I have a human who, like yours, does his “work” stuff at home. The only problem is that he does not realize that his first job is to pay attention to me. In fact, he usually keeps the door to his office shut. He used to keep it open, but one day I jumped on the bookcase and knocked off a bunch of stuff that apparently was rather fragile. Of course, the fact that they broke proves he shouldn’t have had them up there at all, right? Anyhow, now if I want in the office, I have to scratch the door and meow a bunch. Eventually he lets me in, but then he proceeds to ignore me, so I meow to be let out again. It seems like this happens at least a dozen times a day and it is really getting annoying! Is there anything I can do to make him put down his “fake” work and get down to real business — playing with me?
Chief Kitty Officer
Humans are not very bright, not even the ones who are smart enough to stay home to do work. For one thing, if they were really, truly smart, they would figure out how not to do the work thing at all, and just cater to us all the time. And your human is definitely in need of some behavior modification, since he seems to think that his so-called work is more important than his duties to you. In fact, if he took a break now and again to pay attention to you, he would probably be more relaxed and get more done. That is one of the benefits of being a kitty’s employee.
On the other paw, have you considered that maybe you aren’t being clear enough about what you want out of your human? It sounds like he just thinks you want in and out of the office, when in reality, you want something a bit more complicated than that. Usually a kitty wants one of three things: playtime, food, or some affection, so you need to tailor your request to whichever you are looking for. If you are hungry, tell him so by jumping on his desk and chewing on some papers or licking the glue on an envelope (personally, I find envelope glue pretty tasty!). Do you want to play? Then when you ask to come in, bring a toy along with you. If you don’t have any toys handy, carry in a reasonable facsimile, such as a twist-tie, a pen, or perhaps a dead bug. Just walk in with whatever you’ve got and place it in his lap. With any luck, he will toss it so you can chase after it. If you just want some company, you need to get his attention away from his work. Do this by jumping on his lap and poking him with your paw, or leaping on the desk and walking in front of the computer screen. Do not take no for an answer – you know better than your human when he needs to take a kitty break.
The thing you have to remember about humans is that subtleties are lost on them, so when you want something, you can’t just meow around the bush. Be bold, be obvious, and be persistent. If your human knows exactly what you want, chances are he will give it to you.