17
Oct
07

Never Teach Your Cat to Use the Computer

shadow_computer1

OK, I thought letting Shadow watch bird videos on YouTube was kinda fun for both of us. And it was really cute when he took an occasional poke at the keys and managed to stop and start the movie. Sometime I’d be writing an email with the furry critter splayed out on my lap and he would reach over and add a few comments, like”fjhguiekcg2y8fdx” or “cccccccccccccddss.”

My friend Brett was not amused. “You’ve gotta be crazy letting that cat near your computer! That is so wrong!” Brett was so right.

trashed_keyboard

I just stepped away for 5 minutes to make a cup of tea, and I returned to find my laptop’s keyboard torn up; Shadow had picked the keys right off with his strong little nails. I growled, and spotted his orange-yellow eyes peering at me from a shadowy corner across the room. He had that “Wha, you got a problem?” look that cats are famous for. Dogs know they’ve done wrong, and hang their heads or skulk away guiltily. But cats remain aloof. If they acknowledge your agitation it is with mild bemusement, mixed with a look of concern that you may be unstable.

These laptop keys are much more intricate than desktop keyboard keys: lots of interlocking parts and tiny hinges. It took almost an hour of study and microsurgery to get everything put back together. I vowed to never leave the computer open and unattended again, but of course I forgot and he did it again, this time leaving a clean gash through part of the “R” key. A kind (cat-loving) Genius at the Apple Store found me a new one.

But I forgot again, and this time Shadow somehow hit just the right combination of keys to delete an iCalendar file that I use to track my time and bill clients. Physical damage is one thing, but lost data is a real crisis, and I got that sick, sinking feeling when I realized that the iCalendar program doesn’t automatically back up those files.

I had been about to do my monthly invoices, and recreating the project charges would take forever (if it could be done at all). I looked everywhere for the deleted file, to no avail. Shadow jumped up into my lap, like “Hey, how about some squirrel videos?” And, through my panic, I had to smile. How could I stay mad at this cute little devil?

YouTube Shadow

Happy ending: iCalendar does have multiple undo’s, and I was able to reverse the kitten’s mischief. Now I back up my iCalendar manually every day, and close the laptop every time I step away. It’s a hassle. And I probably could retrain him to eschew all computers. But I still love surfing the web and watching crazy YouTube videos with my Shadow.


3 Responses to “Never Teach Your Cat to Use the Computer”


  1. 1 Ruben Fowler Oct 24th, 2007 at 9:00 pm

    That’s a very cute photo of Shadow. I don’t know, my cat walks over my keyboard fairly often with no dire consequences. But fortunately, she has no interest in the keys themselves.

  2. 2 Bridget Oct 26th, 2007 at 9:38 am

    Poor laptop! That Shadow is one, darling trouble-maker! He must know for sure how dang cute he is, in order to get in so much trouble.

    Have you all watched this online video, yet? We LOVE this around our house.
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/864296/funni…cing_bird_ever/

  3. 3 kay Oct 17th, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    oh my gosh my cat, mio chan looks exactly the same but instead of going for my laptop, he chews on my ipod.

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