Velcro, Whiskers, and other Writing Woes

11 Feb

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.

Who needs opposable thumbs when all you need to write is "zzzzzzzzzzzzz"?

Who needs opposable thumbs when all you need to write is “zzzzzzzzzzzzz”?

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.

Cat behind the scene

If you need anything, I’m right here. Hey, do you need anything?

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.

11 Responses to “Velcro, Whiskers, and other Writing Woes”

  1. mkchris February 11, 2014 at 9:51 pm #

    I can hear your voice in your writing, Rose. This is so entertaining that I can picture Aslan’s antics, and your photos are endearing. Many thanks for the nice read here.

    • pjoy93 February 12, 2014 at 3:33 pm #

      Thanks Chris, it’s the endearing part that keeps him alive…:)

  2. Phanalphie February 11, 2014 at 11:10 pm #

    Too Funny!!!!

    • Carrie February 11, 2014 at 11:36 pm #

      Aslan better make with some writing or conduct java installations (bring coffee) with in-opposable thumbs. Mama is WORKING. Thank you for this.

      • pjoy93 February 12, 2014 at 3:31 pm #

        I never thought of asking him for coffee…I bet he could if I gave him enough treats…

  3. Marv Price February 11, 2014 at 11:17 pm #

    So are you sharing the by-line?

    • pjoy93 February 12, 2014 at 3:27 pm #

      Not on your life. He gets a relatively unending supply of treats, which is more than enough payment for his “help.”

  4. Shelly February 12, 2014 at 12:40 am #

    Rose this made me laugh so hard. My cat is the same way!

    • pjoy93 February 12, 2014 at 3:30 pm #

      I’m glad, Shelly. Did you ever wonder if they’re secretly writing about US?

  5. Willa February 12, 2014 at 9:16 pm #

    Rose I envisioned every word you wrote as I have been hearing so much about the cat from the day you brought him home. I’m sure he is even happier to have you there after his week od being boarded at the vets. Keep this wonderful stories flowing!

    • pjoy93 February 12, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

      I think that has something to do with it. He’s been rather well-behaved since coming home. I should board him every few months just to remind him that I can… 😉

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