that I'll have to once again spend an unacceptable portion of every day driving, talking to people in person, and cleaning myself. It might be worse if the cats get lonely. Because if the cats get lonely, their litterboxes get lonely, if you know what I mean.

They'll just have to go back to work with me. Trash says I'm turning into a crazy cat person, but my coworkers will understand. And so will the people at the office.

posted by M. Giant 10:30 PM 5 comments

5 Comments:

I use the cat-on-lap syndrome to be lazy, as in "could you go get me a tissue? I can't get up, I've got COL syndrome". Cats rule. I'm glad mine don't try to get me to work though.

By Blogger Heather D., at February 23, 2009 at 6:24 PM  

Somehow, I am heartened to hear that I'm not the only adult out there risking vein damage to accommdate a cat.
:-)
Pearl

WV: ablehu
Def: The kid on the back of that flying dragon in Neverending Story

By Blogger Pearl, at February 24, 2009 at 6:46 PM  

In our house, that's called "cat privilege," as in, "I'm exercising cat privilege right now - can you get me a cookie?"

By Anonymous mosprott, at February 25, 2009 at 6:13 AM  

I had a similar situation when I was working at home. One of my two cats purrs so loudly that my co-workers could hear her if I put a conference call on speaker. Now that I'm working out of the house almost every day, they are very freaked out. As soon as I get home, they follow me around, complaining loudly.

It's a good problem to have.

By Blogger Chris, at February 25, 2009 at 7:25 PM  

OMG, every since my daughter left for Navy boot camp (and now to the Defense Language Institute in Monterey), the cat that used to sleep with her every night has been serenading us for much of the night with those horrible "I'm in heat" - even though I'm a boy - yowls. Interspersed with some up close and personal in-your-face meows just to punctuate his total irritation with the entire situation. I getcha buddy, but there ain't nothin' we can do about it - she's gone and she's not comin' back to sleep with you. Pleeeeaassseeee get used to it! I'd like just one night of relative peace every once in a while.

By Blogger Sharon, at March 6, 2009 at 10:56 AM  

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