What’s in your In-basket?

Now that we are becoming a nation of work-at-home professionals, I notice a subtle addition to even the most business-like home offices.


It is quite apparent that we are being infiltrated by feline operatives, who under the guise of being helpful will pull valuable papers out the printer, walk across freshly sprayed artwork, and lie on keyboards ignoring the plaintive peeps of an outraged computer.

Yesterday, I was talking to three professionals who work or manage their businesses from home and I distinctly heard them being chided by their cats for being on the phone too long. The pattern was so similar that it gave away the degree of organization that lies behind their innocent expressions.

In all cases, our conversation would be in progress and there would be a querulous chirp in the distance. After a few moments, the chirp became a penetrating complaint closer to the phone. If we continued our conversation, the unseen feline would yowl to be recognized and the person on the other end would interrupt the conversation and escort the cat out of the room. A quick apology from the person and we would resume our business.

I think this is the result of a lack of training. Some cats add value to the professional settings they inhabit. When we take our cats to the local veterinarian, we are interviewed by the receptionist and our cat is interviewed by the cat in residence. I have seen our cats settle down quietly after a few moments with the cat-in-charge.


Intake Interview

As long as we are the subjects of this furry invasion, we might as well put our cats to good use. Cats, like most people, even children, feel better when they have something they can do which gets them recognition and positive feedback.

We have one cat that chases and disposes of any critter that wanders or flies in. We have another that grooms the other cats and keeps them looking well-cared for. Another cat is the watch cat and sounds the alarm if anything strange happens in the yard. Our dear old lady cat does not have the energy for such activities. She spends her days sitting in the herb garden enjoying the fragrance of Thyme..

So there

In the right environment, cats are quite eager to help you exercise. I work standing in my shop almost all day but I do take short walks whenever possible. All I have to do is to call out, "Let's take a walk" and I will usually get a few takers. On a good day they will stick with me for a half hour tour of the property.


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