Technically they’re my coworkers and I think they were trying to help.

technically they're my coworkers

Technically they’re my coworkers, and they were being helpful in their own way since they shorten all of my conference calls by at least 20 minutes.  Also Ferris Mewler was meowling loudly because he wanted me to rescue him off a counter that he could totally get off himself, and Hunter S. Thomcat was slightly off-camera pushing stacks of paper off my desk while laying on my only pen.  THANKS, GUYS.

121 thoughts on “Technically they’re my coworkers and I think they were trying to help.

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  1. If it makes you feel better, you’re not the only one who has this problem. We just don’t do video conference calls or Skype, so it’s even harder to explain.

  2. My dogs are bigger, but when I’m working from home, they come up and use their noses to move my hand off the keyboard. Then I have a free hand to pet them. Win. Win.

  3. At least you don’t have to pull them into the office because they’ve sent inappropriate pictures to coworkers… “Is this your peni…?”

  4. Apropos to nothing you wrote – I am awe struck by Dorothy’s tail plumage.

  5. Your gray cat looks like my Monkey cat. I have to be careful to add in “cat” because it sounds dirty when I just say “looks like my monkey.”

  6. They are about as helpful as human co-workers, only they probably let you pet them more (than human co-workers)

  7. I feel your pain. Yesterday, my pup Angus ate a tube of Vaseline lip therapy while I was at the grocery store. My husband made a cracker about how he shouldn’t have any trouble pooping for the next day or two.

  8. Ha! Yes! The moment they see you’re engaging with someone other than them, they are ALL ABOUT you! Should I dare talk on the phone, my two dogs start barking at me (!!!) and at least two of the cats come over and start tapping me with their paws. The things we never knew we were signing up for when we got pets…

  9. This is totally me, minus the dog. My dog is a pom mix, but he still understands that my shoulder is not for perching. Ironically, my 20 lb cats ( I have 2) don’t share the same belief! Kittehs. They inspire! My autocorrect tried to make “hoomans” into “hookahs”. Which would suit me fine.

  10. I want to have an online conference call with you just to witness this feline and canine greatness!

  11. The SECOND Penelope-the-Wonderdog hears me dialing the phone (are we still “dialing” phones, even though we’re punching numbers?), she immediately H A S to go outside. Right. Now. And then will want back in a few seconds later, only to insist on being let out again. As soon as I hang up, it’s back to a coma on the couch. At least she’s too big to perch on my head, I guess. At 42 pounds, I think she’d break my neck. :/

  12. I can relate! My second interview for my current job was via video conference, and at least 60% of the time my interviewer’s view was of my cat’s butt. They hired me anyway, so I guess they’re cat people. Now I have weekly team meetings via video and we’re all well acquainted with each others’ pets: the dogs bark constantly, and the cats seem to think we’re holding the conferences so they can look at each others’ rear ends.

  13. If only I had co-workers that helpful! Mine are called Procrastination and Laziness — they don’t let me get work done either.

  14. I wish I had coworkers like that. Instead I have the yucky people kind. 🙁

  15. If I were on the other side of that conference call, it would totally make them longer, not shorter. I would want to discuss cat habits. This is a discussion I deem highly important in any setting.

  16. I work from home and had to jump up from a call this week – “Hang on, my cat is barfing.” I at least muted my Skype and turned off the video on my way to grab her.

  17. You dog scarf looks quite fashionable though. She was just trying to help you accessorize.

  18. Soooo what I’m seeing here is that Dorothy Barker thinks that a) you’re a pirate and b) she’s a parrot.

    I’ll allow it.

  19. Today was the day that I realized that MY CAT IS MY COWORKER!! 😀 😀
    Thank you for this information. It is life changing.

  20. I am typing this response with one hand, as a cat lays on my other hand and helpfully licks my entire arm while purring so loudly you could mix paint with the vibration. In the background, our mini schnauzer and our neighbor’s chihuahua are barking frantically at each other, both from inside their respective houses.
    I get it.
    (and I wouldn’t trade it for anything…)

  21. I am recovering from a broken foot so am staying with my parents, and their dog has taken it upon herself to be my coworker. She seems to think she can type and spends a lot of time licking at the track pad on my macbook. It is not helpful.

  22. My kitten is sitting behind me chewing and tugging on my hair and my dog is shoving me in the leg with her butt so I’ll give her treats. I just woke up and am only trying to check email and stuff – a conference call would be out of the question. 🙂

  23. Only place where having your co-workers lick your feet is not an offense you have to report to HR.

  24. I take college classes online and this is exactly what happens when I’m taking a test with my furry friends. Don’t they realize it’s timed and this is my future?! All they care about is their future for the next five seconds right now (and then again and again).

  25. This is could be me every single time I get on the phone, especially with Clawdette the operatic calico…

  26. I teach online. A previous class had a live seminar built in. My tortie cat, Henry, used to stand right behind or right next to me and yell as loud as she could. My students thought it was hilarious. Got to the point I would announce at the start of a seminar that they should ignore the meows and yells as my cat had heard my lecture so often that she figured she could now teach. Sadly she never knew what she was talking about. Now that I’m not teaching that class, she’s focused on trying to talk on the phone when I get a call. Still does not know what she’s talking about.

  27. My cat sits in my lap for any Skype or conference call. It takes them very seriously and sits quietly looking at the other party through the entire conversation. I should get him a kitty tie to wear and a notebook so he can take notes.

  28. When I’m chewing my tongue trying to paint a blended highlight on my miniature figurine and the twenty pound black barncat rescue, Spartacus “Bear” Weeda comes leaping up, barreling across the desk scattering paint and half finished projects so he can try to drink the paint water. Feline coworkers are the best.

  29. OMG, yes. I sit at the kitchen table with my laptop when I work from home. The only other times we use the kitchen table are when company is over or when we’re eating a dinner that’s not balance-plate-on-lap friendly. Junie ends up getting treats / scraps during both those scenarios, so he can’t for the life of him figure out why the fuck he’s not getting tidbits when I sit at the kitchen table with the laptop for hours at a time. He alternates between piteous whining, jumping in my lap (he’s about Dorothy Barker’s size) so that he can check to make sure I’m not lying about there being no food on the table, and gazing at me suspiciously from the living room. Little bastard. Good thing he’s cute.

  30. So love that your coworkers seem to regard you as a human fur coat rack.

    My cat tries to crawl into my mouth while I’m on the computer.

    Luckily no one wants to talk to me either via video or otherwise. Such happy days since working with human people!

  31. This post made me smile. My old cat, Piper, would come and sit in my lap when I was on the phone and yowl loudly. She was always my greeter cat. She considered it her job to say hello to anyone who came in the house, so why wouldn’t she want to say hello on the phone, too? It made sense to me. Her chatty nature became a running joke with the people we talked to regularly. “Hey, Piper!”

  32. I’m so happy and grateful that I never have to do conference calls. My two furbabies only crowd my lap when I’m trying to blog or otherwise use my laptop (& need both hands).

  33. For my last client conference call at home, my dog Duncan moaned in a manner that made me want to assure my very stuffy client that no one in the vicinity was having an orgasm. Instead, I let the man wonder.

  34. This might be a bit off topic but you have impressive cleavage. I know it sounds weird and a little scary but everyone wants compliments. Right? Oh! And I really like your cats and dog. Nothing like a wrestling match with fur. Right?

  35. My cat’s lack the ability to communicate “I’m hungry”, so if they run out of food, the turn into jerks and climb all over us, bite us, scratch us, etc. Basically, they act like they’re bored, but they’re asking for food. Zero chance of knowing the difference, unless you’re looking at the food bowl. I got no sleep last night. Too groggy to consider checking the food dish.

  36. One of my furry co-workers hated working in the office, so we now work from the bed, where he can lounge and nap in total comfort according to his daily needs. This has not helped with my weight or fitness level, but he totes does not care.

    The two who bark have encouraged me to discourage conference calls and inspired me to learn the fastest way to hit the mute button when forced to do a conference call.

    The one who meows is generally a model co-worker. He may occasionally add some text to whatever document is open, but he so far has not managed to delete anything important.

    I’ll take them over their human counterparts any day.

