How to code with a cat

Anyone out there have a needy cat that just wants your love and affection all the time? When you turn your attention towards your computer screen, do they immediately go and sit on your keyboard? Is anyone else worried about trying to code with cats?

I have been lucky enough to have two wonderful feline companions. My white and grey cat named Freya is the perfect example of a good work from home cat. She wants to be in the same room as you, but doesn’t want to be touching you. She will hangout in the background of your video calls entertaining all your teammates. She loves to sleep so she won’t bother you to play with her during work hours. I didn’t have to do anything to keep her off my computer. Cranberry is a totally different story.

My second cat, Cranberry, is a tortoiseshell. This means she has a lot of attitude. She needs to be touching you at all times. This can mean on your feet, on your lap, or on your shoulders. All have their pros and cons for positioning, but usually the story ends up with you asking your cat “how is that comfortable?”. She is notorious for sending weird Slack messages to my teammates, ending my zoom calls early, and she has added her own flare to almost all of my coding projects at OSU.

So how do I prevent my cat from typing on my projects? I usually don’t.

Thank god for version control!

I have three cat beds strategically placed around my desk in order to entice her to lay down in one. I place a blanket in my lap so I can easily move her if I have to get up. I try to make my desk surface as unappealing as possible with no room to lay down. She usually tries to lay across my hands that are on my computer. On the few occasions that she lays down in my lap, she still manages to interfere with my typing by grabbing and pulling my arm while I am typing. On the rarest of occasions where she decides to lay down in a bed, I can focus on my code instead of my typing and I can get so much done.

In fact I have had to correct a lot typos, misspellings and other Cranberry flare. She walked across the keyboard multiple times while I was writing this post.

I have yet to figure out the perfect way to code with a cat, but I have been in this program for the last 3.5 years and I have always managed to turn something in that I am proud of. I don’t see why our capstone project will be any different. I am excited to work with my new teammates, I just hope they are as excited to work with Cranberry.

Good luck to everyone out there who is trying to code with a cat. And remember that you are lucky to have such a great pair programmer by your side.

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