Pablo is a chatty cat. When he’s not sleeping, he’s either yowling or meowing in a way that sounds suspiciously like Borat saying “my wife.” He does this regardless of whether it’s 2 p.m. or 4 a.m. He has a lot to say.
He also has a history of wanting to blog. Cats notoriously like to sit on keyboards when their owners are not giving them enough attention, but this is different. Pablo doesn’t interrupt me while I’m typing. He only plops down on my keyboard when I’m not around. Once the coast is clear, this 18-pound chonky boy will leap onto my desk and add “edits” to my blogs.
It took me a while to catch him in the act. For the longest time, I would re-read drafts and find random spaces or short strings of characters that seemingly appeared out of nowhere. Before March, I blamed these typographical apparitions on my sticky-keyed external keyboard or the godawful butterfly switches on my MacBook Pro. But once stay-at-home orders were issued and these hauntings became more frequent, it became clear that, in fact, my sassy cat was the culprit.
Every time I would go to the bathroom, take a walk, or run to get the mail, Pablo would leap up onto my desk and park his giant butt on my keyboard. I’d come, shoo him away, and either find a string of “edits” or occasionally, a deleted draft. Sometimes he’d refuse to move, languorously draping his bottom over my keyboard. His eyes said, “There, I fixed it for you.”
Then things began to escalate. I started hearing odd noises in the middle of the night, only to find Pablo thwacking at my keyboard like it was a toy. He began sending lines of gibberish in Slack channels. My coworkers would ask if I was okay before I sheepishly had to explain that once again, it was the cat. I began hiding my keyboard whenever I had to step away from my desk.
I thought the situation peaked when one night, long after everyone had logged off, Pablo sent a few messages to a company-wide Slack channel. I was wrong. In time, Pablo only became more militant. On July 8, he would no longer be denied the right to blog with his ass. Again and again, he launched himself up onto my desk, thumping the keyboard with his tail, daring me to shoo him away.
Some coworkers demanded that I let Pablo blog. I thought maybe it would get the whole thing out of his system. My partner (Pablo is technically his cat) disagreed, saying it was a bad idea. I ran a Twitter poll asking if I should pitch the idea to my editors, assuming they would laugh but also never let it happen. I underestimated the deranged minds at Gizmodo.
When I broke the news to Pablo, he gave me a blank face. I pushed the keyboard toward him. “Here, sir,” I said. “Your deadline is Thursday.”
Just like a real writer, once he needed to, Pablo suddenly lost all interest in writing. He ran away from my keyboard and the blank Google doc on my screen. This happened for two days before I sat him down. “You asked for this, sir,” I said, hefting him onto my desk. “What’s the deal?” He screamed at me and then ran for his poop spaceship to commit some olfactory war crimes.
It occurred to me that perhaps Pablo didn’t want the burden of coming up with his own blog topic. Previously, his mischief manifested in tinkering with my work. Perhaps he thought himself an editor, rather than a blogger. With that in mind, I set up a Google doc with the title of a fake smartwatch review. Then, I left my computer on, the keyboard in plain view, and went to bed.
The next morning, I was granted with a few lines of work. Success! I repeated the process for two more nights. During the day, I switched to this dummy doc whenever I left my desk. Representing a week’s work, the text below is probably as good as we’re going to get. So without further ado, here is Pablo’s blog:
Well, he’s no Tolstoy.