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When Your Cat Wants Your Chair, Do You Give It Up?

I often hand over my office chair; here's how I cope with the work interruption.

Catherine Holm  |  Dec 8th 2014


A silly Facebook quiz circulated recently regarding how much of a cat person one can be. A critical question was whether you’d give up your seat for a cat. I guess I must be 100 percent a cat person, because I always give up my chair to a cat. In fact, I am faced with this situation daily, in my office.

My nice ergonomic office chair is a big favorite among the cats. Jamie Bluebell especially loves the chair. Every day, we end up sharing the chair. And she does not give an inch.

Why is it so hard for me to kick a cat out of a chair, especially a chair that I use a lot? Are many of us like that?

Occasionally, Kieran squishes in on my chair, sharing it with Jamie. Then, there really is nowhere for me to sit. I have to make some tough choices. I think the cats are just trying to shake up my world a little and get me to think outside the box. It’s working!

Here are the various ways the scenario plays out when the cats attempt to steal my office chair. I’m also convinced that there are lessons that go with each of these scenarios. Could the cats be trying to teach me something?

1. I sit on the edge of the chair

I won’t lie — this isn’t the most comfortable solution in the world. I end up tensing my legs and sitting in all kinds of ways that are probably not ergonomically correct. Jamie Bluebell is like a rock. You couldn’t move her if you tried. She is not a big cat, but a cat with a will can feel like a bag of concrete.

My husband has joked that we should design a chair with a longer seat, so that I could more easily share it with a cat and not have most of my legs hanging off the chair. But knowing cats, some feline would quickly insert himself in the new added space. The net result for me would be the same.

Lesson from cats: Don’t sit so much, Mom. Get up and move!

2. I use the piano bench instead

This is really not comfortable, and the bench is the wrong height for the keyboard and the desk. And, the bench is so hard that my glutes get sore. But as I write this, I realize that my glutes don’t get sore when I play the piano, even though I use the same bench.

Lesson from cats: Give the work a break. Take the bench over to the piano where it belongs, and play some music!

Actually, this is a very good idea. I get into a very good place when I am playing the piano. It’s one of those things that is so good for me, like yoga, that I could never do enough of.

3. I move with my laptop to a really uncomfortable futon

I have mixed feelings about this scenario. I love the room the futon is in, but the ergonomics of this futon are horrible, and ensure a tired back.

Lesson from cats: If you’re going to sit on the futon, you’re practically guaranteeing that you’ll turn into a lap magnet, so you’re not really coming out ahead, Mom.

Hmmm.

4. I pace and get no work done

This happens when I let monkey mind take over. Suddenly I’m walking around, and I have no idea how or when I strayed from my work.

Lesson from cats: Get up and take a break! It’s not good to sit too much.

Are we hearing a pattern here?

5. I take a walk

This is really super for me, and I freshen up my brain by moving my body. Problem is, I may go off in many different directions. After I’ve taken a beautiful walk and perhaps seen one of the mountain ridgelines that I love — how can I possibly return to work? It’s hard.

Lesson from cats: We excel at single pointed focus — so can you! Exercise, take your walk, love your mountains — and get back to work!

6. I play with cats

I must admit, this is fun. Throw a dog into the mix, and it’s even more fun. I have a feeling my attraction to the playing is trying to tell me something — like maybe playing has been in too-short supply in my life.

Lesson from cats: We’re here to help you be a better, well-rounded human! Play is a big part of that.

7. I dream about walking and working at the same time

This is not actually something I can do yet, but I admit to being very curious about treadmill desks. Would I work better if I could walk all day? I bet I would.

Lesson from cats: You won’t know until you try, Mom!

Meanwhile, I remain the kind of person that won’t take a cat off my chair. Why is it so hard for me to kick a cat out of a chair, especially a chair I need? Are many of us like that? Are you? Let me know in the comments!

More by Catherine Holm:

About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr, the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.