Do your cats run your house? Do they think that anything they can jump up onto or walk on is fair game? If you are like me, you spend way too much time trying to see around a cat’s tail to finish working at the computer. Here is my new and great way to keep cats off your keyboard.
I took my computer into the shop one day to have a couple of keyboard keys put back on. I didn’t know how. The shopkeeper asked me how they got off, and I told him that my cat’s claws pull them off when they run across my keyboard. He looked at me as if I were daft. I probably am, but that’s just a burden I’ll have to bear. He got both of them back on, telling me they just clicked back on. Well, I have two more that are off, and let me tell you, they don’t just “click back on.” So, I will make another trip to the keyboard man and let him charge me to do his magic.
I got so tired of having my cats jump up on the keyboard, with the result of losing my work or having to find my way back to it. No amount of scolding, brushing them off or feeding them seemed to do any good at all. I take very good care of the cats, so they are not hungry. They just want attention, 24 hours a day, preferably.
Ever the one to improvise just about everything I need in one way or another, I wondered what I could do to make a shield to keep them off. I thought about it for several days, on and off, intermittently trying to make the keys go back on (I failed). I have a laptop, but I think this same technique would work with a separate keyboard, mouse and monitor. It would just be a matter of size.
I finally went to Walmart and bought one of those plastic storage containers, but left the lid, as I didn’t need it. I eyeballed the measurement of my computer when it is open, before I left home, and bought a box that had about eight or more inches on each side of extra width, for my computer cords. I thought the bottom would accommodate my computer when it was open.
I brought it home and laid it on its side. I slid my computer inside, all the way to the back. The top opened up with about two inches to spare, from the top. On each side, my computer cords have enough room without crimping or bending the connections. For the purist, holes could be drilled into the sides so the cords can enter there, which would probably be neater.
As soon as I had my computer in the box and turned on, I felt such a great relief. I love this! I got a clear box, so the light can still come in from the window or the lamp. If the light is a problem for others, you can purchase tinted boxes. I saw some dark violet ones that I had to hold myself back from buying.
The cats can’t jump on top, because when it is set up, the “top” is slightly slanted, and slippery. Two have already tried, and gave up. I have my own little cubicle.
One concern, however, is the ease with which the plastic box can move on a table top. I use a wooden table, and when my computer sits on it, the little rubber grommets on the bottom keep it from being pushed off. In the box, however, even though the computer is still hard to move, the box is not. So, to remedy this, I will be getting either some velcro for the bottom where it meets the table, or some two-sided tape. I think I prefer the velcro, as it is more easily removed when needed. Alternatively, when I am finished, I can push the box back, slide the computer out onto the table, and flip the box down over it.
The storage boxes I am referring to do have an irregular edge to them, but it does not interfere with anything. The most noticeable thing is that the keyboard sits at a very slight angle, but it is minor. If needed, one could place a folded tea towel or other cloth under the back of the box, but it really is not necessary.
The edge left between the edge of the box and the edge of the table is about three inches. Not enough for a cat to comfortably walk around. If you have a wily cat, however, get a deeper box so the sides will come right up to the edge of the table.
So, for those of you who are constantly battling cats (or ferrets, birds, children’s hands or Fido’s paws) this is a great remedy. Box size can be adjusted for your particular needs. If you will be needing to copy or refer to paperwork, buy a longer box, so you can put the papers inside beside the computer. The box can also be cut, if needed, with any number of kinds of saws, to modify its shape.
Do I think it looks stupid? No. It actually looks quite sleek, as if it were designed just for this purpose! It doesn’t look like a storage bin when it is set up like this. If you decide to do this, you’ll see what I mean.
If you need one bigger or smaller than the one you selected, take the box back and exchange it.
I am so tickled with my new six dollar “cubicle”! I hope this helps others create a space that is all yours!