It’s the cat’s fault…

Storm sits in one of her favorite places: on top of the notes I need for my story.

I have been working from home for more than 10 years and while I’ve had my fair share of technical mishaps and organizational mix-ups through the years, it is nothing like the past month. Let’s see: I’ve had soda spilled over important papers; emails sent before being completed; entire stories erased; phone interviews interrupted; and errant iMessages sent. The common element: our new kitten, Storm.

Our family adopted Storm from an animal shelter where the kids and I volunteer after our pet rabbit died. We already had two cats and a guinea pig, so I thought what’s the big deal about adding another four-legged animal to the mix? It turns out to be a big deal when that animal is a torrent of non-stop energy (my daughter correctly named her). She is almost always on the go until she’ll suddenly stop and take a nap. Don’t get me wrong: she is adorable and we are so happy she’s here, even if our other two cats are less than thrilled. But she just has a way of getting in my way while I’m working.

During the day, I am the only one here and the other two cats — Maggie and Speedy — spend most of their day sleeping so I am it when it comes for someone for her to interact with. The problem is she picks the worst possible time to come over and visit, which in Storm’s definition means walking on my laptop (hence the explanation for the email and iMessage miscues and the story she managed to delete and no amount of me hitting Apple Z could get it to return). Storm also moves fast so she can be up on my computer with no warning. I sometimes feel like a defender trying to anticipate her moves to block her from the goal (the keyboard). My husband points out I can close the door to my office, but then she’ll mew sadly outside and I am a softie.

Her arrival has made working from home a bit more interesting this fall. I never anticipated sending messages that include the words, “Sorry about that last email; my new kitten hit send before I was ready.” I also re-learned the importance of saving often. It has been an interesting ride and I know it is just a phase. By this time next year, she’ll likely no longer be a bundle of energy and she’ll also be larger and move slower, making it easier for me to block her pathway to my keyboard. In the meantime, if you receive any strange or incomplete messages from me, just remember — the cat did it.

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