Working at Home With a Cat: Olga’s Pressure for an Early Dinner

Happy holidays, everyone! We are a day late on publishing my most recent story on account of the holiday season, so thank you for your patience. From all of us at Catster, we hope you had a wonderful long weekend with family, friends, and cats. 

Transitioning from commuting to working at home was a welcome change, and although it has disadvantages, I get to spend more time with Olga. Before I worked remotely full-time, it irritated me when a news story featured a visit to a corporate office that allowed employees to bring their dogs. It showed happy workers who paused to rub their pups’ bellies before getting back to work on their keyboards.

I’m not opposed to the practice, and I think it’s great for dog owners, but what about the employees with felines, birds, reptiles, or rodents? They have to watch their coworkers play with their pets while they wonder if their jobs would be better if their employer allowed all species to hang out in the office.

If they have practical minds, they’ll realize that dogs, even well-behaved ones, cannot coexist peacefully with every animal. Adding cats to the office would be problematic, and once there are parrots, guinea pigs, and iguanas roaming around the cubicles, the company’s productivity levels are likely to fall.

Disrupting Olga’s Routine

This Is the First Stage of the Begging Process
This Is the First Stage of the Begging Process

Since I work at home, I no longer think about how Olga would react to an office environment or how unfair it is for a hard-working employee to be forbidden from bringing their pet rat named Ben to the office. Like me, Olga’s life changed significantly when I changed my routine.

She spends most of the day sleeping nearby when I’m working, but when I went from working part-time to full-time at home, she saw an opportunity that didn’t exist before. Dinnertime used to be after 5:00 PM and sometimes was as late as 5:30 PM for Olga, but since I’m at home all day now, she starts begging for food around 3:00 PM.

The Begging Intensifies

Standing Near My Feet and Staring Is Stage Two
Standing Near My Feet and Staring Is Stage Two

Although I feed her before dawn every day, she sometimes begs me for food earlier than usual. It starts with a subtle stare when she’s sitting on the windowsill. I ignore her and concentrate on my work, but she grunts and looks excited if I make eye contact.

She doesn’t emit a meow (she saves that for later), but the grunt, which sounds like Err, shows she’ll eventually push it to the next level if I continue to ignore her. She’ll move to the floor next to my chair and remain in the same spot until I finish work and follow her into the kitchen. She stares at me constantly and only breaks her gaze when she needs to groom her claws or scratch an itch.

How I React to the Begging

Jumping in My Lap and Getting in My Face Are Parts of the Final Stage
Jumping in My Lap and Getting in My Face Are Parts of the Final Stage

It may be a cruel comparison in some respects, but like Glenn Close’s character in Fatal Attraction, Olga “will not be ignored.” Avoiding her glance and returning her to the floor when she jumps in my lap or on my back is all I can do when she begs for food.

Closing the door doesn’t work since she’ll scratch up the carpet or ram the door with her 10.4-pound body. She can also open the door by standing on her hind legs, grabbing the latch, and pushing forward. Although I’m used to ignoring her pleas until dinnertime, sometimes, I give in and feed her early.

Working at home with a clever cat isn’t ideal for everyone, but I enjoy it, and although she is undoubtedly irritated when I disregard her pleas for early meals, she is probably happy her waiter is always nearby.

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