Katz Tales: Meet Target, the senior executive snoopervisor

Target having a snooze while his human is working. Photos: Ellen Whyte

Cats like to be busy, and Target is no exception. As I am self-employed and work from home, my ginger boy takes his job as executive snoopervisor seriously. Over the years, Target has become an important colleague.

When he first moved in, I had a messy desk. These days, it is pristine. Target insists on it.

My desk is actually Target's desk. He curls up by the keyboard, watches me type, and reminds me when it's time for cat snacks.

If I need to print a document, he checks that the paper comes out properly. Should it fall to the floor, he'll swat it with a mighty paw.

And when we videoconference with clients, Target is there, providing friendly support with loud purring.

Target started his office duties when he was a kitten.Target started his office duties when he was a kitten.

Tic Tac has also joined the team. As a junior and more energetic cat, she climbs the shelves and maintains a big picture management perspective.

From time to time, she descends and provides hands-on assistance. Our princess is pawsome with pencils and can bat one all the way across the floor and into the hall.

Up until recently, my office was arranged for functionality. My desk and PC were placed near the sockets and I placed the bookshelf at my side. There was a big chair by the bookshelf, and from time to time Target would sit in it.

Most days though, he clocks in after breakfast and jumps straight up on the desk.

Towards the end of last year, the jump became a little hesitant. When I saw him think and struggle, a block of ice settled deep inside me. Pets age faster than us, it's nature at work, but to see a loved one grow old is tough.

Sense reminded me that Target is in good shape for a senior. At 15-and-a-half, he is about 78 in human years. As jumping five times your own height is for kittens, he just needed a bit of help.

That is easier said than done because cats are huge on tradition. They resist change with the fierce determination of a 19th century Luddite.

I was on a sticky wicket but I had a go at a sensible and easy fix. As Target always jumped up to the left side of the desk, I put the spare chair there.

For several days I watched him like a hawk, guiding him up the chair and onto my desk in two easy, short hops.

It didn't work.

Target enjoyed my providing helicopter rides but the second I took my eye off him, he'd go behind the chair and try to jump on my desk. And he went down that way too.

After knocking his head on the monitor shelf and sending my Sarawak hornbill pencil holder to the floor a few times with his tail, it was time for a radical rethink.

I lay on the floor and looked at the office from cat height. From there, I saw there were several paths to my desk. Interestingly, Target's approach from the side and back were the simplest. I had to rethink matters in terms of flow.

Moving the desk 90° and aligning it with the printer created a solid shape with only one way up to my desk. Shifting the chair across to the right of that space made it a natural stepping stone.

After double-checking from cat level, I asked Target to assess the new configuration. I can't access the bookcase or the printer unless I climb over a bit of furniture but it doesn't matter because Target has given it four paws up.

Our senior cat thoroughly approves of having the office rearranged to suit his personal needs. He lounges in delightful certainty that he is the centre of operations. Also, easy desk access means he can hop up when he needs to cuddle.

Tic Tac also likes it. Thanks to Target's chair being in a new spot, there is now an exciting south route to the top of the bookcase.

So it's all happy. As I write this, Target is fast asleep on his executive chair. As for me, I have my pet next to me and my typing has improved because I no longer have to move his paws off the F keys.

While Target snoozes, Tic Tac is busy. With Target taking a more senior executive position, she is taking over more of the daily grind. Tic Tac is still shy about video conferencing but she's hot on paperwork.

She's enthusiastic, but a tad too hands-on. I have to call Tenaga later because Tic Tac has chewed the bottom of the monthly bill, destroying the total sum to be paid.

It's the second time she'd done it and although the call centre ladies are sweet about it, I suspect it may be a hint.

Target got me to keep a tidy desk but I think Tic Tac may be pushing for more efficient paperwork.

Adopt Me

Ash is three months old. This healthy little girl has had her first vaccination, and must be spayed when she reaches five months.

Ash is super-friendly and affectionate. She is very confident around humans and will warm up immediately to you once you pet her.

Ash is also full of fun and games. She loves people and when she wants to sleep, she will try to find the comfiest spot near you to sleep and purr.

Ash loves playing games. Photo: Sherrina Krishnan-Leyow Ash loves playing games. Photo: Sherrina Krishnan-Leyow

She's an excellent pet for a family or an individual. However, as Ash is very adventurous, we ask that apartment dwellers confirm their home is cat-proofed, so she doesn't suffer an accidental fall.

Interested adopters, please WhatsApp Sherrina Krishnan (mobile: 012-202 6384) in Damansara Damai, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

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Home office , cat manager , cat behaviour


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