I have had many office mates during my 18 years at Tabby’s Place. Just to be clear, they were all feline.
They have spanned a wide range of ages, personalities and special needs. They have been various combinations of elderly, young, friendly, scared, blind, FIV+, obese and undoubtedly other characteristics I am forgetting. Some wanted little to do with me. Others wanted nothing but to be with me.
I learned to type and use a mouse with my left hand one-hand thanks to Pepper, who claimed my right arm for her personal cushion. Hobbes was fond of scaling Mt. Jonathan and enjoying the view from the peak.
But, I think Honey has claimed the title of “neediest office mate.” I am used to “serving” needy cats, but Honey has set a new bar. She is not only very needy, but very awkward. It takes her a good 10 minutes to go from first approach to a resting position.
She begins by standing over my keyboard (as per the photo) and staring longingly at me. She does not want me to touch her or move her onto my lap. That would make her very angry. Instead, she wants to sit there for what seems like an hour, for no reason I can ascertain. During that time, I have access to only part of my keyboard, which is not conducive to getting work done. But, that is not her problem, of course.
After enough time has passed (to melt the glaciers in Iceland, it seems), she will make her way onto my left leg. This leads to another period of standing and gazing at me again. This is also not a place where it is safe to touch her.
Eventually, she will slowly make her way to my right thigh. It is not uncommon for her to stumble here, grabbing on with her claws as she tumbles to the floor. This means restarting the process, of course.
Eventually, she will reach her destination: my right thigh. Of course, she can’t lie comfortably in my lap, but has to position herself so that her rear half is on my thigh, her front half on the arm of the chair, and her head facing towards my rear.
Within seconds, she is out like a light, with no intention of moving, bar the detonation of high explosives within 10 feet.
I often wonder if the awkwardness of this ritual is a way of keeping me engaged. It would not be surprising. After all, how do you explain the frequency of reports from people whose cats find a the toilet a perfect place to occupy a lap? And, here, I use the definition of occupy: “to take or hold possession or control of.”
A [cat] is the necessary condition for practicing patience.
with apologies to the 14th Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso)