They really should get a writer’s credit at this point.

Today is National Author’s Day so I’m sharing a series of one-minute videos I made while trying to write my new book so you can see the only thing more difficult to combat than my own crippling self-doubt.

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Live cam of me writing a book.

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View from my computer monitor. #writersblockincatform

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I just want to write in peace.

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Exhibit 89 for why I need a door on my office.

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I mean, really? #writerswithcats

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It’s every day, you guys.

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This is fine. Everything is fine.

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I would close the door except that Victor took the only office in the house so my office is the dining room and it doesn’t have doors.  Also even if I had doors they would just scream at them to be let in, plus Ferris Mewler is polydactyl and has thumbs so he can totally open the door.

In conclusion, my coworkers are more annoying than yours are.  But also possibly cuter.  And less hypoallergenic.

118 thoughts on “They really should get a writer’s credit at this point.

Read comments below or add one.

  1. If I see your next book is called “iopdshgusi999999999999”, I guess we’ll know who won the fight.

  2. I want to see what spell check did when they walked on your keyboard. Mine usually assumes a nuclear holocaust has occurred.

  3. I sort of head up (by default) a senior citizen’s watercolor group. I have similar issues with people who just can’t get all the business done at the beginning. As soon as I start to wet my brush, there they are, in my palette, handing me checks, wanting individual phone calls because email is hard, can’t find the box on the blog to submit their address, etc. etc. I’d prefer cat paws on my paintings: at least there would be paintings!

  4. I’ve worked with catty co-workers, but mine didn’t make me smile. Thank you so much for this. And I love your b&w checked blouse. 🙂

  5. I always want my cat to sit with me when I work… right up until she does. Then it’s all this!

  6. Oh no you got one of the booty charms. Ha Ha Ha. I thought it was a fake infomercial……..

  7. I have a cat, Sprite. She gets so happy she slobbers all over everything. It’s just great….cat slobber. It’s also not widely known that cat slobber is a universal solvent.

  8. None of my animals will sit with me when I am writing, except for Pandora the kitten-cat. She curls up under my left arm and makes it nearly impossible to type. I am happiest that way!

  9. You are absolutely adorable (love the skull shirt)! I so needed these giggles today. I can relate all too well to this; my cat loves to “help” me study and write papers.

  10. I love how you attempt to reason with the cats. You can’t. Because they are cats and they are pretty much assholes who don’t care. Adorable assholes, but assholes, just the same.

  11. Zara, the 22 lb. cutey pie dog, likes to drape herself over the wheels of my office chair thus preventing me from moving. Because if i moved and it caught her little paws or fur, she’d yelp and be resentful for several hours. So i guess she’s really helping me stay seated and focused. So clever. 🙂

  12. This. Is. Everything. I like to write sitting on my couch, but my dog doesn’t understand personal space…so now I have to write at my desk. Luckily, she’s too big to jump on the desk or even in my lap (usually).

  13. One of my three thinks I should relax more. She’ll let me clean house for a few hours, but once I get downstairs to the kitchen she thinks I’ve worked enough for the day. She leaps up on the counter paces around, head butts, and barks at me (yeah, my cat barks) until I go sit down and put my feet up. I find it’s best not to argue with her. Maybe I’ll clean the kitchen tomorrow.

  14. My co-workers – 2 cats and a Viking – may be annoying but possibly not as annoying as your co-workers. On the other hand, we run a business out of our home so cursing, throwing tools and slamming doors are all part of the everyday fun around here.

  15. No wonder it’s hard to work! Also, as an occupational therapist and ergonomic consultant, I strongly suggest you get some help with your workstation–a lot of your neck/shoulder/arm issues would be helped with a lower keyboard and a chair with appropriate armrests. I live in Minnesota, but will let you know next time I come to TX! Seriously, there is good information on
    on accommodations for computer workstations. It won’t help the kitty issues though. My kitty used to lay with his head on my mousing hand.

