Nothing is more alluring to Hoss the Cat than an open book, the scratching of a pen on a notepad, or my fingers tapping away on a keyboard. His mission, which he chose to accept, is to get between me and whatever I’m trying to do.
He’ll saunter up and lay down on my hands as I’m writing. I pick him up and set him on the floor, and within 4 seconds he’s right back on my computer. Like the turning of the seasons, the waxing and waning of the moon, the ebb and flow of the tides, Hoss effortlessly cycles from keyboard to floor and back again.
It’s reminiscent of Milo the AwesomeDog’s desire to be underfoot when I’m cooking. After realizing that yelling at Milo to back off was entirely ineffective, I embraced a positive training approach to that problem. Now Milo has a comfy bed, where he receives lots of yummy treats, in the kitchen. Rather than being underfoot, he chooses hangout on that bed because I make the bed a more desirable place for him to be.
I tried the same strategy with Hoss the Cat with great success. Hoss now has a soft bed, on a corner of my desk that works for both of us.
Here’s how it worked:
Step one: Add cat bed to desktop.
Step two: Add cat.
Step three: Give cat time to consider whether this state of affairs is to his liking.
Step four: Realize that your clever plan has backfired because cat distracts you from work by being adorable.
It ends up that all the creatures benefit from a positive approach to training.