ProCATstinating – Not Getting Things Done and Feline Good About It

I’m a highly goal-oriented, check-things-off-the-list-get-things-done kind of person. I’m also a vegetarian with healthy eating habits. I don’t smoke, and I try to get my 10,000 steps a day in, too. Because of that, I’ve never been much on New Year resolutions, but this new year made me realize that despite some of my better habits, I’m also great at proCATstinating about certain mundane things. For example, putting away laundry, unpacking suitcases, making the bed, and keeping the couch pillows and blankets in tidy order. Now, you caught me; I said proCATstinating, right?

Procrastinating is when you delay or postpone doing something, despite that many times, it’s something simple or easy…like immediately putting away your laundry after it comes out of the dryer. Why I hate specific simple tasks or have such an aversion to doing them right away is beyond me, but proCATstinating is when you use your cats as the reason or excuse why you can’t do the thing you’re procrastinating about. So, using the dry, clean laundry as an example, something in which all I need to do, depending on the articles of clothing, is put them in a drawer or hang them in the closet, through proCATstinating, it can go one of two ways:

1. The dryer buzzes, and I immediately, like Pavlov hearing a bell, take the clothes out of the dryer and fold them. While still warm, I bring the pile to the bedroom and place them on the bed to be put away “in a minute.”A cat will jump onto the pile of clothes and settle in for a nap; as everyone knows, warm dryer clothes are a magnet for cats. The laundry can’t be put away now and will remain on the bed for the rest of the day, regardless of whether the cat is still on the pile. When I go to bed that night, the clothes will either be moved to the top of my jewelry armoire, where they will sit for an unspecified amount of time, or they go into my closet, where I put them on a stool where they will then stay for an additional undetermined amount of time, but typically several days, before they are put away.

Look how happy Mia is. It would be inexcusable of me to move her.

2. The dryer buzzes, and I ignore it, often for several hours and occasionally until the next day. Once I fold the cold, wrinkled laundry, I bring it into the bedroom. Sometimes, I put it on the bed, sometimes on the top of the armoire. Sometimes, I move it from the bed to the armoire.  Eventually, it will go into the closet, sitting on a stool where it will stay for an undetermined amount of time, but usually several days before I put it away. Occasionally, it will go directly into the closet and onto the stool, foregoing the bed or armoire. I want to blame the cats for the delay, but they have no interest in my cold, wrinkled clothes and have no desire to enable my proCATstinating.

Unpacking a suitcase runs a similar course. Once home from a trip, I could unpack the contents immediately. Instead, I leave the suitcase on the floor in the living room so the cats can sniff it and then sleep on top of it. They could nap for minutes or hours, but regardless of the duration, the suitcase will sit there for an unspecified amount of time. Then, after tripping over it several times, I’ll move it to the bedroom where it will either land on top of my bed (where I sometimes even attempt to unpack it, but a cat or two will quickly claim it for naptime), or it makes its way into my closest where it remains “outta sight, outta mind.” This could be weeks because, let’s be honest, how urgent is it for me to unpack my leopard cat ears and leopard pumps while working remotely at my day job for the government?

Well, now what? How am I supposed to unpack with two cats napping in my suitcase?

Not making the bed is a no-brainer. If a cat sleeps on an unmade bed, no matter the circumstances, you never kick the cat(s) off the bed. That’s basic cat knowledge 101, which goes hand in hand with the fact that if a cat sits in your chair, you don’t move him. Instead, you get a different chair. Or you perch precariously on the edge of your chair, being careful not to disrupt him. And a cat on your lap? Under no circumstances, even with a full bladder, do you get up. So, in this instance, it’s not proCATstinating per se, but just being a proper cat mom. And in my defense, it’s not like anyone sees the unmade bed, so it begs the question: does it matter if it’s made? Some people care; I’m just not one of them.

Basic Cat 101 – if they’re sleeping on an unmade bed, you must not disturb them.

Keeping the mountains of pillows and blankets on our couch looking tidy is a bit more complicated. I can quickly turn a blind eye to them being unfolded, rumpled, crumpled, or unfluffed, but not everyone else living in my house can. Thankfully, the cats spend a lot of time on the couch (hours and hours and hours). Disrupting them is out of the question. Obviously, proCATstinating is the only option.

I find the cluttered look of the couch very feline shabby-chic and wouldn’t change a thing.