  16. I’m so glad I watched every one of those. I’ve been struggling so much these last couple of weeks and really needed to laugh today. Thank you for what you do, it makes such a difference.

  17. Love it! My husband plays overwatch on his laptop on the couch and our big tuxedo decides that’s that best time to cuddle up and stick his head on the computer. There is usually a lot of swearing that occurs, which I find hilarious because he’s got headphones/mic on.

    Additionally our tuxedo is a big cat (when he stand up on his hing legs his front paws reach over the counter top edges, so he is a master at opening doors. And if he cant open the door, him and the other 2 cats will just sit outside and cry until we give up and let them in. They totally own us

  18. You should totally give credit to Ferris and Dotty on your book jacket. They’re the magic. 😂😂

  19. I can sooooo relate to this. Jed is ALWAYS at my feet. (But only because he’s too big to fit on my desk.) And when I get up to refill my cup he acts like I just disturbed him from a very critical moment in his writing day. Except that I’m the one that’s writing. rolling my eyes with gratitude He’s the best damn colleague I’ve ever worked with 🙂

  20. My office is in the living room. The most helpful thing my cat did was to walk across the keyboard, hitting a magic key combination that made my display rotate 90 degrees. WTF, CAT!!!!!!!!!!!!

  21. That one where he’s poking your hand on the keyboard? Well, you DID teach a fist bump would get him a treat…

  22. Instead of NaNoWriMo it’s NaNoCatMo, the month when cats must be between you and the monitor. Or on the keyboard. Or on the writer. Plus anybody who can write with those dolls staring at the back of her neck is far more dedicated than I am! That would scare the hell out of me.

  23. Ferris Mewler has very pretty eyes and he is HUGE! I think that Victor needs a cat in his office, so you should put Ferris in there and close the door. Doors are good for keeping things out, sure, but they are also really good at keeping things in!

  24. Solidarity! My cat has lately decided to try aggression out for size. Sits next to my laptop, which is always preferable to on top of it, but as I reach for the mouse, he grabs my hand with his claws and bites. Hard. After pulling back my hand the other day, carefully, I just looked at him and said, “Why??!!” His response: a quick half-lunge at my face, mouth open, like he was going to bite me. It startled me so much I just laughed. And continued keeping my hand away from the mouse. Because I do what kitty tells me to do.

  25. I say, learn to dictate to your computer while petting Ferris and Dorothy. Everybody wins! Also, you are the only reason I would ever join Instagram.

  26. I can’t wait to read the chapters written by your co-authors. Although I’m not fluent in their languages, I’m sure they share your sense of humour, so should be a good read.

  27. And I thought having my cat pat my shoulder constantly and cry for attention was distracting. He does sometimes jump onto the laptop but not often

  28. One of my mom’s cats used to help her grade papers. She would then have to explain the extra marks all over the paper to the student. Cats are the BEST helpers.

  29. Of course you have a polydactyl cat! They are the coolest. Also, love that skull cardigan.

  30. Ivan used to bug me, until he died.

    Olga just sleeps in the office’s comfy chair. She hates to get up on the desk unless the basement gets so cold. Then she’ll sleep under the lamp.

    I miss Ivan. Thanks for reminding me of the good times.

  31. Raven’s favourite thing to do is squeeze in behind me on my office chair, which means I can never lean back. But she keeps me warm. I’m just lucky that Titus is too big to sit on my lap–at least Dorothy Barker doesn’t completely obscure the computer screen:-)

  32. My husband bought a “predator call” noise megaphone that is suppose to mimic wounded animals that would attract coyotes. My cat Noodle was sound asleep on the couch when he played the first animal distress call. (He kept asking me if I knew which animal made the sounds and I said every time, “A whale with hemorrhoids!” but that was always wrong.) My usually skittish cat didn’t even flinch. The next wounded animal was suppose to be a rabbit, and then Noodle raised her head from her blanket and looked at me like, “What the hell is the man doing?” Then my husband played a wounded fawn, and the cat gave a kind of sigh and looked at me like, “No. Seriously. Tell him to stop that nonsense!” I looked at my husband and said, “The cat is not impressed. Are you sure that thing works?” He said, “I told you the cat is dumb. She’s dumb.” I will make no further comment.