  37. Our little girl cat deleted all my husband’s work-related emails with her butt. So helpful.

  38. Paper is a cat’s raincoat, invisibility ckcloak and formal dress. That is why it is coveted, covered and shredded to suit each personality. We humans may hide paper in files, but those are just sturdier paper. It’s pens and pencils and plastic straws that I miss. Then, oops, I find them under my 2 rugs & inside their 4 personal boxes. I love them though.Evie Gathright

  39. Paper is a cat’s formal dress, raincoat and camouflage. I expect Maximilian and Louie to jump on my files. I really dislike their lust for my pens, pencils & straws. These “toys” are hide & seek for the brothers to conceal under my 2 rugs & in their 4 personal box beds. But I love my exercise finding the “toys.”Evie

  40. I always refer to my two cats (Fletch and Athena) as coworkers. Sorry I can’t go to your thing, I have a creative meeting with my team today!! 😻😻

  41. So, what you’re saying is that the answer to “Should I get a second cat?” is “Absolutely, yes! … And maybe get a few more lint rollers while you’re at it.”

  42. Yes! But they’ve learned how to help a human on a conference call by watching YOU help your husband with his! Good coworkers!

  43. Your coworkers are assholes. Probably expect you to wait on them and clean up after them too.

  44. Wait, did Dr. Seuss have it wrong? When he wrote “The Cat in the Hat” it could have been:
    The Cat is the Hat.
    The Cat as a Hat.
    The Shoulder Log Dog.
    The Flail of the Dog Tail.
    The Tale of the Dog Flail.

  45. Looks familiar! I think Ferris Mewler might just be a Maine Coon – they surely want what they want WHEN they want it. That surely is what a conference call from my house would be like. Enjoy – it’s the best.

  46. Um. . . anything that makes phone calls shorter is good.
    They definitely deserve a raise.

  47. My kitty helps by chewing the cord to my headset. I’ve been surprised with a completely severed cord right before a call before. Yay!

  48. I’m a children’s book author, and do a lot of presentations for students via Skype. During the last school Skype session, our cat, Papaya (who resembles a small buffalo in girth), sauntered into my office and proceeded to barf up lizard parts on the floor. THAT was fun.

  49. At least you know that no one on that call would be like “Wait, did we talk to Jenny this morning?” because if they did someone else would look at them and be like “You mean the woman with THE ZOO ON HER SHOULDERS? Yeah. I think we talked to her.”

  50. Hilarious !!! Thank you for that, the funniest part of this day and soooo much love happening to you!!!!!

  51. You know the reason why whoever-it-was asked for a video call was specifically for the cat factor. Phone calls don’t have nearly as much entertainment. Come to think of it, I don’t know why I ever call anyone. It’s facetime from here on in, hoping for some pics like that.

  52. Pay them more attention. Like, so much attention that you don’t have any time to make conference calls. They’re happy and you don’t have to sit thru calls.

  53. My five “feral” kittens help me every night preparing supper. Paws in the butter testing for softness. Nibbling on plastic wrap of the roaster chicken to air it out and let the fluid trickle onto the floor where the dog waits to help clean the floor. Batting the black olives out of the can and into the salad plates (about none of the time). Climbing onto my shoulder and biting my ear when I peel potatoes … Probably under instruction from my mother regarding nutrition contained in the peel and my general wastefulness. And it goes on and on. Did I mention FIVE kittens …

  54. I have a question: HAVE YOU KIDNAPPED THE PRESIDENT YET?????

    (Still looking for a patriot cat. The search continues. ~ Jenny)

  55. I feel your pain. Being totally professional and teaching via AdobeConnect last week, when Scout thought she’d walk past the camera, butt-first, multiple times. She then started loudly purring while attempting to eat the laptop. For her encore, she climbed onto the printer beside me … and fell off it. Loudly.
    Props to the students, who totally ignored it all and kept relatively straight faces.

  56. You are a rock star and they obviously consider themselves your roadies, having to get on top of all the technical issues… Er and you. Our cat was gifted in I.T., and could turn on Apple TV WITH HER BUM CHEEKS. I didn’t even know we HAD Apple TV.

