Thursday, July 05, 2007

COLUMN: Cats To Work

Okay, so fans of this column -- should any exist -- are likely aware that I'm known for one thing: my relentless crusade against injustice and a never-ending quest for social reform. Or something.

That's right, if you've heard that I'm a humor columnist, you were sadly mistaken. No sirree, I'm a serious journalist-dude type guy, and I use this space to raise awareness towards the many socio-political platforms that deeply concern me. Like, umm, gimme a sec... oh, like, umm, crime. Crime is bad. Yeah. Don't commit crime.

See, I'm all about using my edginess to raise the collective conscience. And lately, a topic has been brewing on MY conscience that's way worse than any piddly little issue like crime or sexism or racism. No, this is a FAR more disturbing -ism altogether: SPECIES-ISM.

I refer, of course, to the shocking travesty otherwise known as "Take Your Dog To Work Day." I read about it in this very publication a week ago. It's taking hold as a national holiday, and recently several of our staff took their dogs to work in order to write about the experience. Take special note, folks, that it's NOT "Take Your PET To Work Day." That's right, rabbit/ferret/pot-belly pig/fish/venomous snake owners, your cuddly pals are apparantly NOT GOOD ENOUGH for this exercise in blatant species-ism masquerading as a holiday. Well, NO MORE, I say! Someone has to stand up for the non-dogs of the world!

Once upon a time, I might have been jealous of this shameful holiday. Once upon a time, I wanted a dog. Sadly, the life of an on-the-go, man-about-town such as myself just isn't fair to a dog. Dogs are needy; they require companionship. They require potty hikes. That's why I became a cat owner. Cats are more my speed. My cats don't so much care whether or not I come home at night, just so long as the litter is reasonably clean and the food bowl is reasonably full.

And yet I don't get to write a heart-warming article about taking MY pets to work. Sniffle. I was mulling over shaving them and trying to pass them off as rare Claw-Footed Himalayan Chihuahuas, but it wasn't worth the effort. Besides, truth be told, they start incessantly meowing the instant they're ten feet away from my apartment door, let alone trapped with me at work all day. Still, I was sick of these smug little dog-owners walking around work with their needy little drool machines in tow.

Then it hit me: I write my column every week from home. That's work. Ergo, I have "Take My Cats to Work Day" all the stinkin' time! (And I do mean stinkin', since the litterbox is so close to my desk.) Regardless, I CAN write a heart-warming article about trying to write my column in the presence of the cats. And if I were to write it, it'd go something like:

7:00 - I walk in the door and my feline roommates -- Bez and Isobel -- pounce at my feet and fall to their sides meowing. This is cat for "hiya." Actually, it's cat for "pet me pet me pet me." This is my cue to drop what I'm doing and rub them until the air runs thick with mounds of cat hair and enough allergens to render all of Rock Island into one giant post-nasal drip. The amount of hair they shed off every night could be used to create up to 5 altogether new cats daily. By my calculations, they should now both be bald.

7:10 - I plop down at my computer to type out this week's column. The cats decide to help by running neurotically in concentric circles around the chair.

7:30 - Isobel wants something. I can't tell what, because she expresses herself via ONE act: Clawing the skin off my legs. I'm-happy = claw. I'm-hungry = claw. I'm-quite-concerned-about-the-situation-in-Darfur = claw. My legs look like I was recently on the losing end of a Weed Whacker. After brushing her off, she looks at me as if to say, "Why don't you understand me? Jeez, I CLAWED you and everything! Do I have to spell it out? Humans are SO stupid."

8:10 - The column is NOT progressing well, but suddenly I realize the cats are nowhere to be found. At last, peace. That is, until I slightly lean back and realize they're both hanging via claws from the back of my leather office chair. Swell.

8:12 - fgpljfgv,mcxcccccccccccdfdg glk;fllll;;fgkcxgmflkjtgreojjjg gfjdl rrrreop 33333 cdmccc. That was Bez, deciding to "help" by walking across the keyboard while I took a bathroom break. Personally I bet it's a profound answer to the mysteries of life. Rrrreop, indeed.

8:15 - We've found a new game. Attack-the-cursor goes something like this: I type a word. Out of nowhere, one of the cats leaps onto my shoulder and jumps head first at the computer monitor. Strangely, this never ends well for the cats.

8:20 - I'm too distracted by the cats for this column to go anywhere, so I scrap it and decide to write a column about being distracted by my cats while writing a column.

8:50 - Success. Column is done except for this last paragraph here. "Take Your Cats to Work Day" is judged a triumph. Isobel leaps onto my lap, looks at the monitor as if to give it a once-over, and responds by immediately going "HEOOOORK" and barfing a hairball onto my stomach. Let's see a dog give THAT kind of a critique.

1 comment:

kaystro said...

Love your columns. ESPECIALLY love this one, since I'm a cat lover. Personally, I think take your cat to work day would be great. My youngest cat, Qodee, goes everywhere with me. She loves car rides (she sticks her head out the window, like a dog), and she likes to prowl the aisles at Petco or PetSmart on her leash. I think she'd do very well in my office. (You can check out HER blogs at Yahoo 360.)