A Letter to My Boss on Why I Couldn’t Work Today

My cat conspired against me.

Dear Boss,

You’re probably wondering why I didn’t do any work today. I regret to say it’s all the fault of my cat, Astrid. She foiled me at every turn.

See, first she demanded I work from home today. I know, I know, cats can’t talk. But they certainly can communicate! She looked at me with those big, amber eyes of hers and as good as said, “Don’t go into the office today. Stay here with me and pet me.”

Who was I to disagree?

Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash

Still, I thought, this won’t stop me from being productive. I fired up my laptop, made myself a coffee and sat down to work. Astrid immediately dipped her tail into my coffee, rendering it undrinkable and forcing me to delay my start. Can’t do work with no coffee, can I?

Nevertheless, ten minutes later, brand new coffee in hand, I sat down once again before my laptop. Carefully I pushed Astrid away from the cup — see, I took precautions! I opened up my Outlook and got ready to answer emails.

At that moment I heard the sound every cat parent dreads:

Hwark claugh quagh!

I ran to the scene of the noise only to see exactly what I’d expected. Astrid had coughed up a hairball. I sadly put my cleaning gloves on, thinking longingly of the email I’d been about to productively answer, and spent some time scraping the hairball off my carpet. Then I scrubbed and disinfected the area. By the time I’d finished, what do you know, my coffee had gone cold!

I tell you, this cat is unbelievable.

So, I made myself yet another coffee, finished off the cleaning up, and sat down for the third time to check out those emails. Three more had accumulated since I’d last looked. Amazing! I started typing quickly, fueled by my coffee and the hope that my cat wouldn’t disturb me.

It was a vain hope.

I was about to press send when who should step all across my keyboard despite my best efforts to dislodge her? You guessed it — Astrid.

Astrid, the longest cat in the world.

She’s a very long cat so she was able to press several keys before I finally managed to catapult her bodily from the room.

She gave me a Look, then sauntered off to the kitchen to eat more of her brother’s breakfast.

I shook my head at her antics, then looked again at my screen.

Aghast, I looked again — she’d managed to press send.

She’d stepped in as many typos as her toe beans could manage and then she’d hit send! If that’s not malicious intent to sabotage, I don’t know what is.

I sprang from my desk to give her a good scolding, but she was nowhere to be found. I scoured the apartment to look for her and found her — dare I say it? — vindictively unrolling as much toilet paper as she could. I picked her up, yowling, and set her down where she could do no further harm (I thought.)

Sighing heavily, I went back to my desk, sipped my cold-again coffee, and started drafting an apology email to the client.

It was my cat, I was in the process of explaining, when Astrid came slinking into the room, eyes big, tail up. I stared at her. She slowly blinked at me.

It was a standoff I knew I had to win.

I lost. I bowed my head in failure. I knew what would happen next.

Slowly, smugly, she picked her way onto my lap where she curled up, staring right into my face as she kneaded my lap, making what we call her “business biscuits” because she looks so serious as she flexes her claws in and out.

Photo by silviannnm on Unsplash

I tried to reach the keyboard, but it was too far away now. Helplessly, I watched as more and more emails poured in and I was unable to reach my laptop. Astrid’s purring grew louder and louder, filling the room with her rumblings, until it was all I could hear. I longed thirstily for my cup of coffee, now stone cold and about two inches too far to reach. I yearned for my breakfast: I’d planned scrambled eggs on toast. In vain, now.

Finally, after Astrid had a good, long nap and I was absolutely papered in cat hair, she rose. Stretching mightily, digging her claws into my flesh so as not to lose her balance, she yawned. Then, without further ado, she went off to cause havoc elsewhere, scoring deep cuts into my leg as she launched herself off.

I was relieved.

Weakened from my long fast, mouth dry from dehydration, I creaked back over to my laptop. A cloud of cat hair poofed up as I moved for the first time in an age, obscuring my vision. It cleared slowly as I stared at my screen. The emails had mounted higher and higher, the Slack messages grown more and more frantic.

“Where are you? Why haven’t you replied to Corporation Incorporated? How come you’re online but silent? Zulie???”

From the kitchen, I hear Astrid yowling for her lunchtime snack. Beaten, I rose from my desk and went to obey her command.

I logged off.

As you can see, Boss, through no fault of my own, I was unable to accomplish much today. I tried valiantly to persevere in the face of incredible odds, and can it really be my responsibility that I was unable to supersede them? I challenge anyone to face a similar situation and remain victorious.

Astrid taking her rightful place.

I wrote this letter to explain why I’d not managed to complete my tasks for the day. Alas, that is not the only reason for this communication.

As Astrid perches on my shoulder, purring possessively, I am afraid to say that I must hand in my resignation, effective immediately. You see, I can no longer serve two masters and one master has much sharper claws than the other. I hope you’ll understand that lndjkdb (sorry, that was Astrid again) I wish you all the best, but I can now only be a cat mom.

Best wishes,

Zulie, aka Astrid’s doting mother.

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