Guest post by Arya “Ary-Safari” Shimkus
I remember the old days like they were yesterday. Mom would wake up early in the morning, give me breakfast and snuggles, and then be gone for what seemed like an eternity. I’d spend my days napping, birdwatching, napping, running around, dozing, and also sometimes snoozing. After a few decades, Mom would come home, relieved to kick off her shoes, and of course I would be at the door to happily greet my weary Mama and beg for my dinner.
Our routine has changed a little, since she’s ALWAYS home now! Mom doesn’t go into the office anymore; she’s brought the office home. It’s pretty awesome. I get to cry for more food whenever I feel like it, and climb all over her laptop during something called a “Zoom.” One time, I looked at the Zoom and saw some other humans and they said I was so cute! I guess a Zoom isn’t so bad, but they say there’s something called Zoom exhaustion where humans get tired from looking at it for too long. I think when that happens, they should just take a break and throw some toys for me to play with.
Sometimes if Mom is on a Zoom, I hear and see other kitties, dogs, and occasionally even mini humans, too! I love to see all these new friends having fun on the Zoom when their humans are working from home, too. But, I noticed that sometimes the humans say “I’m so sorry” when their mini human cries or if their dog barks, and I really wonder why they are saying sorry.
Sterling (my kitten sister from another mister) and I have a theory – we think that humans usually keep their office lives and their home lives separate. In the office, they have the people they work with and very important things to do, and then they get to come home and enjoy their time with us. We think it must be a little strange for them to be working on important stuff and also giving us attention at the same time. We agree that we can sometimes be just a little bit distracting, especially when Mom’s desk seems like a great venue for our next play fight. Dog barks scare us a little, but based on my interpretation, I think that dogs bark because they’re excited by the mailman or they just want to play. And of course, mini humans can cry for any hundreds of reasons (especially for food or attention, like Stirry and I do all the time!). All of these noises are totally normal “home life” sounds, but humans feel embarrassed because they know that babies and animals don’t usually belong in “office life” (until now).
We don’t think the humans need to be sorry if other humans hear mini human cries or dog barks over Zoom, or maybe even see a happy cat butt sashay on their screens. I think those moments are a good time to laugh and remember that every human behind the Zoom is just that – a human with his or her own home life, that they have suddenly had to combine with their office life.
Here are our official tips for dealing with Zoom calls and pets:
- Show us off. Come on, we’re so cute. We’re also really curious about what you’re working on, and we want to cuddle up with you while you do it.
- Take play breaks. I bet your puppy would love an extra 15-minute fetch session in the backyard! If your kitty loves snoozing as much as we do, maybe you would rather set an alarm and take a bonafide cat nap. We just want to hang out with you!
- If we’re being really annoying, give us some extra treats and shut the door. We’ll make up for lost time after your last Zoom of the day.