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I Work From Home: 6 Ways My Cats Are My “Assistants”

How would I get anything done without my paperweights, trash sorters, and sleepy editors?

Angie Bailey  |  Nov 14th 2016


I feel lucky that I get to work from home as a freelance writer. My commute is the best — especially during Minnesota winters — and I can spend my entire workday in my jammies and slippers. I know I have it good, but I could never do it alone. I have an entire staff of “assistants” to make sure I stay on task and my days flow smoothly. Well, I have a team of two and they take a lot of breaks. Still, I let Cosmo and Phoebe believe they’re “helping” me. It’s just easier that way.

Here are six ways my furry little “assistants” fulfill their self-imposed job descriptions.

1. Act as paperweights

"A stiff breeze could blow through here at any moment, destroying your papers. You're welcome."

“A stiff breeze could blow through here at any moment, destroying your papers. You’re welcome.”

I’m fairly sure Phoebe believes all my papers will fly away if she doesn’t plop her butt on top of them. It doesn’t matter whether it’s an entire stack of paperwork or a single Post-it Note — she’s takes her paperweight job seriously. You might say its success “weighs” heavily upon her. #sorrynotsorry

2. Sort trash

Phoebe likes to sort the Post-it Notes from behind a curtain.

Phoebe likes to sort the Post-it Notes from behind a curtain.

An office wastebasket needs a lot of organizing and sorting. Cosmo and Phoebe never grow weary of this task. They tirelessly dig through the wastebasket contents and then Phoebe usually makes off with anything tape- or adhesive-related. I’m sure there’s some kind of logic behind her method; she is a professional after all. Cosmo likes to single out used tissues. After observing his action, I can only guess that he feels strongly about the tissue situation. I’m mostly sure my office wastebasket would explode if not for my cats’ diligence in keeping its contents appropriately sorted.

3. Man a desk

Cosmo's "desk" does nothing for his productivity.

Cosmo’s “desk” does nothing for his productivity.

Most assistants with desks complete tasks while sitting at the desks, and even go as far as answering calls and emails for the boss. I created a “desk” for Cosmo that’s right next to mine, and I swear he does nothing but sleep when he’s sitting there. He doesn’t even pretend like he’s going for the phone if it rings. What’s up with that? I think the desk actually hampers his productivity and makes him more sleepy. Go figure.

4. Edit my work

Thanks to Cosmo, I'm a fairly decent writer.

Thanks to Cosmo, I’m a fairly decent writer.

Every writer needs a good editor, and I have two fine ones. They must think my writing’s okay because they never give me any notes. They assure me they can edit while they sleep and, although I’ve never heard of such a skill, I have to believe them because they’re so good. Cosmo tells me he’s available for freelance editing work. Message me if you’re interested.

5. Supervise my every move

"You're doing it wrong. All of it."

“You’re doing it wrong. All of it.”

Perhaps “supervise” is a poor choice of words — what my cats do is more like “micromanage.” Sometimes I’ll be working along, ahead on a deadline, and then look over to see one (or both) of them staring at me, obviously judging me. Hey, if they think they can do a better job, they should go for it. They’re supposed to be my assistants, although I oftentimes think it’s the other way around.

6. Monitor the printer

Quality control at its finest.

Quality control at its finest.

Phoebe is fascinated with the printer. I know many cats share the love of paper shooting out of a magical machine, but Pheebs is pleased as punch that she gets to “help” me with all my print-related tasks. As soon as she hears the printer buzz, her ears perk up and she immediately clocks in from her break. She feels compelled to monitor every movement of the paper as its delivered into the tray. If she’s feeling extra productive, she’ll grab the paper with her teeth and take off with it. I’m almost positive she only wants to edit it for me. Boy, she’s helpful.

Do you work from home? How do your cats “help” you? Tell us in the comments!