Saturday, January 2, 2021

Writing and Working from Home with Cats by Diane Bator


Writing and Working from Home with Cats

Every book I write, I create with a partner. Usually my cat Jazz who has become like a barnacle at my side daily and hates when I have to get up for any reason.

I am one of those people who have been working from home for the past nine months. There are a lot of good and bad that go along with that. For example, I’m thrilled to finally have a home office, but that only happened because my youngest moved out mid-pandemic. I also love that the bathroom is so much closer to my new office—but so is the kitchen. Rewarding myself for doing a good job has meant I wear yoga pants to work daily.

I have also had to juggle work and writing with two cats. While they weren’t too impressed with me being home every single hour of every single day, they seem to have adjusted. I can no longer sit in the livingroom during office hours. I can’t even go outside for a walk or run to the store without a lecture when I get home. Since my older cat Jazz is part Siamese, he can become very vocal.

Considering my normal job is selling tickets for a live-stage theatre, things were pretty quiet at my desk. Things have picked up a little now that we’ve moved to online performances. Still, there are days where I don’t have a great deal to do but stuff envelopes or help troubleshoot—and keep my cats amused.

So here are my top 10 ways I’ve kept busy over the past nine months:

  1.  Cleaned and set up my new office.
  2.  Rearranged my new office because there is only one set of plugs in the room.
  3. Added a throw blanket and a rug under my desk because there is no heat vent in my office.
  4. Weighed the pros and cons of moving the coffeemaker to my office from the kitchen which is ten feet away…then considered the lack of empty surfaces to keep said coffeemaker and the creamer. There may or may not be a hoarding issue in that room.
  5. Added a second chair to attempt to keep my cat Jazz off my desk.
  6. Stocked up on wipes since Jazz still feels the need to walk on the four inch path between me and my laptop at least twice during every Zoom meeting and leaves a trail of white hair behind.
  7. Added another rug for my other cat Ash after stepping on her when she took to sleeping beneath my desk on the first rug.
  8.  Started taking lunch breaks in the livingroom because Jazz feels the need to get away from the computer for several hours a day to have my undivided attention.
  9. Started wearing slippers because Ash has claws and loves to play with my feet under my desk.
  10.  Occasionally getting actual work done once Jazz and Ash are fed and appeased. Considering moving their food dishes ten feet closer to my desk…

I’m happy to say I have accomplished a little writing in between meetings and moving the cat off my desk. This year I have two new books coming out as well as a novella I wrote some time ago. I’m looking forward to another productive year. It helps to keep things light. A great sense of humour goes a long way!


By the way, Jazz has now become an honorary member of our staff as well as a couple writing groups I belong to. He loves to see who is on the screen during each meeting and sleeping next to me no matter what I do.

Ash is a lady of leisure. She prefers to keep her distance and join us at her own discretion.

As for me, I’ve been out of the office for the holidays. I’m currently organizing my calendars for 2021 and writing in my livingroom soon…

Happy New Year, everyone! 

 Diane Bator


  1. Writing with cats can be interesting. Until his death Robespierre sat on the windowsill above my computer and stared at me, Keep writing.

  2. Animals make perfect writing companions. I have two small dogs. One follows me from room to room waiting for me to settle--she is currently snoring one foot away. The other, my foxy is content to sleep on my bed while I am on my computer, with his eyes on the door waiting for my next move.

  3. Love the post. It brought back memories. I had a tuxedo cat who if the sound of the keyboard slowed down would pat my legs. First with claws in, then more determined. When he judged it was dinner time, he forgo the pats to jump up on the desk and strut onto the keyboard.


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