Work from Home with Pets – How to Avoid Sabotage By The Fur People

I love being able to work from home and not having to fight my way through the traffic everyday. It’s economical too, with savings on commuting and the ‘delights’ of the staff canteen. I admit that I do have days when I get a real buzz from being in the office, bouncing ideas off colleagues and generally keeping up to speed with what’s what.

But, but there are days when I just want to log on early, in my PJs and get a real head start on the day. After a healthy breakfast and a cup of tea, I feel I can tackle whatever the day is going to bring. I’m definitely much more of a lark than an owl, so I love to get started early. Why waste an hour of peak productivity stuck in a traffic jam, when I can be hard at it in my home office?

But, in addition to the reluctant (ever-hungry) teen, I share my home with 2 obstinate, demanding, strong-willed and LOUD fur friends.

Most of the time (aka when I’m not working) they are an absolute delight. Actually that’s a complete lie – they are total monsters in the middle of the night, chasing imaginary foes around the house, playing ‘I can skid further than you’ on the wooden floors and (favourite game) ‘let’s shred the toilet paper for mum, because it looks so pretty’. Let’s not talk about the ‘gifts’ they think it’s appropriate to bring me…

Working from home with Mog1

So, it’s no surprise then that ‘the girls’ can be a bit of a handful when I want to work from home. This is when they come into their own as uber-skilled feline terrorists. It’s a relentless, tag-team effort, played with skill and determination by two mogs who initially hated the sight of each other. But now, they’re a team!

I’ve learned the basic rules, which is that there are no rules.

A bit like Aussie football – as far as my furry friends are concerned, anything goes.

The order of the day starts with a bit (OK a lot) of fur-faced shouting for breakfast. I don’t need an alarm clock anymore – the girls are always happy to perform this task. Sadly, there are mornings when their belly-clocks are seriously out of tune with a sane wake-up time. I am not pleased when the breakfast demand happens at 3am…

Then it’s a marvellous game to make sad-face and fake absolute starvation. Pet owners know the one – the ‘I must have my breakfast before yours Mum, or I will fade away’. Then, as breakfast is served, how brilliant to turn tail and walk away…

Once I’m installed in my office, the fun begins in earnest. The rest has just been a warm-up. Who knew that a laptop could be such a source of pleasure for a cat? It’s something to sit on, to chew, to prod and to shove across the desk. The mouse is similarly irresistible and cables, well they’re meant to be chewed, right? Let’s not talk about the fun a cat can have with wire-bound notebooks..

Often we have a game of musical chairs, with finely-honed timing…usually when I’m on an important call. One mog will space invade my chair, incentivising me to shift with a spot of ‘arse-kneading’. Very effective! Then Mog 2 will jump up onto the seat, leaving me nowhere to sit. Truly hours of fun.

Mog 1’s work from home rules

Mog 1 is very particular about where she drinks from, despite the investment made in a fresh water drinking fountain  (fortunately Mog 2 loves it). It’s probably something to do with being a rescue cat. Poor darling spent the first 4 years of her life in a tiny studio flat where she was encouraged to drink from a tap. Despite 7 years of training, we’ve not been able to convinced her that this is not acceptable. She’s 11 now, so fat chance of changing her habits now. Small mercies though, as we have stopped her using the kitchen sink as a drinking fountain!

At regular intervals, she sits outside the bathroom door and shouts. This is mog-code for ‘get your backside up here hooman, and run the tap for me’. She is very persistent!

Top Tips

So here’s what I’ve learned, if you want to work at home with your cats. Some of it works. Some of it doesn’t. That’s what you sign up for when you get a cat. You are not in charge:

  1. However important your work is, your cat is more important and he/she will let you know about this
  2. Natural breaks are good, they occur when your cat needs something, not when you do
  3. Cats enjoy sneaking in on video calls, so it’s good to warn people you may have ‘extras’ on the call
  4. If your call is particularly important, your cat will probably shout a lot or disconnect the call
  5. It’s wise to keep treats in the office, to give your cat during key meetings. It might work…
  6. A Feliway diffuser is like cat heroin – it turns my manic mogs into contented cats

How to Work from Home with cats

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