  33. Is that Hunter S Tomcat? He looks huge! Anyway, my wife, Denise, has an upstairs room that we use for her office and I, like you, use the dining room. I used to have cat incursions also but I put down a nice soft blanket next to my computer on the dining room table and Pip (a huge female grey tabby) sleeps there while I write, sometimes for many hours at a time. Put down the fluffy blanket and they will come… No more head butts, spastic typing, or bum showings. More writing.

  34. I don’t know about coworkers being more annoying. How about all of mine when on a joint spa day paid by the company and informed me in an email to hold down the fort today since they are out.

  35. I dunno, I kinda like it when my cats help me at my desk. But I have no deadlines so it’s ok to be slowed down. Their typing skills are really bad though.

  36. I’d still swap out my coworkers and students for Dottie, Ferris, and Rolly any day of the week and twice on Sundays. 😉 I guarantee you’re getting more done with your “children” than I’m able to with mine.

  37. Your coworkers are certainly cuter than mine… but I do get visitors who are just about as demanding of my time. Ever tried to edit something while an eight year old with ADHD and ASD who never stops is in the room? Or a 2 1/2 year old who sneaks behind you undetected and manages to hit the toggle switch on the power bar that your computer is plugged into? Or the 4 and 6 year olds who have the usual barrage of questions exacerbated by their ASD tendency to fixate? I’ve had the same conversation about fidget spinners 30 times in a two hour period.
    I love my job, but there are days where I feel like nothing is going to get done other than distracting a kiddo while their parents talk to the doc.

  38. I feel your pain. I work from home as a graphic designer and one or two of my four cats are on my desk all the time, getting in my way, lying on things I need, and generally being very distracting. They are definitely not good coworkers, but they are very cute and sweet.

  39. My cat tries to help me work, and occasionally posts to Facebook when I’m not paying attention. I bought her a special bed so she can sleep right beside me while I’m on the computer, so naturally she hates it, and prefers to sit between me and the monitor.

  40. My male cat Tony does this shit too. This morning, I was trying to go through my Facebook feed and the little shit walked across the keyboard and somehow took a screenshot.

    Also..I want to say thank you, Jenny. Thanks to you and all the crazy shit you were brave enough to do and write about in “Furiously Happy”, I have done a crazy thing that I wouldn’t have been brave enough to do before. I decided to reach out to some beauty brands and ask for PR kits or samples so that I could review their products on my blog. One of them, Mad Hippie, actually responded and I’ll be getting some samples from them soon. THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing how difficult it is to be fucking brave and helping derpy, scared little people like me be brave too. 😀

  41. I used to work in a retirement community- this is all so true. I just wrote a post about it on my blog. Well, it started that way and devolved into a story about nude paintings and golf carts.

  42. Girlfriend, you need a SheShed! And it should be tax deductible. And guarded by Beyoncé. And have a wine slushie machine!

  43. Seems like you need a she shed. I hate that phrase. You need a room of your own — with a door. And, that’s the dining room? The dining room has built-in shelves filled with books and vaguely creepy dolls? Is this a case where no meals are ever served in the dining room (you all eat at a kitchen table, in a breakfast nook, etc.) so the dining room’s only function is as your office — but it’s a dining room, so it has no door?

    I can’t tell if you secretly enjoy the furry attention, or if you’d feel it was cruel to find a way to effectively shut them out, or if you actually can’t figure out a way to remedy the situation. But if it’s the latter, seems like an author’s cabin in the back yard is worth looking into.

    I just watched a video complaining about mansplaining, so now I’m worried I just did it. I’m not implying you couldn’t think of an outbuilding yourself. I’m just … confused as to whether you are suffering all these interruptions “on purpose” or not.

