“Imagine you are an animal and work as that animal would today.”
Cats at their day jobs
We have three cats: two adults called Frankie and Dash, and a kitten known (at least for now) as Little Guy. LG joined the family just last week, and his transition into the household has been rough. Frankie is not excited about his presence in her empire. So for now, LG is mostly sequestered in the master suite. We hope these animals will eventually live together in peace. But that’s a story for another day.
The point is, most days I work alongside cats, so I get to see them at their day jobs. More accurately, I get to see them sleep.
When I am in my office, Dash is almost always curled into a drowsy comma in the overstuffed recliner beside my desk. Oftentimes Frankie joins him, wrapping herself into whatever space she can find in the margins of his overweight form.
If my day begins at 9:00, their slumber is well underway by 10:00. When I get up to make lunch or refresh my teapot, Frankie will follow. Not Dash. He typically remains still and snoozing until 4:00 in the afternoon. At that point, my daughters’ boisterous arrival rouses the fat cat, prompting him to stretch and wander up to the kitchen for an after-school snack.
A six-hour nap? That’s a nice day.
Occasional bursts of activity
Cats can be very energetic. When they feel like it. And that’s usually at oh-so-convenient hours like 10:00 p.m. and 3:30 a.m. That’s when they race and frolic and scamper and chase at breakneck speed, expending all their energy as quickly as possible.
Approximately 18 minutes later, the work is done. A little nibble from the cat bowl, a few laps of water, a quick dump in the litter box, and it’s back to bed.
Yawn. Stretch. Settle. Sleep.
Until morning, when they wake us by treading on our chests, then perch on surfaces to watch our morning routine. The edge of the sink. The dresser. The kitchen counter.
Wondering at human habits
They seem to be studying our motions, perhaps looking to learn from our industrious techniques. “How do those humans manage to stay upright and functional for so many minutes at a time?”
Or maybe they’re just waiting for us to drop food on the floor.
Whatever the motive, they intently track our movements. And then, once the leavers have left for the day, and the stayers are focused on laptops or papers, the cats find their perfect spot and settle into position.
Back to sleep.
* * *
Would I like to work this way? Some days, sure. I do love cat naps.
But I don’t think cat-like behavior would result in a profitable business or a healthy lifestyle. I’d have to raise my hourly rate and cut my calorie intake. And hire an industrious human to handle … well, everything.