Monday, January 18, 2016

A day in my life with cats

Kasey at the computer
One of my cats, Kasey, shown left, is sitting atop my computer tower, next to a model of a 747.

I've had that little airplane for years. I was at Chicago's O'Hare Airport when the first 747 landed there in the 1970's. It was a such sight to behold as that humongous plane inched its way toward the glass of the terminal building. I remember thinking the plane was going to come right through that huge window, but it stopped just short.

This little trinket commemorates that event for me, one of the coolest things I'd ever seen. 

Though in the picture, it looks like this plane is taking off, but I'm here to tell you, my little jet is about to crash. 

That is always what happens when little Kasey is around, whether it be near magazines on the coffee table, books on top of a book shelf, or the dining room table piled high with the morning mail. Eventually, it all ends up on the floor. She is like a two-year old that drives their Mother crazy by continually throwing things off their high chair. Here, every surface in our house is Kasey's high chair.

I'm not sure why she has taken to sitting on top of my computer. It must be warm there. Cats love anything that is warm. The other day she was dozing and very ungracefully, fell off. She managed to catch a front claw on the way down, in one of the holes of the cooling vents on the side of the case. As I was trying to free her, I managed to get the computer onto its side with one hand while holding her paw with the other. All the while she let me know she wasn't happy with me, even though I was trying to help her.

I got her to the proper angle to work her claw free. When I did, she ran away with no apology for all the hissing and no appreciable gratitude.

In the meantime, she knocked down everything that was on my desk. The worst part was a basket that contained a year's worth of stuff. There were bills to pay and items to be filed, income tax receipts, and general paperwork that needed attention, as well as some that had already been dealt with but had no place to go as of yet. On the way down the basket took out a CD holder, so about a couple dozen CDs added to the mess.

As I was picking it all up from the floor, I knew I had a pretty hefty task ahead of me. Being the problem solver that I am, I wondered if there was something I could do to prevent this from happening again. The simple solution was to keep my desk clean. Anyone who knows me though, knows that I am organized only in my head. It does not spill onto my desk or other surroundings, try as I might. I am creative; can't do everything. 

I reasoned that it might be a good idea to keep my computer tower on its side. Not only could Kasey not fall off, perhaps she wouldn't even be interested. If I was careful to not cover the vents, perhaps I could put my flat screen monitor on top of it. It isn't very heavy.

I spent the day on my project, making new file folders, putting things in 'their place.' I cleaned and organized my desk, put all my CD's back where they belonged. The floor was now empty. The desk was now clean.

I liked how the computer was now a much smaller footprint on my desk, which left room for all the other stuff I have on it, including four paper weights, a jar of ink for my favorite fountain pen, scratch pads for taking notes, the telephone, a desk lamp, stapler, tape holder, and a jar filled with pens. It really looked nice. 

It didn't take very long though before I realized I had to nix the idea of putting the monitor on top of the computer. The screen was much too high; my neck had to be in an awkward position to see. So, I put the monitor back where it was with the computer to the left of it. I cleaned the screen, polished the PC and scrubbed the keyboard with baby wipes and a tiny brush. It was sparkling clean and cat hair free. Alas, even the keys still worked. 

This morning I realized my computer was running slower than normal. And, the hard drive kept starting and stopping, starting and stopping. I looked up online "can I lay a vertical tower on its side?" The reaction was mixed. I already knew the answer. So, I ended up putting the computer back to where it had been before.

I was a little disappointed that this great fix didn't work. So I took out my frustration by emptying three of the drawers on the left side of my desk. It has seven altogether; three on each side and one in the middle. Each one is jammed full. There weren't enough hours in the day to clean out all the drawers, but I got a really good start. Sadly, I didn't find anything worth noting. Mostly I tossed a bunch of things that related to my former job. I no longer needed business cards of people I'd never call again, so lots of those got tossed. I found a nickle and six pennies. I did find some old pictures and old greeting cards. Mostly all I was hanging onto is now trash.

Kasey hasn't been back since all this began. Although my initial problem of her sitting on top of my computer wasn't solved, since I haven't seen her all day, perhaps getting her claw stuck in a hole taught her a lesson. Or perhaps she just had something else mischievous to do that I haven't yet discovered. At any rate, I had a nice, pleasant afternoon of cleaning. And now, I can even open the drawers without any trouble. 

The bottom line is, I'm sure glad I have cats to help encourage me to clean my work space.