Check out what readers
Cutting Edge Kitty
December 10, 2000 - Spokesman Review Street Level column:
Cutting Edge Kitty's Hangout a PC Play Land
Cats and computers are a dicey combination. Even as I write this, there's a kitten on my lap. Where she really wants to be is on my keyboard.
In fact, I just sent my sister an e-mail that included the following line: "She's one of those klkjytghty7uuuuuuuu."
Take a wild guess what happened.
But right now, Troi, the small-yet-feisty kitten, is asleep, undoubtedly dreaming of what terrible things she can get into next.
Anyone who has ever had a kitten knows what an amazing amount of energy they have. And how closely you have to watch them. That's because kittens have two speeds -- zoom and comatose.
But you have to admire kitten gumption. They are tiny, yet fearless. A 21-inch computer monitor is not intimidating, merely an obstacle to be conquered. Dogs may be big but they are something to be treated with disdain.
Troi lives with four dogs. Is she disturbed about this? No. She weighs 3.6 pounds. Leto, our largest dog, weighs in at about 65 pounds. You'd think she would find that weight difference some cause for concern. No way. She saunters past four incessantly sniffing dog snouts on her way to my lap. The dogs follow in a dopey canine parade. It's obvious who's in control.
Returning to the point, can cats and computers peacefully coexist? Before we got Troi I would have said no. After all, not only do cats get into everything, let's face it, they aren't rocket scientists. The idea that cats are dignified is a myth.
The truth is cats do a lot of dumb things, such as missing the target when leaping, falling into the toilet and smashing paper bags into walls. At least you can train dogs. Not so with cats. You just put up deterrents and hope your cat doesn't become a victim of Darwinian natural selection.
In our case, we had a computer before we had cats. It was a very expensive 286. Later, when we got a pair of kittens, we kept them away from the very expensive 286, lest they do something dumb. After we started our business, closed doors continued to keep the feline element away from the technological one. After we moved to Idaho, our home offices were downstairs and the cats lived upstairs, so for seven years, never the twain did meet.
Then last July, one of our cats got cancer and died. Losing a pet was as horrible and sad as I could have imagined, and then some. I wasn't the only one who was hurt by the loss. Our remaining cat had lived her entire life playing, sleeping, eating and generally coexisting with her sister tabby. Even though she's a big, fat bully and has earned the moniker The BadCat, she was heartbroken.
After much soul searching and conversations with other cat owners, we went down to Kootenai Humane Society and found a small, incredibly affectionate kitten. We named her Troi, after Counselor Deanna Troi of Star Trek fame. Troi's mission is to make The BadCat happy again.
However, Troi has ear mites, so she can't live upstairs with The BadCat right now. Ear mites are nasty insects, like tiny fleas, and they're contagious among cats. Plus, it's considered a good idea to let the old cat get used to the smell of the new cat before they actually have contact with one another.
So, given that our house isn't large, Troi has to be downstairs amid all the technology. Like most cats, she takes investigation of new territory seriously.
Job 1 was to investigate the laser printer, a large Hewlett Packard unit. Troi is about the same size as a duplexer that hangs off the back of the printer, so naturally it makes a fine kitty bed.
Troi's second task was to see exactly how high she could get. Bookshelves were the obvious first choice. I looked over and she was squeezing herself in next to the dictionary; the next thing I knew, she was stuck. The bookshelf in my office is about 6 and a half feet tall. Somehow, Troi got herself stuffed between the fourth shelf and the wall. I rescued her and since then she has decided to avoid the whole situation. (OK, she's not that dumb after all.)
So, I've changed my tune. Maybe I'm not getting a whole lot of work done at the moment but I have to say that few things are more comforting than having a small, furry mammal purring in your lap. Maybe cats and computers aren't such a bad combination after all.
Susan Daffron, Sandpoint, is the editor of Computor Companion magazine and a member of The Spokesman-Review's Board of Contributors.
Read Our Articles
Check Us Out in REDBOOK!
All contents of this site Copyright 1997- © by Logical Expressions, Inc.
Logical Expressions, Inc. · 311 Fox Glen Road · Sandpoint, Idaho 83864
Phone: 520-333-5341 or 520-333-5342 (9 am - 5 pm PACIFIC time)
Click here to contact us and request information or send feedback