My stay-at-home companion isn’t complaining



Fran Ostendorf, EditorI spent a number of years working from my home office. On snowy mornings, I could get up, walk into another room and never worry about who was going to clear the driveway or how I was going to get down the street. No such thing as cabin fever or feeling housebound because there was work to do.

Do you have cabin fever yet? Have you had it with trying to navigate the badly plowed streets? I know I have. It’s been two weeks since our last paper, and we are on our third storm. I’m sensing a pattern here.

I’m grateful that I have that home office so I can keep working in spite of the storms. My cat is pretty happy, too. The cat got used to having me around the house. It was an adjustment for both of us when I went to work for The Voice.

Lots of you have pets as we learned one year when we first started featuring pets in a February Voice. And you don’t hesitate to share them with others. You’ll find some pretty good-looking pets starting on page 13.

As for my furry friend, I can’t help but share a few antics. My cat has me quite well-trained. Breakfast is at 7 a.m. Not downstairs by then? No problem. The cat will stand outside the bedroom door and meow with increasing volume until you emerge.

Dinner is at 6. At about 5, the parade starts. First, there’s the standing by the chair. Then, he jumps up on the desk. And if that doesn’t work, he walks across the keyboard and stands in front of the screen. Sometimes, he stands on the keyboard. No, he’s not trying to help edit.

I have way too many adorable pictures on my phone of my cat sleeping in various places. My almost 8-year-old niece doesn’t hesitate to remind me of this.

He will often sleep nearby in whatever room I am in, keeping guard over me as I work. At some point during the day, he will likely show up with a toy and drop it nearby, expecting me to throw it or play with him. He sits and stares patiently at first. If he decides I’m not paying enough attention to him, he will reposition himself until I notice him, which can mean sitting down right on top of my papers or work.

I was given a beautiful handmade quilt several years ago by my sister-in-law. It’s nice and warm on these cold winter days. The cat loves it. In fact, he loves it too much. I rarely get to use it when sitting on the couch, reading or watching TV. It happens to be his favorite sleeping spot. And since cats can sleep 18 hours a day . . .

On the other hand, the cat is not allowed on the tables or counters. And people food is not part of his diet. So he’s capable of behaving.

I guess we all spoil our pets to a certain extent. I certainly would have had a lonely work-from-home life without the cat. And he’s been awfully happy to have me back on these recurring Monday and Tuesday snow days. At least he seems to be.

I’m grateful that I can work from home when I have to. All of us at The Voice can. But somehow if you are supposed to be at the office working together, working from home isn’t quite as comfortable or relaxed as it used to be. Even with a cat.