Help or hindrance?

D'Artagnan, Izabelle and Ianthe 'helping' with work

D’Artagnan, Izabelle and Ianthe ‘helping’ with work

As I sit at my very large desk which is my primary work place, I look at the surface. Not that there is a lot of surface to be seen, because naturally things accumulate. There is the keyboard – can’t do without that obviously as it would make writing blogs rather difficult. Then there is a mandatory box of tissues, a telephone, a headset, a pen holder – and the rest. The rest covers 2/3 of the desk. And consists of a lambskin and a soft quilt with currently 2 kittens and an old boy spread out on them. This is actually an improvement over 3 weeks ago. Before the kittens arrived, I would often have to do my work with the 3 full grown cats spread everywhere.
D’Artagnan – my 17 year old Somali – prefers to sleep stretched out over the depth of the desk. He expects me to do all my work with just one hand and to constantly have my other hand deeply embedded in his stomach fur, occasionally giving a gentle stroke. Any attempts to take my hand back is usually met with a pointed stare. Am Not Done, he says. Hand Needs To Come Back. Now! And the hand usually makes its meek way back to his tummy…
Penny, who is 4 and a Maine Coon is a very large cat. Funny enough, she is the one of all of them that at least tries to curl up and take up just a little bit of space. She will arrive politely, gently sink down next to D’Ar and carefully curl up. As time goes by, the curl will extend a possessive paw that inevitably ends up on my arm – especially if I am trying to use the mouse. Small enticing sounds may also occur – and stroking always bring about an even tighter curl, which somehow ends up with her stomach being presented upwards for further attention.
Ulysses who is 10 months older than Penny is slightly smaller, but you can’t tell – because as a Persian he is covered in fluff. I think of him as ‘that fluffy white thing’ (Old Dean Martin joke), but there is solid heft to him. Ulysses never does anything daintily. He is a boy and proud of it. He used to jump up on my desk and arrive on top of D’Ar, proceed to trample all over him and finally throw himself down on him so hard that D’Ar left in disgust. Then Penny decided to take up desk sleeping. And after 3 times in a row having landed on top of Penny and promptly been met with a right hook (she has a SERIOUS paw on her!) – he got the message. Now he stands on the floor and cries piteously (wait – that is what he always sounds like!) until I lift him up and gently positions him in any open space available.
It is wonderful to be able to work with your cats around you. If only you could find space for your papers. And if I could persuade them that I really need that marker pen Ulysses seems to have buried under him. And if I could have both my hands I could even type fast enough to finish what I need to write..

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