  44. You should have a chapter in the book that is just the typos/key strokes the animals typed throughout writing the book.

  45. I relate to this so much. I used to funnily get frustrated with my dog like a much less extreme version of the Lily the dog video you posted lol. When I worked on my laptop at home on the couch I would constantly have to move my laptop up and down-my Maltese Angel would compulsively try to crawl on my keyboard-maybe she thought my keyboard was getting too many pets and she was jealous? She also LOVED to lay on my homework/papers like a bird. One of the things I miss the most though was when I would paint, work at a desk, or eat at the dinner table and she would sometimes put her front paws on me and bark and scratch my legs which meant she wanted me to pick her up and snuggle and she would wrap her neck around mine and give me a little hug. I miss my sweet girl. She passed two years ago as of September of this year. Dogs and cats are the best!!! Also happy National Author’s Day Jenny! You’re my favorite author. Cheers to you and all of your current great works and those yet to come!

  46. This reminds me so much of my life and I only have cat. I was laughing so hard because I have the same conversations with my cat when I’m trying to work. Also fb is a dick of all the post to try to hide this is the worst one to hide. We need this post in our lives

  47. You need to hire an assistant to wrangle your pets for you while you try to work. I would do it for cheap… hell free even… just need to get there from Canada… is it safe yet? Do you still have a crazy guy running the place?

  48. Your local chapter of The United Housepet Writing Prevention Organization is at full strength!

  49. Ben, you know Jenny will at least subtitle her next book that. At least we can hope. And Dorothy Barker? She is so NOT a cat. She is obviously unclear on the concept.

  50. LMFAO! I just had a visual of my 91 pound Great Pyranees trying to sit on my lap while I worked. Lucky for me, they’re an aloof breed. She just suddenly feels the need to be let outside every 10 minutes if I’m on my laptop for too long without petting her at least once every couple hours.

  51. I love Ferris! He reminds me of my big, gray polydactyl cat named Friday who was the best cat I ever had.

  52. These videos are just THE BEST!

    I see Dorothy, but it’s funny that the other author-named animal is not in the videos. Hunter doesn’t want to type?

    You are much nicer to your cats than I was to mine. (e.g. When they were on the sofa where I wanted to be, I would move them…they have more options than I do!). However…don’t you miss the old CRT monitors? I had a cat that lived on top of one (so warm). It was so sad the day we replaced it with a flat screen; she walked all around, and then a little paw came over the top, probing for her bed!

    Ima gonna watch the vids again.

  53. Oh so hilarious. I will come and be your chief cat wrangler and entertain them and Dottie while you write.

  54. Is it sad that I was mostly trying to figure out what keys you were typing because I am so desperate to read your next great work?!?! 😉
    Kudos to your co-writers, too, though. 🙂

  55.         Is there a date set for the release of the new book?        

    (No. Still cranking it out, slowly. ~ Jenny)

  56. Jenny, thank you so much for the belly laughs! I miss my cats. They would do the same thing to me when I tried to work at home!

  57. My puppy likes to help me meditate by climbing in my shoulders and head. If I lock the dogs out they whine. It is not very helpful.

  58. I completely understand. Have 5 fuzzy coworkers and no office space to speak of. Plus homeschooling 3 teens. Not sure i havent over projected myself. Lol. But theu are the citest

  59. What an absolutely GORGEOUS cat. He’s just needing his lovins, mom! By the way, the best way to get a cat off your keyboard is to pick them up, and snuggle them up close – hold them until they want to get down, and then just a bit longer… then when you let them go, they think it’s their idea to scoot! Or let a wombat loose in the bathroom and shut the door. The cats will stay glued to the crack under the door from the hallway side, and won’t pay you any attention at all. Might make pee breaks a bit difficult for you, though.

  60. Hahaha, a real writer’s block. I think Dorothy is modeling your behavior but Ferris is just like my Manny, if it has buttons, like a remote or a keyboard, he uses it as his personal massage mat!

