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When you work from home you have to build your own team or you can end up talking to the walls. My current team includes three very active kittens. When I say kittens you might imagine small furball creatures, but these kittens are now five months old and fairly large. They eat non-stop. And when they are not eating they are pooing. It’s a bit like being on maternity leave.
I would like to say that they are considerate members of the work from home team, but they are what I would call disrupters – and not in the new-fangled, innovative kind of way. They swing from the curtains, quite literally, and jump off furniture. Often when I am on the phone. One of them in particular is fascinated by my pen and every time I attempt to write notes he pokes his nose out from behind the computer and tackles me.
He also has a bit of a penchant for straws. When the kittens have finished chasing each other around the room they lie on the floor, panting with huge grins on their faces, feeling like tigers, while I am trying to read the latest policy paper on childcare funding. We are on a month’s countdown until they can go outside to roam the plains of Gardenland after they’ve had all their vaccinations and have been neutered.
There is also simmering family tension because their mother has decided to exile herself to the shed and only comes in for food. She growls at her kids, upset that they have taken over her territory when they are quite happy to share it with her. Occasionally she goes into daughter one’s room and her kittens miaow outside. It’s like being in the middle of a cat family psychodrama.
But mostly the kittens are sleeping team members, the perfect antidote to stress and rush. They know how to have a good time and when to rest. It’s something we humans sometimes have trouble mastering.
*Mum on the run is Mandy Garner, editor of Workingmums.co.uk.