My desk at work and my desk at home are opposites. One might think the nature of my job is the cause, but it isn’t. I am an organized thinker, numbers person and CPA under my real name by day and a writer under my pen name by night and on the weekends. Although artistic people are sometimes categorized as disorganized, the neatly organized desk is my writing desk, while my office at work is hidden beneath a mountain of paper. Occasionally, my propensity for neatness wins and my office takes on a semi-clean appearance with stacks of papers organized by tasks at hand. Other days, there is no hope, with papers strewn across the desk, credenza and meeting table, today’s latest crisis on top of yesterday’s unfinished assignment. Please join me in my tale (tail) of two desks to discover why my work space at home is always organized and often paper free.
It all started a little over a year ago when we adopted our kittens Shelby and Riley at the local animal shelter. Shelby should have been named Shelby Don’t, because we exclaim that phrase throughout the day. Many people converse with their pets, and I am one of them. Shelby and Riley sometimes even answer back.
I feel conversation a with Shelby coming on right now, as she’s chomping the cord for my external hard drive. “Shelby don’t bite the cords. You’ll get electrocuted,” I say as I gently move her away from the hard drive and go back to typing my blog post. A friend recommended applying bitter apple flavor to the cords. So I ordered it, and upon receipt of the kitty and cord saving elixir, I dabbed the tart juice onto all of her favorite cables in my office. What a waste of time and money. Now Shelby licks the tasty cord condiment before biting them. Maybe she’s the Tootsie Pop Owl of cats and cords. Lick. Lick. Lick. Bite.
Next, it is “Shelby don’t eat my papers,” as I reposition her once again. I move her close to my keyboard so I can pet her as she often pulls her tricks when she wants attention. And that is the case today. She immediately begins licking and nibbling my fingers while I try to type. Today, I laugh because it is sweet and there’s no urgency to my deadline. But, this can be annoying. Try preparing a tax return with a cat biting your receipts and licking your fingers.
Shelby often lays with her head or paws on the keyboard, deftly adding her thoughts into my work product. bbbbbbbbbbbbbbb (See what I mean?) Her long fluffy tail covers my mouse and mouse pad limiting my hand movements. She’s quite the helper!
“Shelby don’t bite my notebook. It isn’t dental floss,” I joke next as I stand it up by my pen holder turning the spiral rings to face the wall. Like playful children, Shelby needs to be redirected to appropriate behaviors, so I toss the black-feathered bird toy that she thoughtfully left on my desk across the office. The bird squeaks and her claws click across the wooden floors as she plays bird hockey.
Thump. Shelby’s baaaaaack. This time, she steps across the keyboard looking directly into my face, her cute black diamond nose symbolic of her playful nature. But this time, she shows me the love, placing one front paw on my shoulder for balance as she gives me a long cold, wet nose kiss from my chin, up my nose to my forehead, just above eye level, where she proceeds to lick an apparently dirty spot. When the spot is sufficiently clean, she puts her paw back on the desk, still facing me, and sweetly nuzzles her head into my shoulders and neck. Purring happily, Shelby lays down between my keyboard and monitor with her head tilted back. I feel the vibration against my fingertips as I scratch under her chin. And some people say cats aren’t affectionate. They don’t know Shelby, the reason for my tale (tail) of two desks.
Hmm. Perhaps I should take Shelby to work with me so I’d clean my desk there, as well. As you can see, she’s ready and willing to go.
Bio: PJ wrote poetry in high school, but she discovered writing children’s books and short stories later in life. Her writing inspirations are travel, hiking, photography and environmental consciousness, and she links these interests to much larger social issues. PJ is passionate about literacy, providing child safety tips, committed to spreading the word that bullying must be stopped and teaching children about environmental concerns through her writing.
PJ’s Author Page on an Amazon near you: Author.to/PJLaRue;