Let me just start by saying that if you are an animal lover you are positively going to hate this post (and probably me as well), if you read it, so just go ahead and X out now and save yourself. You can use the time you saved to cuddle with your favorite animal or like, clean the litterbox or something.
You should probably also leave now if you take things literally. Really, if that’s the case, you should have left a long time ago. How am I not driving you crazy?
So most people know that my office is located pretty much where ever I want it to be, and that normally, for convenience sake, that means the actual room in my house designated as ‘home office.’ I love my office with its red walls, the french doors with glass windowpanes, vintage “happy hour” poster and table/desk with my Daddy’s initials on the bottom (because he made it, by hand, for me).
What I do not love is having to shut the office doors when I am alone in my house. For one thing, I like to play my music from the other room when I write. It’s the perfect background noise, without being overly intrusive. For another, the office can get sort of stuffy when I shut the doors for too long.
So why on earth would I shut the doors? The answer is simple: to keep the damn cat out.
We have two cats: one, who thinks he is a dog and spends his days chasing things around and then curling up to sleep on one of the kid’s beds. He’s fine. The other cat spends her days following me around and making me seriously wonder if I’m going to hell for the ways I’ve dreamed up her untimely demise.
I know it’s irrational: but I can’t stand the noises this cat makes. Think: nails on a chalkboard.
The sound of her whining outside my office door (and peeking through the little windows), is enough to distract me from any writing at all. Door open and she immediately makes her place right smack on top of my notes, stubbornly refusing to move her entirely too large cat body. Content that she has won the closed office door battle for the day, she smugly spreads out and casually pushes anything she’s not already sitting on top of, onto the floor.
Then, she begins to purr. The sound she makes when she’s purring sets me on edge so badly that I have to wear headphones and play my music at top volume just to concentrate, even though I’m the only one here. I’m aware that the sound of a cat purring is supposed to be relaxing, but this cat purrs the way an overweight, 65 year old man snores. She sounds so congested I even took her to the vet once to ask about it. The vet (rightly) determined that I am simply intolerant. Then he hesitated to let me take the cat back home with me until I reassured him that other people in our house actually do love her.
But not even the horrible, 6 pack a day smoker purring noise is as bad as the sound this cat makes when she “cleans” her coat. Let me just get this out there: I have a serious dislike of saliva. As in: I don’t share drinks or toothbrushes with anyone and if I see someone spit on the ground I will call them out on how disgusting and nasty I find the act. (Redneck men in grocery store parking lots love it when I do this, btw.) I make only one exception to my extreme avoidance of saliva, and that of course is with John. But his spit is like angel tears, of course, so you know it’s totally fine.
Back to the cat. For some reason this particular cat feels the need to clean herself for about a thousand hours each day. Always directly in my line of vision. The sound alone is enough to make me want to puncture my own eardrums, but even with my headphones in I can ‘hear’ her licking herself in my mind. (What do you mean you want to recommend a good shrink?)
I usually flee the scene. I have been known to pick up my computer mid-sentence and run from the room, playing a game of “musical office” until the cat, of course, finds me again. It typically takes her less than 5 minutes.
I’m getting more savy, though. Just the other day I built a “cat barricade” which keeps the cat from sitting on my side of the desk. With my headphones and a tower of cereal boxes surrounding me, I can knock out several thousand words of content, no problem.
And just think: only 5-8 years or so until Thomas takes this cat with him to his own house. But I mean, who’s counting?
Unrelated question: how long do cats normally live?