At last, the dream is a reality: I’m working from home!
Alas, it’s not at all the way it looked in the advertisement.
In the weeks leading up to my transition, I’d envisioned the perfect work environment: cozy chair, sticky notes everywhere, and long days of nothing but me and the computer and the quiet tapping sound of flowing brilliance.
I hadn’t reckoned on the cat.
He’s a 3-year-old lap kitty, mistakenly named Aslan. I use the term “lap kitty” rather loosely here…if I’d known then what I’m learning this week, his name would be Velcro. Or Klingon.
Clearly, Aslan is more excited about my being home all day than I am, and he expresses his excitement by never leaving my side.
In my desperation, I’ve taken to sneaking upstairs in the morning. From his cat tower at the front window, Aslan watches me gather my things, per our previous-life routine. I jingle the keys on the peg and walk loudly to the front door, which I open and then close with a clang. Then I drop to my knees and start crawling up the stairs with sniper-like stealth, fighting the urge to exhale as I inch my way upward. At the top, I turn and crawl down the hall to my office, freezing like a thief on the prowl whenever the floorboards protest. I wait until I think the coast is clear, then creep forward another inch. This is not an easy thing to do while carrying a mug of coffee. It takes at least ten minutes to reach my desk. I do believe this technically constitutes a commute.
Regrettably, my daily ordeal usually buys me only about an hour of typing time. Inevitably, the phone rings or my chair creaks and Aslan must come investigate.
“Hey,” he purrs, leaping onto my lap to deposit a matted, soggy toy. “What are you doing here? I thought you were at work! Look, I brought you Mousie so we can all cuddle!”
For the rest of the day I’m just a giant corduroy flophouse.
At first, it’s merely annoying. He sits upright, staring at the computer screen while I work, pretending he knows how to read. Craning to see around his giant radar-dish ears, I type with my elbows out so he has plenty of space. If I let down my guard and actually TOUCH him, I trigger the “game on” alert and he goes into overdrive. Engine on motorboat purr, he offers his chin for a rub (aaahhh, more please) and then starts searching about for something to bat, nip, or climb. Of course, the only thing to climb is me, which is fine by him.
He works is way up to my shoulders and stops for a snooze—his front half draped over my back like a Salvador Dali clock; his butt is just about level with my nose. This somewhat hampers my ability to type and tends to stifle creativity.
Oh, I know what you’re thinking. And yes, he has a bed. Right in the window. A FOOT away. A soft piece of art that serves no functional purpose. Should I be so bold as to actually set him there, he immediately leaps onto the desk and disappears down behind my laptop into a cluttered, cat-sized space that is lined with sticky notes.
Every few minutes, his big ol’ head rises up behind the screen like a corny mechanical road sign and he lets me know he’s still there.
I really shouldn’t complain. After all, I am working from home, and to his credit, he did give me a blog topic today. I suppose he can stay. Eventually though, we’re going to have to come to an understanding. Either he starts contributing to the word count or the Mousie gets it.