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.