the home office

Since the social distancing and the stay-at-home order began, my company has me working from home. I have discovered that I love it. I never want to work at the office again.

For an introvert like me, it is mentally taxing and sometimes downright painful to negotiate all the social interactions I am required to perform every single day in the office. Talking with co-workers, sitting through unnecessary meetings, and small talk in the break room cause me so much stress every day that it becomes difficult to concentrate on my work for a full 8 hours or more. I find myself behind on my work, and I need to work overtime to finish what needs to get done. I get severe phone anxiety, and I can’t have necessary conversations that “normal” people have no trouble with.

Suddenly however, I’m in my comfort zone, and I am getting lots of work done! I don’t have to worry about inane conversations, looking good for other people, or even shaving. In my home office I can relax and get my work done without interruption, unless you count the cats coming to use the litter box (eww) or walking across my laptop. I have lost my phone anxiety for the time being, and I can converse with people much more easily when necessary if e-mail or IM won’t do the job. (I draw the line at video calls, however.)

When life starts to return to normal, I might petition management to try to work from home maybe 2 or 3 days per week and see if they agree. For now, I’ll just enjoy it while it lasts.


goodbye max

We said good bye to Max today. He had been getting progressively sicker for the past few weeks, and we decided it was time to let him go. He went to rest in Nicole’s arms at the vet. We brought him home and buried him in the woods behind the house.


Max loved his people, and we loved him in return. He and the kids grew up together, so they have many special memories of him. We were all sad, but we will remember all the good times we had with him.

Jake stuff on my cat 009

Max survived a lot during his nearly 15 years, including the move from California, the cricket swarm, the white cat next door, and several injuries. He lived a full life, and I am honored to have shared it with him.

Good bye, Max.

jake attacks football


because the internet needs more cats

This is Max.

Max contemplates life

Max is the Big Cat in the house, about 12 years old, and definitely in charge of his domain. He is confident and proud cat, if slightly past his prime, and he loves his people. Max likes to relax.

Yup, life is pretty goddamn good for the Big Cat.

This is Erma.

I'm okay with second fiddle.

Erma is about 12 years old, and knows she is not the Big Cat. She is neurotic and skittish, but still loves her people. Erma likes to play dead.

I hope that car doesn't run over me.

Max and Erma have reached a mutual understanding about the social order of the house. She has given all authority to Max, and they usually get along just fine.

Ebony and Ivory, or something like that.

This is Opal.


Opal is about 3 months old, and full of energy. Opal likes to play.

everything is a toy for kittens

Opal also likes to challenge the social order of the house. Usually, the Big Cat gets the tuna can first … until now.

What the hell, you little shit? That's supposed to be MY tuna can.

Max is not impressed with Opal’s youthful exuberance, but he still knows he is in charge.

"I see you, but I'm choosing to ignore you." ... "Let's PLAY!!!"

Erma is terrified.


Erma’s entire understanding of the social order has been turned inside-out, and her normally quiet home has become a house of horror. She growls and hisses defensively whenever Opal approaches, and she is too nervous to relax inside the house. Opal just wants to play with Erma.

But Irma, I just want to PLAY!!!!

We expected Erma to tolerate a new kitty better than Max, but the opposite has been true. I’m hoping that their dispute will go away after a month or so, because we don’t want Erma to be so stressed out. Of course there’s nothing we can really do, as the cats have to sort things out for themselves.

(Opal pictures by me; all others by Nicole. Mouse-over for captions.)