It’s that time of the year again, when a sudden loud explosion outside your house sends your pet scurrying for cover.
Although, having said that, as Peppa shot through the front room following the latest round of overly loud fireworks, it was the first time in several weeks that she hasn’t passed directly over the keyboard of the laptop.
It’s quite hard when you’re pottering around online, as I have been recently, switching between websites, typing stuff up, sending emails and everything in between to work with a cat between you and the keys you want to type with. Or, in extreme circumstances, having to move your arm between the legs of the cat (from the side, not from behind because that would just be weird) to be able to use your mouse. Or reach over the body of the beast to get at the mousepad, and then only being able to use a small fraction of the whole because there’s a tail across it.
And you do all this trying to be as accommodating as possible to the animal in front of you. You try and soldier on despite the fact that almost seventy percent of the air you are breathing in is being filtered through fur. Or you can’t see the taskbar at the bottom of the screen (assuming you’re not one of those weirdos that docks it to the side or – shudder – the top of the screen).
I have gotten used to working like this now. I can cope with the fact that Peppa might lie down and, as she did the other day, spread her paw across almost the entire numerical keypad. I don’t let it phase me. I just use the numbers at the top of the keyboard like some sort of luddite. I can cope with the fact that she constantly puts it into airplane mode and cuts me off from the internet. I don’t even mind if she lies down in the space twixt laptop and me and rests her head on one arm, essentially reducing me to the one-finger typing method so beloved of fools.
This is why I use the laptop with the mousepad and a mouse plugged in. So far, Peppa has not managed to take out both of these input methods in one fell swoop. I have been able to use one or the other to navigate around the more intricate parts of whatever I’m doing. I’m hesitant to let on that the laptop is actually touchscreen when Peppa is in the room because she’ll just end up learning how to bugger stuff up by rubbing her nose against it or something. Because that’s what cats do.
They also, I discovered recently, just start biting your computing arm for no apparent reason. Quite viciously, as well. I almost wish she was going to the vets for a check-up so that rather than have him prize her jaw open to have a look at her gnashers I can just let him know that based on my experience her mouth is in fully functioning order.
And yet, despite all this, despite the fact that she has been the worst co-worker I have ever had the pleasure to share a table with (and there really is competition for that one), I’ll still spend ages lying on the floor in the back bedroom, with my hand under the bed making sure that my petrified little buddy is alright, and talking to her until she realises she’s safe.
And I know she feels okay now.
Because she nuzzled my arm and bit me.