5 Ways My Cats Help Me Have a More Organized Home


With a bunch of crazy cats running around the house (especially a four-month-old kitten), you wouldn’t think that the vibe would be conducive to organization. But there’s a silver lining in every cloud (cat-speak: There’s a gem in every litter box). Always look for the good! Even when cat craziness is at its peak in my household, my cats have lessons for me about organization. Yes, I should pay homage to them, or perhaps feed them more treats.

Here are five ways they help me be organized:

1. They encourage me to look at my messes so that I will clean them up

Look at this icky pile on the table. It drives me crazy. Normally, this pile would be in my office, where it drives me a little less crazy. Piles in offices are … okay. It’s part of the work. But piles in the home are not okay. That’s my convoluted thinking.

How do cats play into this epiphany? Well, the piles are in the house because I am feeling guilty. I’m working in the house because I have been gone so much and I want to be with the cats. I have to bring the piles into the house, because it’s work that has to be done. And those piles WILL go away, I promise. In the meantime, the piles make a nice cushion for Kieran!

2. They encourage (read: force) me to get up in the morning and get moving

Okay, so I really am a morning person. I’m usually up by five or six and ready to go. But the cats provide that extra added incentive. I do shut the door and keep them out of the bedroom at night (I love my sleep, even though this was heartbreaking, for me, at first). However, they KNOW when I should get up. It turns into a cat football game on the other side of the door at about 5 a.m. every morning. Smash, crash, and the cats are wrestling, throwing their bodies against the door. I’m convinced this is a tactic to make sure I wake up and feed them. After all, they could wrestle anywhere else in the house, right? There’s lots of open floor space. But noooo — body velocity against the door is the best. Smart kitties.

3. They cleverly train me to jump at their critical (feeding) times.

Once I get up, you’d think it was the End Times, the way the kitties carry on. Instant wailing and carrying on ensues. Cats are running everywhere, and they threaten to overrun me, if I don’t feed them NOW.

It does make me get this task out of the way pronto, instead of wasting time online or doing yoga or staring out the window daydreaming. Smart cats. If only I could train them to make me do some of the less pleasurable tasks I tend to procrastinate about — taxes, for that matter!

4. The distractions they create force me to concentrate even more

So as I said, I’ve been working in the house. Strangely, with the cats’ constant distractions (heads over computer keyboards, walking across the keyboard, sitting behind me in the chair, etc.), I’m getting more work done than ever. Like a mother with a newborn, I squeeze in the time around the cats’ schedules. Are they sleeping? Quick, write a Catster blog! Edit a blog entry! Do some writing! There will be time for the inevitable chaos later!

5. They make me laugh at my compulsiveness

This is perhaps the best lesson. Like I said in one of the first articles I wrote for Catster, I was raised in a house where you could probably eat off the floor and it would be cleaner than any clean plate. With cats? Forget it. It’s like having young children, I think. There’s always a state of disarray in the house — cat toys scattered here and there, cat food that gets accidentally spilled (or cleverly knocked off the counter by a certain black cat, so that the pellets are scattered and ready to eat), a sudden cat tussle arising out of nowhere. The Martha Stewart-type living space that I secretly yearned for (yes, I am weird) is probably out of reach, because that would mean giving up my cats. NO WAY!

Do cats help you be more organized? Less organized? Share your stories in the comments!

Read more about life with cats:

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 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 a short story collection about people and place. 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.

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