Like many of you, I’m working from home right now. Unlike many of you, I’ve worked from home (for the most part) for the past 20 years, so I have a LOT of experience trying to juggle projecting a professional image, staying focused, and managing my time with pets around.
However, in the past few months since the Covid-19 pandemic hit, I’ve really had the chance to focus on the impact pets have on my productivity and I’ve come to a big conclusion: Dogs are better officemates than cats.
There, I said it.
Now many of you may be thinking, “How can you say that??? You run an animal rescue that deals mostly with cats.” And you are correct. And that’s exactly why, as I sit here having been relegated to my guest room because rescue cats have taken over my office and made it uninhabitable, that I’ve come to the conclusion that they’re terrible officemates. Here is my very scientific and unbiased evidence:
Dogs will lie under your desk, next to your chair, but not on top of your keyboard. Cats just don’t care that by lying down on your keyboard they’ve erased an hour’s worth of work or declined a great job offer or contract by playing with your computer mouse.
Dogs are respectful of priceless or breakable objects on your desk. Cats on the other hand apparently prefer a tidy, minimalist desk and take it upon themselves to clear your desk of all breakable, irreplaceable items any chance they get.
Dogs will let you know when they have to go out and potty, leaving your office smelling clean and fresh. Cats have no qualms about using the litter box, leaving their stinky business behind (and uncovered) and giving you a look as they walk away that says, “Hey, I just pooped over there, go take care of that.”
When dogs get upset stomachs, they’re usually courteous enough to puke on the floor. When cats feel a hairball coming up, they look for a dry, clean, and important place to leave it, like on top of that quarterly report you just had printed for your stockholders. However, in their defense, they sometimes are considerate enough to do this at night after you’ve gone to bed to allow the liquid from the hairball plenty of time to soak into the report, so you don’t have anything wet to mop up in the morning.
Dogs will sit happily by your side while you pat their heads during a conference call. Cats will also sit happily by your side during a conference call. However, they limit the amount of pats they’ll tolerate to a number that is unknown to you and varies with each interaction. Once the limit is reached, they’ll suddenly bite you, causing you to yell out inappropriate words right after you’ve just un-muted yourself to give your departmental report.
Dogs don’t video bomb your business ZOOM calls. They only join in when invited. Cats want nothing to do with being with you or near you UNTIL you get on a ZOOM call and then they’ll take every opportunity to subvert your professional image, usually when it’s your turn to present, by walking across your camera view and sticking their butts in your face in the process.
Bottom line, although I have cats and love them most of the time, they’re just not the courteous, respectful officemates I’d hoped they’d be. And so they asked me to leave and find somewhere else to work.