I sit on the edge of my desk chair so I don’t disturb Ariel, who’s claimed most of it as a great place for a nap.

I pick my notebook up off the floor for the fourth time this morning. I suspect Zora had something to do with that.

I hang up the phone that Bronwyn’s knocked out of the cradle again, grateful that at least she didn’t call anyone this time.

I decide to return messages instead of working on that stack of folders, since Pedro is laying on them and I’d rather not make him move just yet.

I open the window for Adam, who’s fascinated by the birdsong outside.

I cover the mouthpiece on the phone to disrupt a staring match between Zed and Steapa, which is sure to turn into a power struggle over the catnip toy. Crisis averted, I return to my phone call.

I praise the Lord (and my high school typing teacher) that I can type without looking at my fingers, because I can’t see them with Shakira sitting between me and my keyboard, happily “helping” me with the morning’s tasks.

I discourage Baby from sticking her face in my coffee—I’m not sharing, plus Baby on caffeine doesn’t sound like a good idea!

I turn Paul’s scratching post right side up, just in time for him to sprint in and go to town. He loves that thing.

I open my desk drawer and fish out some treats to encourage Asana, who’s hesitating outside the door. It’s her first day out in the cattery and I want her to feel welcome.

I start to throw my cheese wrapper in the trash can, then think better of it and set it aside to take straight out to the dumpster—otherwise I’ll only be fishing Sneakers out of the trash again in ten minutes.

This isn’t an abnormally busy morning—actually, it’s pretty usual. My desk is constantly covered in cat hair. Occasionally I come back to my office at some point during the morning and find wet paw-prints all over my paperwork, or even a hairball once. My emails get edited and re-written so that the additions made by adventurous kitty paws aren’t included in the final product (Bronwyn actually wanted to add a little something to this blog—IIIIIwsdede33333). My pens get stolen, and I’m often left trying to catch papers and other things that are sent flying off my desk by a cat who misjudged the jump from the floor and did not stick the landing.

Would it be more efficient to close them out? Sure. It’d definitely be less chaotic. But this shelter life has more than its share of stressful, scary, and uncomfortable things. Who am I to deny them these little pleasures, these opportunities for fun and connection? This is their home, for now anyway. I just work here—plus, I don’t exactly mind. It’s part of the reason that I do what I do, to get to know them in that time between their past and their future, to help them learn and blossom and enjoy that time instead of just tolerating it.

So if that means that my office is a cat jungle gym, then that’s okay with me.

 ~Emily Blade, Director of Feline Care 

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