The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

June 19, 2013

Mike Pound: Office space no place for litter box

By Mike Pound

— I knew my wife was lying when she told me to relax.

“It won’t be that bad,” she said. “Relax. I’m sure all writers have had to put up with something like this at least once in their career.”

Right there, I knew my wife was lying. She called me a writer. OK, she didn’t exactly call me a writer, but she did sort of compare me to one. Normally, my wife doesn’t describe me as a writer. She uses two words to describe what I do. One of them involves a farm animal, and the second word involves a product produced by the farm animal.

My wife isn’t impressed by what I do for a living is what I’m saying.

I’m OK with that, but what I’m not OK with is the plan my wife has come up with while one of our scary basement rooms is being remodeled.

The basement room being remodeled doubles as a space for our cats’ food and water and their litter box. Obviously, the food, water and litter box can’t stay in the room being remodeled.

“We’ll just put them in your office,” my wife said.

“WHAT THE (string of bad words),” I said.

Ever since we turned our guest room into an office, my wife has insisted on calling it “our” office even though I’m the only one who works in it.

But now that “our” office will also be home to the cats’ food, water and litter box, it has suddenly become “your” office.

You know why that is, don’t you?

It’s because my wife can then say, “Mike, you need to clean the litter box in your office.”

Call me crazy, but I’m not crazy about sharing my office with our cats’ — shall we say — personal space.

I know what some of you are thinking: “Hey Mike, I’ve read your column, and frankly I don’t see much difference between what a cat puts in a litter box and what you put in your column.”

Some of you are a riot.

“How would you like it if someone put in a litter box where you work?” I asked my wife.

“The difference between where I work and where you work is the word ‘work,’” my wife said. “I work. You sit at your computer and mutter to yourself.”

“Hey, that’s not as easy as it looks,” I said.

I spend a lot of time in my office, and I don’t think I should have to share that time and space with our cats. It’s bad enough that our German shepherd, Shilo, lies next to me while I type and occasionally puts her head in my lap, forcing me to stop typing and pet her. Now, I have to get up and leave my office when one of the cats heads toward the litter box.

I mean, I don’t have to leave the room, but would you stay?

I didn’t think so.

I ask you: Did Dave Barry have to work with a litter box in his office? Did Mike Royko? Did Art Buchwald?

I don’t think so.

Am I Dave Barry? Mike Royko? Art Buchwald? Well, no. But still, I don’t think that’s reason enough to make me work with a litter box in my office.

As I’m typing this, Shilo just walked into my office. She is looking for any cat food that might have spilled while the cats were eating earlier. Now she is crunching something. I hope that means she found some cat food. If not, then I don’t want to know what she’s crunching.

My wife tells me I will have to share my office with the cats for only a few weeks until the basement remodel is finished.

“Then it can go back to being our office,” my wife said.

That’s right. She said “our” office.

DO YOU HAVE AN IDEA for Mike Pound’s column? Call him at 417-623-3480, ext. 7259, or email him at Follow him on Twitter @mikepoundglobe.