  61. I am also writing, I do poems mostly but writing is my therapy helps me stay safe in my insane world. I have been going through a terrible month between death and incarceration. Writing is my escape. You will create a master piece.

  62. Rolly’s all “I know I trained you better than this. Let me steer you to my head that needs petting. No? Well, here is my head. It needs petting.” And then you get the teeth aka The Hand That Can Taste. But, can you blame them?
    Kinda waiting for Amazon to suggest you buy a Desk Box to capture and contain this feline trio. Of course, when one of them is in it, you will have the same desktop on the range problem as present with the other two.

  63. You think it’s bad yours turned ‘search’ on? Mine ordered a book from Amazon the other day! (goddamn one click purchase…NOT a feature I need) Worse, it wasn’t a book I wanted. I knew nothing about it until I got an email saying it had shipped.

  64. My departed kitty once walked across the keyboard and hit some magical sequence of keys that totally fucked up the display. I googled “cat walked across keyboard” and found way more hits on the subject than I would have thought. I ended up having to call the help desk to get it fixed.

  65. I assume you are familiar (don’t all you writers who are on twitter hang out together in the special I’m published lounge) with John Scalzi’s self portraits of himself as “cat furniture”. I suggest you not tell Ferris Mewler that his cat’s have their own twitter. @scamperbeasts. But you might want to point out to Victor that he has 4 cats. In case it ever comes up, you know, what the recommended number of cats for a bestselling author is.

  66. I have 2 cats now and they both do this. But it has been a lifelong thing. When I was a law student I took care of a friend’s cockatiel. This was before keyboards (but after cave drawings) so I had spiral notebooks filled with my class notes to study. The tops of all of them were beautifully scalloped because Asa liked to perch on top and nibble his way into my heart and bad grades.

  67. I have had this affliction/ loving experience all my life. When I was a law student, I took care of a friend’s cockatiel for a while. This was before keyboards (but after cave drawings) so I had spiral notebooks full of my class notes to study. The tops of all of them are beautifully scalloped, because Asa liked to perch on the notebooks and nibble his way into my heart and bad grades.

  68. My coworker would like to set up a conference call via FaceTime with your coworkers. He’s very proficient. I’ve installed pullout boards attached to me desk for my mouser to sit on. He usually stays put but only for about 40 minute increments.

  69. Declare war on Victor to reclaim the office! 😛
    Your cats are adorable. It’s a wonder you get any work done with them around, though!

  70. I so admire your office with all that space for things you love and Peter Pan’s ship sailing overhead. But it does seem that a graceful set of glass French pocket doors would be useful. I’d hold out for ones with beveled glass edges to the panels as I’m a sucker for beveled glass and they’d go with your house and also that wondrous ship.
    Or maybe just put boxes on your writing desktop.

  71. I work from home. My cat is the same. Plus I have a German Shepherd who likes to use his nose to flip my wrist straight up in the air and off the keyboard. It’s easy to get frustrated. It’s harder to listen to them and remember what’s more important than work. At least I tell myself that’s the lesson they’re teaching me so I don’t just throttle the little shits.

  72. I know the feeling. Right now my Papillion/Yorkie Libby is sitting behind me on my chair like a backrest. Its the only way I know how to write anymore.

  73. I am a writer and when we moved into the new house, with an office, my husband said it was mine until he started doing work at the desk and before you knew it his stuff was everywhere. I can’t write amongst clutter. I now sit at the dining room table. And I have cats that tap dance across the keyboard.

  74. That is hilarious! Your animals are just the babiest babies ever. That’s my house when I try to READ a book, suddenly everyone needs to talk to me or be on me (husband, son, two dogs)….sigh….but I love them!

  75. You grow massive cats just like I do…and this is how I felt all through grad school “I just want to write!!!!”

  76. It’s so hard to be mad at them when they obviously love you so much. And they’re purring and trying to help you type. Thank you for sharing those it gave me a great laugh!

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