Story: Paws button

More often than not, when I’m in my office writing, 6/7 of my dogs and cats are in the room with me. (Athena rules the downstairs and doesn’t often venture to the second floor.)

With that many furry friends around, it’s no wonder that every once in a while, there are issues.

Sometimes it’s Elsa Clair playing concertos on my color printer.

Other times it’s Calvin and Elsa Clair offering to help cat-egorize my paperwork.

And many times it’s Calvin or Elsa Clair giving Dawn the ol’ stare-down, which causes her to growl, which causes Jasper to growl, which causes the other dogs to bark, which startles the cats, who dive for cover.

Notice a theme?

Cats. Cats and trouble go together like kittens and awwws.

Cats are so good at creating disorder that they can do it simply by walking. Or sitting.

Case in point. Last week, Calvin decided that the shortest distance between two points on my desk was across my keyboard. To be honest, this is is not an unusual occurrence, as once Calvin walks to the left side of my desk, he’ll suddenly remember an important appointment on the right side of my desk. Several times an hour.

That day, perhaps tired from all the paperwork, pouncing and parading that were on his agenda, Calvin stopped to rest. On my keyboard.

Cat sitting on keyboard.

Ooh, look! A distraction!

Cat on computer

I’ll just paws here for a moment.


After I shooed him away convinced him to leave, I noticed something had changed.


My work here is done.

My work here is done.


Every time I moved my mouse on the screen, a black box popped up and narrated my actions. Everything I did was described.


Oh look, I visited my own website.

Oh look, I visited my own website.


It took about .73059 seconds to drive me nuts. But not only did I have absolutely no idea what Calvin had done, I didn’t even know how to describe it to The Google to look for answers.

I tried to take a screen grab–and it narrated the screen grab.


Screen grab


My left eye started twitching. I got a crick in my neck. I began mumbling incoherent computer curse words.

I did the only thing I could. I turned to my Facebook friends, many of whom are more Mac proficient than I am. I was hoping one of them would know what to do.

Sometimes, you have to turn to your Facebook friends for help.


Some of my friends thought this was very funny. They liked my post and shared LOLs. (You know who you are.)

I was happy to provide some chuckles, but that didn’t solve my problem. Then my awesome  buddy Uber Apple Fanboy Drew suggested I check the Accessibility panel in System Preferences.

I clicked on checkboxes, turning things on and off and on again. My mumblings turned to grumblings. Jasper looked worried. Lilah came over and put her head on my lap. Calvin stretched luxuriously and flexed his claws.

Finally I figured it out. There’s a little checkbox under VoiceOver ; it turns on a voice that describes what’s happening on the screen, along with a printed version of the narration.  This is a great idea for folks who can’t see the screen. As for me, I had my sound turned off so I didn’t hear it, and thus didn’t think to look under VoiceOver.




I unchecked the box and all was right with the world.


I can’t help but wonder: How did Calvin manage to do something by just walking and sitting that took me five clicks (and forty-three additional grey hairs) to undo?

Do your cats help with your computer, too? What have your cats (or dogs) done–on the computer or elsewhere–that took a lot of work to undo?’

This post is part of the Monday Mischief blog hop. Take a stroll through some of the great blogs below and see what others have been up to!

38 Comments on "Story: Paws button"

Trackback | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Jen says:

    I don’t have cats but Sherman and Leroy sometimes rest their heads on the mouse or the keyboard and it has really messed things up!

    Glad you figured out how to fix it!

  2. LOL! SImilar things have happened to me. Baggy sometimes decides to sit in the middle of the keyboard while I am trying to type, it is not helpful!
    Glad you were able to solve it.

  3. Hahahaha! This is a great story! I had to laugh several times throughout. The way you phrase things is very comical. And I love the title “Paws Button! I think the two lines that cracked me up the most were: “Cats. Cats and trouble go together like kittens and awwws.” and “Cats are so good at creating disorder that they can do it simply by walking. Or sitting.” Great fun this morning. Thanks so much for the giggles. I love Calvin! He’s a character for sure. 🙂

  4. Ann Staub says:

    MOL… back before I had a computer, I had a cat that liked to lay on my homework while I was trying to do it. He also liked to swat at my pencil while I was trying to write 🙂

    • Aha! Proving that it’s not the technology that’s the issue. I think perhaps cats just don’t like it when someone–or something–other than them is the center of attention. 😉

  5. Laika says:

    I think Calvin is very very clever LOL.

  6. slimdoggy says:

    Too funny. I swear computers (and cats too maybe) are a blessing and a curse. I hate when something happens out of the blue like that.

  7. kolytyi says:

    Calvin has something heard meowed and/or barked about keyboard shortcuts. Because all that staring-down, growling, barking and startling are not empty, meaningless animal sounds. On the contrary, they are serious work-related conversations.

  8. Drew says:

    LOL @ Uber Apple Fanboy… I like to think of myself as technically appley competent. 😉

  9. Now waydaminit…we’re just trying to help when we walk all over that keyboard!

  10. Bentley often plops his head down on my laptop and turns stuff on that I have never seen before. Maybe our pets know more about computers than we do at times!

  11. We MOL’ed at this post several times. Similar things have happened to me quite a few times – the kitties LOVE walking across and lying on my keyboard, especially when I’m trying to type on it. I am always amazed at how they seem to know just the right button to press to make something crazy happen that I didn’t even know was possible. Great post!

  12. Novroz says:

    Whuahahaha that’s one naughty cat!
    My Kroten also likes to sit on the keyboard…especially when I ignore her due to tons of works.

  13. Terry Cramer says:

    I love this description! When you described it as a black lozenge I nearly spit out my coffee. Your descriptions are so apt!!

    Terry from

  14. Hahah! I’ve got a few cats like that! Memphis got ahold of my mac a few years ago, and renamed things, opened iTunes, started playing some of my games and had a few chat windows open!

    As for how your kitty did it with just a few keyboard clicks in a few short seconds, macs were specifically designed for accessibility, you can get anywhere on the computer via keyboard not just a mouse.

    • Once I left the office, and when I came back, Eric Clapton was singing Layla. I think that was Calvin that time, too. I’ve learned to close my laptop when I leave the office, even for a moment. He created the most recent issue right in front of me. Cats! Gotta love ’em!

  15. Haha Calvin

    That’s very impressive mischief buddy! 🙂 Maybe I’ll have to try that on my mum? 🙂

    I hope you’re having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy 🙂

Post a Comment

%d bloggers like this: