Monthly Archives: February 2018

There’s an issue with my house, and I’m not sure what to.

There’s a … scourge, if you will.


In a pestilence.

Of three.

I know, that’s not many. But they get around.

For example, my office is infested with … deskcats.

Two of them, usually. In my way, regardless of what I’m doing.

They like to walk on my keyboard. They enjoy sleeping in front of my monitors. Or worse, standing in front of them. Their hair is everywhere, especially inside my computer.

In fact, their inthewayness is directly proportional to the importance of my activities.

If I’m there, at least one of the cats is as well. I’ve done my best to control the situation- I put a cattrap on my desk: an empty box lid. This usually draws their focus, and has a calming effect as well. It’s almost always occupied, and usually there’s another deskcat lying right beside it, unable to resist its lure.

But it doesn’t help matters that the cats rarely get along, and don’t like to be in this close of proximity. They’re a bit like the two outer hemispheres of the plutonium Demon Core- the closer they get to each other, the more violent, volatile and dangerous the situation becomes.

(Look it up – I’m trying to be educational. Try your local library!)

It’s best when the deskcats sleep, even if they do tend to sprawl. At least Wilfred does (he’s the newest pest, fairly recently joining (invading?) the household.)

Wilfred weighs in at 25 pounds, and is the size of a small toddler. He really has no awareness of his size, or destructive capabilities. Traversing the desk with all the grace of a tank covered in shag carpeting, he delights in making his bed in whatever piles of debris have accumulated on the surface (which, to be honest, tends to be a fairly large and diverse amount.)

As he sleeps, he begins to spread. Like most cats, without continuous concentration he reverts back to his natural, liquatic state- oozing towards the edges of the desk and pushing the contents before him, a flood of stationery items.

(While you’re at the library, ask about homonyms as well, if you missed the previous joke.)

It’s deceptively cute at first, and even more deceptively peaceful.

Eventually, the furry feline flotsam begins to encompass the cattrap containing Jinx, the grouchy retired alley cat of the house; critical mass is reached and claws are exposed; and at least one leaves the desk in explosive fury.

None of which helps me get any work done. And then Jinx attacks my mouse hand as well, because insults also require injuries, apparently.

It’s not just my office. At night, when the lights are off, and I’m trying to sleep, the darkness of my room hides the infestation of bedcats.

Well, bedcat- Jinx tends to be the only pest. He has very strict rules for sharing the bed (which excludes other cats) and has one singular way of letting me know if I’ve broken them: one paw, stretched out, patting me lightly on whatever exposed skin is available … with claws extended.

It’s like someone’s trying to get my attention by tapping me gently with a cactus, and is highly effective. Or maybe more moderately effective than I realize, considering the number of small scratches I mysteriously accumulate.

If I forget to fill the bathroom sink for him before I go to bed, he lets me know. Insistently, with his paw needles. The only way to stop this is to get up and run the water until the sink has reached a level of his liking. He watches to make sure I do it right.

(Yes, he has a full bowl of water, but it’s all the way out in the kitchen and that’s just not convenient enough for him.)

If I sleep too late, he lets me know. Repeatedly. Until I get up.

I haven’t woken up to my alarm in years; he decides when I’ve slept enough. Worse, he’s getting me up earlier and earlier all the time – soon, I’ll be getting out of bed before I’ve ever gotten in.

Maybe that’s his eventual, evil goal … to achieve total domination of the bed and keep it all to himself, as I stand by filling and refilling the bathroom sink.

Neither is the living room a safe haven. Luckily, Jinx has his own basket on a stand that he stays in while we watch TV, but it is when I am most comfortably ensconced in my own chair that the third adorable pest makes her appearance.

Akoya is a daytime burrowing bedcat, shyly hiding from the light by digging under blankets, usually only visible by a singular paw stuck out under the edge, leading back to a tell-tale bump that faintly meows when softly poked.

She enjoys watching TV with the rest of us; however, while Jinx has his basket, Akoya prefers to stand on my chest, demanding attention, shedding the purrs she’s built up during the day, blocking my view. Eventually, she can be convinced to lay down, an orange horizon I look over and across to see my latest shows, like an upside-down sunset.

She’ll stay there as long as I carefully pet her, or until Wilfred decides he wants to share the attention and jumps on my lap, purring like he’s having an asthma attack. This goes over even less well than the desk situation; Akoya is not shy about her antagonism towards Wilfred, usually expressing herself through a literal hissy fit.

Eventually, just like desk or bed, everyone can be cajoled into a sort of acceptance of each other, at least until they don’t, and it starts over again: a never ending Ouroboros buffet of buffoonery.

(You haven’t left the library yet, have you? Good.)

My house has an adorable affliction of furry pestilence, causing havoc and creating messes, leaving dust and hair and hairballs in its wake, waking me with claws and hisses and thirsty demands.

I’m afraid it’s chronic, and most likely not going to go away for however long we remain in the house.

Still … it  is  nice to have some company in my office, and to hear the soft snores at night, and to be snuggled against during a commercial break …

To be honest … I don’t want it any other way.

It’s Sunday evening, and once again, the weekend is gone just as I got used to it being here.

I look forward to the weekends, just like all of the other adults out there. Most of them. Some of you are weird.

The weekends are a chance to do things I don’t normally do when responsibilities and duties take over my time; a relief from the ordinary structure of my work week.

The days of my week are planned out, and go by thusly:

-Monday: Well, here I go again.

-Tuesday: at least it’s not Monday

-Wednesday: Middle of the week, it’s downhill from here.

-Thursday: Almost Friday.

-Friday: will this day ever end?

Finally, Friday evening arrives, and I’m home once more, my favorite place in the world. I get to stay up a little later, sleep in a little later (if the cat allows), and spend my time how I want.

I do some house work Saturday mornings, so that my afternoons are free. I’ll play on my computer, watch a movie in the evening, go to bed early then stay up late reading news articles.

Sunday morning is when we get groceries, then I’ll play on my computer for awhile again, do some preparation for my lunches during the week, get together with friends in the evening to watch some tv or play board games, and then home to dread the coming of Monday morning once again.

I suppose it sounds tranquil.

A lot of my time, however, is spent thinking of all the things I should be doing, and how much time is spent not doing them – I should write more. My bookshelves need alphabetized. And dusted. So does my CD collection.

I still have some boxes that I haven’t unpacked, and we moved in almost four years ago. I haven’t shuffled them around recently to make it look like I’ve done something with them.

There’s a pile of papers in the corner that I’ve been meaning to sort through and file before the cat wees on them. I bought some painting supplies three years ago that I’ve been meaning to do something with.

And the weekend goes by so fast, doesn’t it?

There’s barely enough time to think about what I should be doing with the time there is, and each weekend goes by just a little more quickly. Which accumulates a little more the older I get, until it takes half the time to get through a weekend than it did just a decade ago!

Even the weekdays pass faster as well, which is somewhat frightening. The weekends I long for arrive just a little quicker as well, week in, year in, etc., etc.

It’s not going to slow down anytime soon, either, if experience is a reliable indicator (which it tends to be.)

The more I worry about how to make the best use of my time the more worried I get that I’m not using it right, and there’s something better I should be doing, and there’s so many better things I should be doing that I worry that one of them is more better than the rest and there’s too much better to choose from that I end up not choosing anything at all.

And the weekend is wasted again.

I need to be more cautious with my time, I suppose- learn to measure it in tangible results instead of the more nebulous- one book read, instead of x amount of hours in a computer game. One painting created, instead of x number of minutes spent thinking it looks awful.

(Not much I can do about x number of minutes spent in line at the grocery store. Annoyingly.)

I’ve heard time should be measured in moments, and experiences, and maybe a more accurate measure of time then is by the quality of those moments and experiences. While I do have enjoyable memories of time spent in fantastical computer environments, I also have enjoyable memories of petting the cats. And when I pet the cat, it’s a two-for-one special on memories for both of us, so I don’t mind at all considering it usually comes about while I’m on the computer and they’re interrupting me anyway.

I just want more time for the cats and the computers and the paintings and the books and the papers in the corner that now need thrown away. I’m trying to hold onto and spend wisely what no one before me has ever been able to do any better; it’s always finite.

It was easier when I was a kid. Time took so much longer then.

Maybe if I’d known what the trade off was, I wouldn’t have rushed to become an adult.

There’s a not a single person reading this who does not understand my concern, no matter how much better they are at spending their time than I am. I guess I don’t even think I’m necessarily misspending my time; I just want more to show for it.

I just want more. Who doesn’t?

There’s a saying: the best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago. The second best time is now.

20 years ago was the best time to start spending my time as wisely as possible.

The second best time is now.

So I’m going to end this column a little sooner than usual, and spend some extra time with the cats for a bit; their time is even more finite than my own..

Which doesn’t seem to bother them. Maybe we shouldn’t let it bother us so much, either.

Maybe worrying about it is the real waste of time, all along.