for writers and readers….

How do I win the battle of the keyboard? Advice from cat-owning writers needed

Murphy is my new flatmate and we get on very well but one for thing…he thinks the keyboard is his natural home.

Murphy keyboard 1
It is a place to stretch and show  off his fine physique, his elastic body reaching all the way from caps lock on the left hand side to PagUp on the right. It is a perch where he can sit tall and proud watching the sea gulls squabbling in the street outside and the computer’s  screen is a toy that responds to every paw movement and swoosh of his majestic tail. More often, however, it is a simple refuge, a place where he can rest his weary head.

Murphy keyboard 3

But only when I am attempting to write…If I am absent from the computer so is Murphy. He has no interest in it unless I’m staring intently at the screen with my hands extended over the keyboard. Once that happens he is interested in nothing else.

I have tried bribery and stern words. He smacks his lips with he sees the treat box coming out and purrs when I say No! Direct action (picking him up and depositing him on the floor) is a new game to play. Every day we eventually come to an uneasy truce only to continue the battle the next morning.

He turns on Caps Lock at inappropriate moments; adds words to emails, fffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffffff is a favourite; changes the size of the screen and, on one memorable occasion, added a 7th person to a private facebook group.

Murphy keyboard 5

Discovering how to switch off the touch screen facility has helped, of course, but he still obscures the screen and naps on the keyboard. He is reading this as I type, intrigued by the way small black lines appear on the scree

And disappear again. Thanks Murphy.

Is there any hope?


Murphy keyboard 4


29 comments on “How do I win the battle of the keyboard? Advice from cat-owning writers needed

  1. The Story Reading Ape
    March 28, 2018

    Reblogged this on Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog and commented:
    Please share your ideas with Bridget, in the comments under her original post 😀

    • bridget whelan
      March 28, 2018

      Thank you Chris (Murphy is underwhelmed but that’s cats for you)

      • The Story Reading Ape
        March 28, 2018

        I wouldn’t expect anything less from a cat, Bridget 😸😸😸

  2. CARL R D'Agostino
    March 28, 2018

    The cat is merely expressing the desire to collaborate with you on your writing efforts and endorsing work. It’s probably trying to breath the same air too. Be flattered.

    • bridget whelan
      March 28, 2018

      Murphy would agree. I think it’s an age old problem. Cats were playing with quill pens back in the day…

  3. drewdog2060drewdog2060
    March 28, 2018

    I am relieved that my large lab/retriever doesn’t have a liking for my keyboard! He does, however push his cold wet nose against my hand when I am writing! Kevin

    • bridget whelan
      March 28, 2018

      Is the cold wet nose encouragement I wonder or an attempt to get you do something more interesting?

  4. ksbeth
    March 28, 2018

    i have the same issue with my cat, and i think the battle is a futile effort. )

  5. The Owl Lady
    March 28, 2018

    Reblogged this on Viv Drewa – The Owl Lady.

  6. christineplouvier
    March 28, 2018

    Reading and writing are anathema to cats, and they will commit whatever sabotage they deem necessary to prevent those activities:

    Abandon hope, all ye writers who enter the life of a cat.

    • bridget whelan
      March 28, 2018

      Ok, so not a muse or wanna-be collaborator, more of a vandal in a fur coat that likes to be stroked. Yep, Murphy fits the description.

  7. The Story Reading Ape
    March 28, 2018

    There are some comments for you, under my reblog of your post, Bridget 👍😃

  8. Annette Rochelle Aben
    March 28, 2018

    I used to keep a laptop that didn’t work right, on the table next to me. I’d turn it on and Baby, would hop up and stretch out. Then I would turn on my working computer and we’d each have our own puter!

    • bridget whelan
      March 28, 2018

      3333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 9
      +++………………that’s all pure Murphy. I decided not to delete this time.

      ++++++++++++++Ok, get him a keyboard/computer of his own…you may have cracked it Annette. It’s getting tough here as you can see.]8

  9. freiedenkerin
    March 28, 2018

    *Hahahahahaha!* 😆 That sounds so familiar to me!…
    Many years ago I wrote an essay on my very old computer. While reading very satisfied with myself my cat Smokey stepped on the keyboard, pressed one very mysterious key – and the whole story that took me many hours of hard brainwork, vanished into nirwana. I am a very peaceful person – but at this moment I had to pull together all my self-control. 😉

    • bridget whelan
      March 28, 2018

      I feel your pain. There should be sympathy cards for such situations, but perhaps we have to accept that dogs can be trained, cats can’t. All we can hope for is that their self-interest coincides with ours for at least some of the time. But why prefer a lumpy, bumpy keyboard in preference to plump cushions or a comfortable bed…?

  10. mhembroff
    March 29, 2018

    Check out Rayne Hall’s book on Cat Training. She has successfully trained her black cat Sulu. Her books are available on Amazon either in paperback or ebooks. Her cat cuddles on her arms while she is typing. Maybe add a bed or cardboard box beside the keyboard. Your new mate likes the attention. Try getting Rayne’s book and try out her suggestions. Cats can be trained but the training is different. Hope this helps you.

    • bridget whelan
      March 29, 2018

      Interesting…have you tried cat training yourself? Murphy is quite big. If he cuddled on my arms I don’t think I would be typing. I’ve put a comfy armchair by the desk which also gives him a good view of the window and the world outside. He does like it a lot, just not as much as the keyboard.

  11. Sue Vincent
    March 29, 2018

    He’s gorgeous…and good luck 😉

  12. Sorchia D
    March 29, 2018

    I’ve read advice to put a box on the desk to contain the beast, but found it only works for a bit and then I have a large box plus a cat in the way. I’ve tried putting a comfy chair nearby and that helped–also just for a bit. I’ve even resorted to spritzing peppermint water or compressed air at them but then I feel like a monster. And by the way they glare at me from the door–I begin to fear for my life. This is one reason writers drink. I love this post!!

    • bridget whelan
      March 30, 2018

      I have a comfy chair next to the desk and I’ve agreed partial habitation of the space left of the keyboard (!) but he loves walking back and forth in front of the screen, back and forth, back and forth. He has just completed a lap around the computer screen and is now snoozing by the side with one paw on the keyboard and his chin resting on my left hand which makes typing tricky.
      Drink! Make mine a double…

  13. Viola Bleu
    April 11, 2018

    Loved this … how cute!!! If slightly irritating at times I’m sure 🤣

  14. Pingback: Sharing is Caring Thursday #12 20 calls for submissions, boosting blog engagement, keyboard-loving cats, and sociology and world-building - Richie Billing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


This entry was posted on March 28, 2018 by in Muse and tagged , , , , .


%d bloggers like this: