How To Accomplish Computer Work When You Have Cats

The old stereotype about cats is that they’re antisocial and look at their human servants with scorn.

Where are those cats? Who owns them?

We have six cats and two dogs. Go ahead; judge me. I’ve fully embraced crazy cat lady status at this point. (I used to argue that I wasn’t because we were a blended kitty household and then inherited two. But after we lost 5 of our original 6 yet still have 6, it’s obviously a choice now.)

Anyway, so I have lots of pets. Of the 8, right now, four are where I can see them. I suspect that Pepper is here, sleeping under the blanket on the chair (as she usually is when I’m in my office.) One cat is literally on my feet, and another is next to my feet. But just a few minutes ago, there was a cat walking on my keyboard, exploring all the fun stuff on my very messy desk. It’s not uncommon for Phantom and Pepper to sit in front of the screen and bat at my cursor, hoping I’ll put on the bird channel on YouTube.

So I’ve had a lot of time to ponder how to get work done and still have friendly cats. Here’s what I’ve come up with.

Step 1: Try to get the cat to move. Cuddle it. Coax it. Pet it. It will still go back to what it was doing, but you can pretend you have some control over the situation.

Step 2: Put comfortable cat beds near you, hoping to entice them away from the front of your screen. Sometimes it will work. But not until they’ve typed iahruzzr758gfrfcuhAEFR in the middle of the document you were working on.

Step 3: Pet the cat some more. Pretend you’re going to be able to accomplish work soon.

Step 4: Pick up a book to read so that at least you can pretend you’re doing something productive. The cat will bat at the book and possibly sit on it.

Step 5: Give up. Surrender to petting the cat. Embrace the fact that you’re going to get nothing done for the rest of the day. Really feel it and know it.

Step 6: Only after you’ve given up will the cat go away. But by then, you’ve forgotten what you were doing. Or the dogs need to go out. Or the other cats demand food. (They haven’t eaten in three hours and are STARVING.)

Step 7: Mutter a lot about the annoying little furballs as you go back to your desk and start over.

Step 8: Repeat steps 1-7.

Show of hands: whose cats are antisocial, and whose are all up in their business all the time?

Update on Me

I know I sort of dropped off the face of the earth and hadn’t been posting for a couple of weeks, so I wanted to let everyone know where I went.

I had a family emergency, and had to drive from Austin to Phoenix. While I was in Arizona, one of my cats died in her sleep.


Goblyn was the cat probably most pictured on this blog. She was the one who sat on my desk and often on my keyboard, making writing difficult. She was the one who helped me take interesting pictures of books.

Goblyn is the third of my cats to die this year. We had an 18 year old die in January, then another 18 year old a month ago. Goblyn was only 17, and it was unexpected.

It’s been a rough couple of weeks, and I didn’t feel like doing any writing. I decided to let myself take a break and not worry about it.

I’m back now, and starting next week, should resume the regular Tuesday/ Friday posting schedule.

5 Things Friday

It’s been a busy month for me, and while I have a lot of great ideas for posts, I don’t have the energy to do them justice right now. So, instead of skipping today, I thought I’d do a fast and fun five things Friday. (It’s apparently a thing.)


What I’m Reading

Because I tend to reach for things I’ve already read when life gets stressful, I just finished rereading The Language of Flowers, by Vanessa Diffenbaugh.



What I’m Writing

I’m just about to start seriously editing the last novel I wrote, Not Dead Enough, a YA thriller about a teenager whose boyfriend died in a car accident. But when she starts getting messages from someone claiming to be him, she has to question if she’s being stalked, or if he’s somehow communicating with her.

I’m also writing a novel tentatively called The Cycle about a woman whose children get taken into foster care. She grew up in foster care and group homes. The story is told with dual timelines of her at 13 and 22. Actually, that’s probably what made me think about The Language of Flowers.


