We are owned by our pets

I was wrapping up a long session at the computer tonight and I finally stopped and took notice of my surroundings. Deskjob1
Our two cats, Sherman and Buffy, lie comfortably amidst the litter of papers, open folders, and odd bits of office equipment.

They snooze while I work and only occasionally rally themselves to protest the long hours with no evidence of food or entertainment. About two or three in the morning, they often get quite cranky and will block my view of the monitor to get some attention. Sometimes they will get quite vocal and will not stop until I knock off the blogging and come to bed.

They are quite good company most of the time. We have lived together long enough (twelve years) that they understand our daily routines and vice versa. There is a comfortable rhythm to our shared lives and we all seem to enjoy each other’s company.

There is a tendency, however to forget how much we accommodate ourselves to those we live with. The bowl of water at the right center of the picture is one of their water dishes. When we first moved here, the cats would eat food from their dishes but would not drink from their regular water bowl for some reason. I got tired of seeing the water bowl sit undisturbed for weeks while the cats would drink eagerly from every puddle, no matter what was floating on the surface.

After many months of this, I noticed that the cats would eagerly sniff at glasses of water left on my desk. I put a water bowl on the desk and they drank out of it readily. After a week or so, they began drinking out of their regular bowl too. However, they made it known that they still wanted the bowl on the desk and to this day, they take a drink out of the bowl you see in the picture whenever they get on the desk. It will be an office fixture as long as they need it.

Most pets are a great comfort to their owners, even if they are poorly adjusted to the rest of the world. Many pets seem to view the rest of the world as a constant source of danger. Ours, for example, have been terrified of visitors as long as we have had them. Only a handful of friends have ever passed the test as far as these two cats are concerned. There are people we have known for years who have never seen both cats. They have learned to become invisible when visitors with loud or childish voices appear.

There is one positive ability both cats seem to have and that is a perception of illness or injury. Gretchen and I have had occasional surgery over the years and we have noticed that one or the other cat would always spend time with us while we were recovering.

Working in the woodshop, I occasionally get splinters and minor injuries. If I have a bandage on me and Sherman spots it, he will determinedly try to remove it and clean the wound himself. I thank him, but discourage his ministrations. I notice, however, that he will keep checking on my injury until the bandage is removed. He must have been a medic in a previous life…

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