Keeping Company While Working from Home

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Working from home is great, particularly in the winter. I love not having to leave my warm house and drive in my frigid truck many miles to an office building somewhere. Even though I’m very much an “early bird” and still wake up most mornings before 6:30 to begin work (and sometimes to even hop on phone calls with fellow early-riser clients!), it’s great that my only foray to the outside world is a 30-second walk with my dog, Cosmo, who’s easily lured back into the cozy house with the promise of his breakfast kibble.

It’s great to not have to worry about packing meals and snacks each evening for the next day, as I always did when I worked on-site most days. It’s nice to have the flexibility to be able to throw in a load of laundry or run up to the bank to deposit a check at lunchtime–or even before or after to beat the lunchtime rush of those who work in an office and aren’t blessed with such a flexible schedule as I am.

Despite all these advantages to working from home, these are my three favorite reasons I get to stay home most days.

Cosmo (shih tzu) and Ezra (orange tabby)

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Ishmael (orange tabby), Age 12 weeks

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My husband and I adopted Cosmo, our large (24 lb.) shih tzu, first in September 2011, from the shelter where we were living in Bloomington, Indiana. He was about 1-1/2 years old; his shelter name was “Chewie,” as in Chewbacca because his fur was such a long, tangled mess. My husband and I have said, time and time again, that was the best $75 we ever spent. We mean it–especially at a time when $75 was a lot more money to us and our tight student budget.

Cosmo’s shelter photo

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After moving back to Cincinnati, Cosmo and I then “found” the tiny ten-week-old ginger kitty who was to become our Ezra in my mom’s garden crying in July 2012. It’s important to note that we didn’t seek out a kitten, and didn’t formerly think of ourselves as “cat people” in the least. My mom had cats when I was growing up, but I mostly ignored them, except when they chewed the fingers off all of my Barbie dolls. So in the case of Ezra, my husband declared that we would only be keeping the kitten if Cosmo wasn’t upset by him. As the most laid back dog ever who gets along with and loves everyone, that was not a problem. The unlikely fuzzy pair soon bonded, and the rest is history. Ezra irrevocably turned us all–Cosmo included–into cat people! Orange tabbies are particularly special to us.

Ezra, Age 10 weeks

baby-Ezra

After purchasing our first home in April 2014, my husband and I started seriously considering adopting a second cat. We knew that it must be a kitten to be able to adjust to living with an older, dominant cat, it must be an orange tabby and it preferably should be a “he.” In the first days of May, I began scouring PetFinder.com and the local shelters and rescue agencies for male orange kittens. I was quickly informed that it was early in “kitten season.” I realized that made sense considering our vet approximated Ezra’s birthday to be May 5th, cinco de Mayo. I came to grips with the fact that we may have to wait another 6-8 weeks to find just the right little guy to come home with us.

As is tradition when I get something in my mind that I must have, I didn’t give up. On the second day of searching online and making phone calls, we located a kitten that fit the bill. He was located at the Boone County Animal Shelter in Burlington, Kentucky, about a 40-minute drive from our house. I called the shelter to ensure he was still available for adoption. The shelter employee informed me that this little guy (his shelter name was “Andrew”) was still available, but that his fellow ginger littermate brother was already reserved. Kittens are scooped up quickly in pre-kitten season, it seemed. And I know we aren’t the only people with a special affinity for the orange dudes.

We made the drive to Burlington and were led back to the kitten room. I scooped him up and knew he was ours! We paid the $90 adoption fee and the staff put him into a little cardboard kitten carrier complete with a homemade fleece blanket as a going-home present.

Ishmael, Age 7 weeks

baby-Ishmael

Well, the introduction of Ishmael to Ezra was nowhere near as smooth as Ezra to Cosmo. In fact, we had no idea the ordeal we were getting ourselves into. Ezra was mad. Jon and I did a lot of research online and with friends who have experience in the delicate art of cat introduction. We kept the kitty boys completed separated for about the first week. During this time, Ishmael bonded with Cosmo very well. Ishmael really loves his dog brother so much, it’s difficult to express! We are pretty sure it’s the fact that Cosmo has never been mean to him and he has always felt very safe with him, whereas this has not been the case with his fellow feline.

We then began introducing the cats and letting Ishmael have full run of the house when someone was home and during the day. After Ishmael was a few months old had put on some weight and Ezra seemed to be adjusting to the fact that he would be sharing his kingdom with a pip squeak, Ishmael had full run of the house all the time.

Ezra, Age 2.5 (foreground), and Ishmael, Age 10 months

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Cosmo with his gifts for daddy’s birthday, Age 2 (2012)

bub and presents

All three boys relaxing together (December 2014)

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Yes, my husband and I are admittedly crazy pet parents, but we wouldn’t trade that for anything!

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