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RandiLynnMrvos



May 1, 2020



ONE COMPUTER-LOVING CAT 


Ozzie is one unhappy kitty when he can't get online.  But this has not always been the case. 
Ozzie giving me that look

Years ago, I tried to entertain him by finding YouTube videos of singing birds, but he could have cared less.  He preferred to sit at the kitchen door and watch the birds feeding on our deck.  But lately, he's had a change of heart.  I found a video of birds eating seeds in a forest and now he can't get enough of it.  Which is a little problem because I need to be online to do writing, marketing and consulting.  And with COVID-19, I am on the computer even more taking French classes and a ballet barre.

Since I can't be in a classroom, I now use Zoom, a video-conferencing service where I can meet my teacher and classmates online.  Classes feel different, but hey, we are still learning and interacting.  My Zoom French class is structured just as we would as if we were at the Carnegie Center.  We chat about what we did over the weekend and then they we dive into a grammar lesson.

For my French reading class, six of us meet with our teacher on Zoom and cover two chapters of Petit Nicolas*.  We talk about the grammar and vocabulary and discuss the plot of the story.  In the semi-private class, we work on speaking and comprehension.

So, I do three French classes a week on Zoom, plus a ballet class.  Luckily, I have a place in the house where I can move furniture aside and follow along with the teacher to do a 50-minute barre and a 10-minute center adagio.
Plié, plié, rélevé

But my class time and work schedule eat into Ozzie's entertainment.  How do I know?

He cries when he sees me sitting at the computer.  He puts his paw on my lap, meows, and looks at me imploringly.  He wants me get off the computer.  It's like he's saying, "Scooch over.  Can't you see it's my turn?"

These days Ozzie likes the YouTube videos more than watching the birds that feed in our backyard.  Maybe he thinks the birds on the website are really real.  One time when a bird flew away from the seeds, Ozzie leaped to the back of the screen, thinking it had landed there.

Ozzie even likes to watch my ballet class.

I have created a monster.  When he watches, it's like he's in a trance.  Totally engaged and mesmerized.  Which on a positive note keeps him out of trouble, like trying to tear the screen door to get outside.

BIRDS!

I'm trying to figure out how to share the computer with Ozzie.  I'm basically a computer hog.  I've got to be online for my classes and allow more time for writing.

So, we have to find a way to compromise.  Ozzie could watch when I go out for a walk, but that happens to be his nap time.  So, the best time for him to have the computer to himself is when I have dinner and when I watch the nightly news.  He gets at least two hours of uninterrupted bird time.

This time slot seems to be working and Ozzie is entertained.  It's like I get the day shift and he has the evening shift.  We found a way to share.  And as long as he doesn't get frustrated trying to catch the seed-pecking birds, my YouTube watching cat is purrty darn happy.

À la prochaine! 

*Petit Nicolas, a hilarious book series written by René Goscinny and illustrated by Jean-Jaques Sempé, is about a young French boy and his friends and family.