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Feline Friday: How Cats Read & Computer Cat-Astrophe

Cats always seem drawn to sit on top of books.

TGIFF…Feline Friday, that is. I have a new project. In an effort to streamline my work schedule and give myself more leisure time, I’ve decided to capitalize on Seren-Kitty’s ability to read and write.

All cats know how to read.  They simply sit on the page (or the E-reader), and absorb the text through their (ahem) nether regions. Just check out Wall-E, in the picture “reading” my first-aid book. Kitties want to be prepared. *s* What do YOUR cat’s read?

For years, I’ve explained to those who asked that Seren “edit” everything that leaves the house. Seren used to grab paper as it came out of the fax machine, and she answered my phone (but rarely took a message and left the receiver off the hook). Aside from simply channeling my inner cat (or dog, in the case of the forthcoming thriller), Seren takes it further. She types.

Purr-haps the next book will be mewsings straight from the Seren-kitty’s tail–er, tale. (Okay, I can hear the groans, so I’ll stop. For now.)

This is new for her. Oh, I’ve joked about Seren having a “paw-top computer” where she actually writes all of my books and articles, and allows me to take credit. After all, I have the thumbs and a wallet to open for all the kitty must-haves. But she’s never before bothered the computer keyboard, maybe because most of my work has been composed on an ergonomic keyboard.

Lately, though, I’ve worked quite a bit on my laptop. If I leave the thing open and unsupervised, she takes advantage to SIT on the keyboard–reading, I suppose, unless she’s type-composing with her ass-ets. Heck, some of my work may resemble that but I assure you, the typing does take place.

If you’re a writer who often angsts over composing just the RIGHT phraseology, having it wiped out by kitty butt-inskies can make blood pressure soar. Those innocent cat-less souls out there who think this might be an aberration, just check out the comments (I’m sure there will be several!) because cat butt-and-paw computer interference is a common problem. There are some products designed specifically to foil kitty computer damage, too, from keyboard “shields” that keep paws at bay, to software called PawSense  that “detects cat typing” and catproofs the writing with a save function before too much damage is done.

. . . Kitty Keyboard Kover, comfort for the cat and typing room for you!

Why do cats find computers so attractive? I suspect there are a couple of reasons. First, that lovely appliance gets WARM as it sits and runs. I’ve started shutting the laptop when I must leave it unattended, and still find Seren lounging on top of the closed lid, probably drawn to the heat.

It’s also an elevated perch. Yes, it IS! I mean, when a cat considers sitting on a flat piece of paper to be the epitome of luxury, the inch or two boost from perching atop your keyboard must make him feel like a king.

Finally, cats recognize that their humans spend lots of time (hours, days, weeks…) sitting and staring and doing finger-clacking noises on the laptop. It smells like their favorite person, AND if they sit on the keyboard they get in between the screen and your face–in your line of vision. I can just hear Seren thinking, “Why stare at that when you can be gazing with adoration at ME?…oh, and scratch that spot, you know the one. . .”

Do your cats sit on the keyboard? How do you manage the problem? What about following the mouse on the screen? Have you had any computer cat-tastrophes? Please share! Do your cats do anything like the kitty in the video, yikes!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

About amyshojai

Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified animal behavior consultant (dogs/cats), award winning author of 30+ pet care titles and thrillers, and spokesperson to the pet industry.

22 responses »

  1. I think I’ve provided (unknowingly) a safe zone for MY keyboard by having my art studio and writing office in one room. Colors would rather lay on my drawing board by the window and observe the birds fluttering around and planning her next attack. I’m glad she is not the great furry hunter she imagines to be!

    • Aha…yes, the key is to offer a lounge spot that’s MORE attractive (window access is high value, true).

      When I write on the laptop, it’s at the dining room table where Seren sleeps in her bed. At the desk/office upstairs, the desk is too full of “stuff” for her to find easy access.

      Of course, I do need to shovel out my office at some point.

  2. Pingback: The End is Near (and we deserve it). . . . Man has Heart Attack at Heart Attack Grill « Author Piper Bayard

  3. I have 4 cats and the oldest one loves the dryer. She’ll be sound asleep in the bedroom, but as soon as I start the dryer she hears it (and it’s pretty quiet; I can hardly hear it) and runs into the laundry room to jump to the top of the dryer (and it’s one of those on a pedestal so it’s a HIGH jump) and stays up there as long as it’s running. Another one of them likes to get on the computer laptop as long as I have it open on my lap and “help” me type or read e-mail. If I’m reading the newspaper, that’s also the perfect place for her to be, right in the middle of it. And likewise, if I’m cross-stitching, oh boy, I can count on her jumping onto my chest to interfere with it, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!, in spite of the fact that she weighs more than 11 lbs.

    • Caroline, thanks for visiting! Seren loves the dryer, too, but wants to “help” with folding of hot-out-of-the-dryer clothes. Her most fav thing is to burrow into the newly dried clean sheets. *s*

      I’m with you, w. ouldn’t have it any other way.

  4. Thankfully neither of our cats get on the keyboard, though when I first moved in here and got the desktop set up, I had to put a chair just for her beside the desk, otherwise she would pace circles around my chair and yowl at me for attention. LOL But now I mostly use the laptop on the coffee table, and she just grabs an arm of the couch to sleep on. For her, pillows are greater than keyboard. For Anubis, Box is greater than All Other Things.

  5. One of my passed-on kitties did a left foot on Del followed by a right foot on Enter while I was browsing through the File Manager (Windows). Needless to say, a rather important file disappeared into the aether before I could react!

    New kitty does the “walk across the keyboard” when she feels I’m ignoring her.

    • Oh no! It’s almost like they KNOW (cue scary music…). And yes, they do time such things to garner attention, and it works.

    • Hint if this was recent: you can check your recycle bin and restore the file, provided you haven’t emptied it since then. 🙂 So at least there’s that. Just don’t let kitty walk on the keyboard when you’re trying to restore the file.

  6. Hi Amy!

    No cats on my keyboard but one of them likes to sleep on top of the Dish Network controller box in the den. I got tired of plucking tufts of cat hair from the box so now the room is off limits. The other cat will drag his bed next to the heater vent after lights out.

    Have a great weekend!

  7. Our cats love to get in the middle of anything we’re doing and if they can’t get in the middle they do something to get our attention. Right now the youngest’s ploy is to drag our socks around the house. She makes the funniest meow when she’s doing it. Before we knew what was going on we thought she was scared or upset about something. We’d stop our work and check on her. One day we caught her in the act. We don’t stop and check on her any more but she’s still a sock thief.

  8. No cats in our household (allergies) but I always enjoy their antics. Thanks for a peek into your cat’s world. So funny they way they behave.

  9. Àmy what a great post….hehehee….Absolutely loved the “Kitty Keyboard Kover, comfort for the cat and typing room for you”…The video was halarious, that cat was trying to turn the laptop screen into its scratchie pole. Our persian has discovered how much I love to watch TV via our projector and he now frequently jumps infront of the project light & disrupts our view. He does it when we ignore his pleas to be let ouside to the backyard and it has become his strategy to force us to let him out so we can watch our shows without interruptions! sneaky kitty cat…hehehe

    • Ha! Rayya, he has you trained, indeed! That’s hilarious. My Seren rattles the wooden window blinds to get my husband to chase her (“She’s going to tear them down, stop it stop it!” ) and of course the cat just grins and dashes away.


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