What I Read This Week

Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty, which I rated 4 stars on Goodreads

Wish Girl by Nikki Loftin, which I rated 4 stars on Goodreads

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, which I rated 4 stars on Goodreads


When I Wasn’t Reading

I was writing, chauffeuring my two sick cats to the veterinarian, finishing some touch up work on the bathroom I painted awhile back, and walking the dog.


Favorite Picture of the Week

Version 2

This greedy squirrel is pretty much constantly eating. One of my cats loves watching him, and we call her a “TV addict.”

What have you been doing this week?



Operation Noah’s Ark Complete

My new yard!

My new yard!  Very green…

Sorry for the lack of updates for almost a week.  As some of you know, I completed my move from Arizona to Texas this weekend.  My stuff moved out and into my new house two weeks ago (I’ve been camping in my living room) and this weekend, we moved the last of the things and the animals out.

We have six cats and two dogs, so the only logical and practical way to transport them is by vehicle.  So, we rented a minivan and I drove my Golf, and we took two days to drive  1,008 miles.  I had the two dogs and one cat, and the husband had the other 5 cats plus my plants.  Driving is not my favorite thing, as I consider it to be boring, so there were times on the very loooooooooong drive that I thought I wasn’t going to make it.  I thought I would just pull over to the side of the road and refuse to go any further.

Because we’re brilliant and organized, we didn’t leave until 5p.m. on Sunday.  We got to our hotel around 2 a.m.  Of course, because we got in late, we didn’t leave until late on Monday (noon), and got to our new home around 2 a.m. again!  Needless to say, between sleep deprivation, time changes, and a very long drive, I’m still tired and adjusting.  It’s going to take lots of coffee and naps before I’m back to normal (please note that I’m referring to my “normal,” not “normal normal”).

Last time we moved, the cats seemed traumatized, hiding and acting weird for weeks.  This time around, everyone is exploring, jumping on boxes, and generally having a great time.  Attitude makes a difference, even in cats!  We bought the dogs a tennis ball launcher yesterday, so they, of course, are perfectly fine.

Wish me luck unpacking!

A Street Cat Named Bob- A Review

UnknownWe all know that pets are great.  They help lower blood pressure, cheer you up when you’re having a bad day, and are just the best friends that most of us could ask for.

For James Bowen, Bob, a stray cat who found him, saved his life.

James Bowen was off drugs but directionless, playing music for change in the park.  When Bob came along, Mr. Bowen had purpose, someone who depended on him.  Bob went everywhere with Mr. Bowen, often riding on his shoulder.

This book is a fast read and highly enjoyable.  It’s a bit of sunshine and encouragement for anyone who’s ever gone though a tough time.

If you like inspirational stories with animals, read A Street Cat Named Bob, by James Bowen.  He also has tons of YouTube videos.  Just search for “a street cat named Bob.”

Weekly Photo Challenge: Merge

The purpose of this week’s challenge was to “merge” two things that didn’t seem to go together.  I’m not a photographer; I’m a writer.  I just snap pictures of whatever strikes my fancy.  For this week’s challenge, I came up blank, so I’m going to put in two pictures that can’t go wrong… animal pictures!  They fit the theme.  Sort of.

I’m calling this a merge because Ripley decided to hop up on the exercise equipment, but once she got up there, she wasn’t sure what to do.

For this photo, I’ve “merged” a stuffed animal and a real one. She posed for this picture; I was just lucky enough to catch it.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Inside

I’ve truly drawn a blank with this photo challenge.  The author of the challenge gave an example of food photography, where your food looks different when you take a picture of the inside.  I thought about doing that, but it seemed too easy.  And not very genuine, as that’s not really my type of thing.

I also don’t tend to take pictures inside.  You may have noticed, but unless I’m taking pictures of dogs or cats, I prefer outside photos.  Then, I realized I had the perfect photo already in my collection.  Voila!  A cat in a bag.

Experts tell us that cats cannot taste “sweet,” but this cat goes crazy over glazed donuts!  She pulled this bag off the table and tried to fin every last crumb.