  57. We have one of those automatic cat feeder things where the bowl is never empty. The ass-hat cat cries and cries at the bowl until I come and touch the food. Then he purrs like a motorboat and starts eating.

    This is not unlike his habit of crying to be let in or out the door of his choice, rather than use his cat door.

    It amuses him to cause his minions to do his bidding.

  58. Love this! Our colleague Rose often points her webcam to show us her cat when she’s on a video call with us from home and we’re all stuck in the office… never fails to get an ‘awwwww’ from the team

  59. Even thought I’m allergic to cats and dogs (so sad), I’m ready to borrow them to get out of the meeting I’ve got to go to this afternoon….or maybe I’ll just go find some shrimp to eat and barf/not breathe everywhere…that might work too.

  60. I believe intelligent people when they tell me animals are very perceptive and aware of things we miss. That’s why you should be concerned about whatever it is your cats are trying to tell you. For that matter I should be concerned when our dogs stare at a dust bunny then bark at it. We have no idea what that dust bunny could be up to.

  61. I don’t know what it says about me that this post made me want pets.

    At least yours are helping, as opposed to being the laziest coworkers ever. 🙂

  62. I have a secret: I’m wearing maternity yoga pants to work. My youngest kid is 7.

    (I am in love with maternity tank tops. They are super long and hang down far enough that I can wear shorter t-shirts with them. Shh. Don’t tell anyone. ~ Jenny)

  63. I once took a conference call at home due to the time difference overseas with a bunch of military men and transportation experts. I had the phone on speaker which caused my cat great concern and he kept yelling at me to turn it off. Not a problem while the phone was on mute but after I started talking, one of the more crusty old men piped up and asked if someone had a baby crying in the background. No, I replied- that’s just my pet. Thanks cat, this is why I can’t work at home.

  64. This isn’t quite on the topic, but there’s no one else I can share this with: have you ever been enjoying a little, er, solitary entertainment and had the moment completely ruined by the disapproving stare of your cat? Talk about the fun police. Or maybe he’s just getting me back for the neutering?

  65. This was my day today…but instead of cats, it was leaves. And instead of them crawling all over me, they were all over my yard and pool. And instead of being happy and laughing about it, or going with the flow, I had my husband clean out the pool and rake the leaves (after a hail storm) because I felt like watching 5 episodes of Better Call Saul on Netflix. HA!
    But I do have a cat. And he does do this EXACT same thing. ALL the TIME. Love it. Some days.

  66. I think they knew a ‘bad head day’ was coming. My cats are especially sensitive to my ‘changes’ and I’ve figured out that when Sylvester curls up next to my stomach at night, I’ve got a ‘fugue’ coming on.
    Wore my new, ‘Silverback Gorilla Posing Dress’ yesterday! Finally warm enough for a single layer of leggings!
    Felt beautiful all day…

  67. My dear friend Emma Hill is a musician out of Alaska. She has written song after song sharing her struggles with being happy, love, depression and just about everything in between.

    At Christmas I sent her Furiously Happy because I knew she was struggling and your writing has helped so many.

    Two weeks ago she came to visit and perform a house concert for our closest friends and family. A couple nights before the show, she told me she had a surprise for me. She had written a song that was inspired by Jenny and the new love she found that brought her back to the light. Little did I know, the book was sent to her at exactly the right time.

    Jenny, I hope this song brings you joy…but not only you, but to all of us that have found ourselves struggling at one time or another with sadness. It’s proof that happiness is on the other side and will always find you – even when you think it won’t.

    Here’s Furiously Happy.

  68. Hi Jenny. You’re my hero because your writing burst open my own life and got me started down that writing about how fucked up I am path. Just wondering if you’d consider taking a look. I comment (good or bad) from you would probably send me over the moon and back. It’s called BlunderWoman – a unhelpful self help blog for the mildly self destructive. (it’s a midlife crisis thing)

  69. My cat drags his stuffed zebra toy into the middle of any phone, Skype, homework or discipline situation. He meows and bats (claws) at me for attention during this ritual. Unfortunately the zebra seems to be a love toy and it is quite embarrassing… I once posted a picture of him in action and my friend declared that the zebra may well have a paternity suit…

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