These are just examples of your basic “I don’t want to do chores” proCATstinating. The concept works well in other life arenas, too. Maybe you’re dragging your feet about writing a blog post. Or maybe you don’t feel like going online to pay some bills. If there’s a cat on your keyboard (which is highly likely), who are you to move him? And then there is even proCATstinating that doesn’t involve actual cats, but is cat-related,  such as putting something off because you suddenly need to watch endless cat videos or go shopping for cat-themed sweatpants, which could take hours.

The poor little guy is completely tuckered out. It would be unthinkable to move him just because I need to write a blog post that has a deadline.

The ultimate proCATstinating tool is the catch-all, “I’ve got a cat or cats on me, so I can’t get up to…” fill in the blank. That’s my favorite because it can be universally used to avoid doing anything.

This is an incredible moment from several years ago with Jazmine, Zee, Peanut, Rolz, Zoey, Kizmet, and Mia. There was no way I was going to get up for anything.

So, there you have it. This is why my bad habits are justifiably excused by proCATstinating. What are some of your excuses for using your cats to get out of doing things?

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  1. Yup! Humans blame all sorts of things on us, including mine!
    While I think she is just lazy I do appreciate that she will not move me to get things done 🙂
    Purrs, Julie

  2. Leah says:

    I’ve had lots of feline demands for snuggle time while I’m at the computer. Making them editors helped somewhat, but led to other complications . . .

  3. Ingrid King says:

    That last photo! That must have been such an amazing feeling to have them all piled on top of you and around you like that. Such a precious memory!

  4. Brian Frum says:

    I can relate to all of that but lately I’ve been putting off procrastinating.

  5. I am good at that. I rarely vacuum because I don’t want to scare the cats. 🙂

    • Deb says:

      Yes!! That’s a great one, Ellen. I do a semi-vacuum where I haphazardly vacuum in a large radius that avoids where the cats are napping!

  6. Marjorie Dawson says:

    OOh you did make me laugh Deb. I know exactly what you mean!!!

  7. jmuhj says:

    Usually I’m right on it, whatever it is. When you have roomies, that’s what you do, or everything goes south quickly. But my laptop, er, beloved cat does NOT get moved when he’s croissanting on my lap, except in an emergency or when it just can’t be helped. And the bed? It’s HIS bed. He shares it, because he’s magnanimous(e). 😉

  8. The laundry thing cracked me up because I do that ALL OF THE TIME! I often leave dry clothes in the dryer for DAYS…..and…..Roary doesn’t normally lay on warm clothes, but I fold them and put the towels away, then my stuff goes and sits on top of other stuff in the bedroom and often I will wear those clothes instead of putting them away. If I don’t wear them they often will sit there for DAYS (uh oh, sometimes weeks). I’m awful!

    • Deb says:

      LOL, Caren!! You and I are laundry soulmates! If it were not for the fact Dan lives with me and I start to feel guilty about the piles, I’d be ever worse!!

  9. Bernadette says:

    I think we should all just admit to each iteration of your laundry protocol. But there is a bright spot in each and every proCATstination we perpetrate–kitties get their way and they are so happy, and that’s always the way it should be!

    • Deb says:

      Yes, I agree, Bernadette – we are all happy and that’s the way it should be. You got me to thinking TV commercials for laundry products would be far more interesting and entertaining if they spoke cat truth!

  10. Mew mew mew mew Miss Deb yore so like BellaSita Mum…or maybee shee iss like you?? Eether way you made me MOL an her LOL!!! Yore such a furabuluss Cat Meowmy!
    ***nose rubss*** BellaDharma

    Hello Deb….BellaSita Mum here. ProCATsinating is a fine art~ I used to always make the bed…not anymore. And laundry OMC we are identical. Inn fact, I managed to put 1/2 laundry away today. Clothes are folded in laundry basket. Socks & undies also in basket getting nicely wrinkled.
    And BellaDharma & I ‘brokered a deal’. If I let her sit on my lap at least 23 minutes; I can nicely ask her to move so I can go to the bathroom….
    Other than that, I am the pillow til SHE decides to vacate!
    Been a Cat Slave, Servant, Mum for 55 years now….wouldn’t have it any other way 😉
    (((hugs))) BellaSita Mum aka Sherri-Ellen

    • Deb says:

      Meow!! I love your comments BellaDharma and BellaSita Mum (aka Sherri-Ellen). It’s so nice having people (and kitties) who so appreciate the fine art of proCATstinating!