Guest post by Angie Bailey

I feel tremendously grateful that I get to work from home as a freelance writer. I do what I love and am able to manage my day with some flexibility. My cats are constantly with me while I work. They lie on my lap, on my desk and at my feet. I even placed a basket on the corner of my desk so they could have their own special spot.

I believe I do a pretty great job managing my time and staying organized, but there are always ways I can improve my methods and the way I handle work-related situations. I recently realized just how much my cats help me in this area — especially with staying relaxed and focused.

As I write this, I have several article deadlines, am getting ready to leave town to shoot a comedy web series I co-wrote, and my first book will be released on September 3. Oh, and there’s a companion website in development to go along with the book. You may look at what’s happening in my life and think, “Wow — that’s fantastic!” And it totally is. I feel more than grateful for all the good that flows through my life. I do, however, frequently feel slightly stressed out and overwhelmed about all of it.

My mind monkeys say, “How are you going to manage all of that? You get easily anxious when you have so much going on at once.” Then one of my cats jumps in my lap and starts purring, reminding me that it’s good to rest and take breaks, even in the middle of really busy times. Especially in the middle of really busy times.

Sometimes I’ll receive an e-mail or a phone call from someone who needs something. Now. Of course, I didn’t expect the request and my day was already packed with a thousand to-dos. I initially sit and fret about how I’ll get everything finished. Then one of my cats snags a pen from my desk and takes off with it dangling from her mouth. I can’t help but laugh and am reminded that humor is particularly essential during stressful times. And the funny thing is, I write mostly humor! I know this is true! I guess I just need a reminder now and again.

Writer’s block plagues me when my mind feels foggy or distracted. This is not helpful to someone who needs to write every day, no matter how she’s feeling. I’ve discovered one of the best cures for writer’s block: my cats. I usually have a cat on my lap when I write, and when my mind feels stuck, I simply look down at her, scratch her head and am suddenly in a feline-induced meditative state! I’m not even kidding. Petting my cat and looking into her loving eyes relaxes me like nearly nothing else. After a few minutes, I undoubtedly have a clear vision and sometimes more than one idea!

I adore my cats and have always relied on them for comfort and friendship. I guess I hadn’t realized just how much they keep me focused and on track while I’m working. They constantly surprise and delight me with the ways they positively impact my life. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Copyright © 2013 Angie Bailey. All Rights Reserved.


This article was previously published in Edge Magazine and is republished with permission. Angie Bailey is the author of Whiskerslist: The Kitty Classifieds. She is a writer, blogger, humorist, and the creator and writer of the Catladyland blog.  She is also a regular columnist for She lives in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota with her husband, two kids and three cats. For more about Angie, please visit

11 Comments on Sunday Purrs: Workplace Wisdom

  1. Great article Ingrid…. as Angie is another one of my favorite Cat Ladies!!
    Falling into this wonderful world of cat lovers has made me that much more thankful that I too work from home and can now say that I absolutely LOVE what I do! We are so very fortunate!

  2. What a great post and article! I wish i could work at home. Since i can’t, my evenings and weekends at home with my four kitties makes the time even more special. They do help me not to fret so much over things. They calm me and teach me to relax a little and take things as they come.

  3. I’m thankful that I’m able to work from home as well. Though I am usually comforted by my cats surrounding me, I’m fighting a stress caused by an absence these days. Missing Mewdy Blue has caused my creativity to nearly shut down. No amount of comfort from my other cats has helped yet.

    I wondered, since Angie lives in the Twin Cities, if she happened to see Mewdy Blue a few years ago when he was at the Saintly City Cat Show. One of their local TV news crews covered his performance in the agility ring and managed to bring in a lot of spectators to the show. That was a truly memorable weekend for me.

    • I’m sorry about Mewdy Blue, Andrea. I understand all too well how much it can affect your creativity when you loose one of these special cats. After Amber died, writing anything was a struggle for many months.

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