Meow! Meow! It took me a little while, but I'm now getting used to having my human colleague working from home. I really prefer it when everything stays the same so that I know what to expect each day. I have my own routine which, when my human went to work, was just the way I wanted it; but then lockdown happened and everything changed!
I normally get a little time to adjust gradually to any changes - my human makes sure of that! If they are planning to move furniture around, for example, they do it gradually, just to make sure I don't get anxious. That helps me a lot!
But this lockdown came very quickly, and it took me a little while to get used to them being at home all the time, but now I'm very useful around the home office and people love seeing me on video calls! I really am a Pawesome Co-Worker!
So, I thought you humans might like some tips to help us all get along when you're working from home!
A Kitty's Tips for Working from Home!
It's well known that us cats can have a calming influence on humans because we seem to lower their stress levels, particularly if we sit on their lap and purr. But to get the most out of our co-working environment, humans should remember the following:
- We cats have to have a routine and it's confusing if you don't do the same thing every day; so please, start work at the same time every day and take regular breaks so that I know what is coming next. Don't forget to schedule some playtime with me too!
- If you don't want me to jump on your lap while you are working, make sure I have a comfy spot to sit and watch what's happening, preferably on a high shelf. Or I wouldn't mind a blanket on the side of your desk, but I can't promise I wouldn't get up and walk across your laptop. I could learn to stay on the blanket though - a little treat might help me and then I would learn to stay put!
- Although I love my treats, don't give me too many - even if I meow! I'll only come back for more and I need to watch my waist line and keep fit, so that I can chase those creatures in the garden.
- If you don't want me to walk across your laptop, why not put the keyboard on a stand at an angle; unfortunately, it is difficult for me to walk across slopes.
- Turn the screen away so that I can't see it. We cats like to chase things and when we see that cursor shooting across the screen, it's fair game to us!
- But just in case I get very excited, don't forget to save all your laptop work regularly - I can't tell which is the 'delete' button and you won't be very happy if I stand on it by mistake and you lose everything you've just been working on.
- Bring my scratching post into the office, then I won't be tempted to scratch the furniture or the door upright - and it helps me have a great stretch when I wake up from my cat nap.
- You could plug in a FELIWAY Optimum diffuser into the work room! I always feel much more relaxed and less stressed when my human gets one for me; but I hope they remember to refill it every month - to help me be a lovely calm kitty!
- Learn to speak cat! It's important that you know when I want a little bit of attention and it's very important that you know when I'm not feeling tip-top. My tail position will tell you a lot; if I'm happy to see you, my tail will be upright (with a little kink at the end), but if I wag my tail from side to side - watch out, as I could be getting ready to pounce! Don't say I didn't warn you!
- Take a break. I know you love what you do, but I can sometimes do with a little extra attention too - and it's good for you to have some time away from the screen. We could always have a little play - I particularly like it when you roll that ping-pong ball across the floor for me to chase!
- Talking of toys, I can be kept entertained by all sorts of things - like a rolled up piece of paper (they make a great scrunchy noise when I pounce on them) or a cardboard box is great for hiding in. I'm also quite partial to a food toy - it might take me a little while to get to the treat inside but I love a challenge and it will keep me out of your way for a while!
- Be careful of that cup of coffee on your desk - put it somewhere that I can't knock it over if I have an urge to jump up. You'll only get upset if it spills over your keyboard.
- Keep your hair on! Remember I'm a cat and my priorities are different to humans, so try not to get cross if I upset you. If you shout at me, I won't come back!
- Keep important documents hidden away. When I come back indoors on a wet day, I might leave paw prints on papers that are on your desk. I don't think you'll like that very much.
- Remember to keep my resources accessible and topped up and don't forget that I like my litter tray changed regularly. I do need my hiding places too - when that phone rings it spooks me and I need somewhere safe to escape to.
- If I must share you with that other cat, do make sure that we each have our own resources. We cats don't like sharing!
- Although some of my feline friends prefer to stay indoors, I personally also like access to the outside, so don't forget to keep the cat flap to the open position so that I can check what is going on in my territory.
Once this lockdown is over, it's likely that you will have to return to your work office, so please try and help me adapt gently! Try working in another room for a while; this way I can adjust to entertaining myself.