Friday 8 May 2009

Keyboard Cats: A Late Noughties Phenomenon

Bit concerned about Ralph this morning. He's been increasingly, sometimes quite hauntingly, attached to me for many weeks now, but since about 6.15am today his affection has been particularly claustrophobic. Most of it has manifested itself in the form of sitting on my laptop, which is obviously a fantastic boon when you have 2000 words to write and a miss-or-die 9am deadline. For example: I am currently writing this with no view of the actual keys on my computer, and my arm crooked in such a way that, in two hours, when I have (hopefully) met my last deadline of the week, I might well end up permanently frozen into the pose of some crooked-clawed harbinger of B movie doom.

Being a terminal mug, and constitutionally unable to do anything that will hurt an oversensitive tabby's feelings - partly owing to the terrible, draining guilt remaining from the time he once broke a mouse's spine and I got upset and threw an empty cardboard box about three feet from his head - I imagined there was no cure for this behaviour, but it seems I am wrong. As the people at PawSense explain, "cats can enter random commands and data, damage your files, and even crash your computer" (though, to anyone who really knows the way cats' minds work, how random those commands actually are is debatable), and their software detects "cat typing" and offers a way to "catproof your computer". This is either a gargantuan, brilliantly conceived joke, or final proof that you can find absolutely anything on the Internet*.

Teddy, one of the two cats who own my literary agent, Simon, recently wrote to say he feels Ralph's pain, and in solidarity sent this photo of himself helping Simon go through his latest batch of e-manuscripts:

Of course, Ralph and Teddy are not the only kinds of ominous Keyboard Cat prevalent at the moment.

* Make that "almost anything": I still can't locate any info about the summer, feline version of Seasonal Affective Disorder that Ralph begins suffering from at this time every year.


meemsnyc said...

All 3 of our cats love to walk on keyboards. It's their form of getting attention from us, when we aren't paying attention.

CATachresis said...

Hmmm! so PawSense say "your computer can know the difference between 'cat typing' and human typing". What happens if your cat types better than you do?? It's a worry!

The Curious Cat said...

I guess they see the computer keyboards as a useful foot massage device...? Love your article in the Guardian yesterday by the way - especially the bit about Mad Dog People - it is so true!

jmuhj said...

GSOML! My Sammi was far more annoyed by the harmonica sound than by the fake hissy-fit, btw.

SNORGLE Ralph. And then snorgle him some more. You'll be a better person for having done so. ;)

Your Daily Cute said...

Hah! Funny to read... My cat, Moo, has been responsible for a missing semicolon and a missing Enter key. (Luckily, I was able to find and replace both -- imagine having no Enter key!)

Anonymous said...


The Girl said...

I had the same problem a few weeks ago when my Mum's cats came to stay. I had an essay due in and needed to be left alone. Lily and Fred decided this was the best time to shower me in affection.

I too ended up with my arm at an incredibly strange angle and at one point I left the room to get a cup of tea and came back to find a page full of the letter k, courtesy of Fred's backside.