How to Work from Home with a Cat {Infographic}

So, last June I made the unexpected leap to adopting a kitten. Since I work from my home studio, it can get a bit lonesome with just myself to talk to, apart from social media sites or the occasional call from a client. I have grown up with cats as a teenager, during college and post-college, so they are my preferred pet. The desire to have a kitty started to consume me—searching adoption centers for just the right kitty—and waiting for the funds. One afternoon I got the nudge to go to Helen Woodward Animal Center in Rancho Santa Fe to see some cute kitties in person that I saw on their website.

After testing out a couple of kittens and older cats, I heard the cutest little meow in the corner of the room. I really wanted a white or creamy colored cat since I have light colored furniture, but there she was – a Tortie Calico [black, white and tan fur]  as cute as can be. She was the only one that was chill in my lap and let me pet her. I was warned that she needed a lot of attention and didn’t like other animals. I thought, well, I have lots of love to give and owned no other animals…it was just me and her. This kitty pulled at my heartstrings, and 2 hours later, she was home with me.

JOSIE THE PUSSYCAT

JOSIE THE PUSSYCAT – FIRST DAY

Fast forward 8 months later, Josie the Pussycat has changed my life. She will be 1 years old in 2 weeks. I have to say, this was the most challenging kitten I have ever had. While she was so gosh darn cute and fun, she was fiesty, bold, clingy, needy and oh so naughty. She was smart enough to learn her name, the word NO or GET DOWN, but stubborn enough to refuse my commands because she wanted what she wanted. She has ruined my office chair, patio chairs, carpet, window screens, broken a few sentimental gifts from friends, and leaves fur everywhere she goes. After 3 weeks I was so tempted to return her because she drove me CRAZY. It was a hate-love relationship, a constant fight to be the alpha female, and choosing my battles to fight for.

BUT! I kept her and hung in there as friends advised. I’ve also done plenty of research to understand her behavior so that I don’t blow my fuse. Over time, she has softened my heart, taught me patience and an unconditional great love like I have never known {I don’t have kids}. Plus she has mellowed out a great deal, sleeps more and has adjusted to my schedule of working and leaving the studio. That is the biggest key: setting a routine for us both while I work at home. Granted she determines when I wake up so she can be fed, but otherwise we’ve settled into a nice little life for ourselves. Cats depend on routines, when they get fed, when it’s time to play or sleep–this gives them a sense of comfort, confidence and security. I guess the stray kitties need this because they were taken away from their mother at such a young age [no matter how].

JOSIE THE PUSSYCAT - AT 11 MONTHS

JOSIE THE PUSSYCAT – AT 11 MONTHS

As an independent graphic designer, I work a lot—whether its for clients or for my business, I’m at the computer a majority of the day. Josie has become accustomed to this, but in order to keep us both happy, I set up times of the day to play with her, love on her, feed her—and it works {most days…she has her cranky days and so do I}. The only time she jumps up on my desk or gets into my office things is when I am not there in the studio space. My home is a small, open concept space, so it’s basically one large room with a balcony, bedroom and bathroom—I can see her from just about anywhere. But I make sure all my studio valuables are covered up or out of the way so there is no temptation for her to be naughty. She just likes to sniff everything {over and over and over}.

With that said, I thought an infographic with a guide to working at home with a cat would be of great need for others—all the things I have learned from my furry feline friend. ENJOY!