Gifts of a Four-Legged Office Assistant

My writing routine changed recently when my chief office assistant fell sick. Although screened for Feline Leukemia, it turned out Phineas had it from birth. As the vile retrovirus switched from latent from active, he weakened. It was only then we learned what was happening to him. For all the while, he was valiantly making his rounds, continuing his duties supporting me.

He had a few weeks to live. I happened to have flexible responsibilities just then, so I could stay by his side for his remaining weeks. Some of that time he chose to take his post on my writing desk, or in my home office window. He would lie heavily on his side, eyes open, watching birds.

Of course, this home hospice care was sad and difficult. Aside from some obligations, I did not care to do much writing. I did, however, think about it. When he chose to lie in a patch of sunlight on the floor, I would sit next to him with my iPad and read.

As I thought I was assisting him with my company, he was *still* assisting me.

You perhaps have heard the famous Montaigne quote? *”When I play with my cat who knows whether I do not make her more sport than she makes me?”*

It was difficult to read for pleasure, so I ended up reading about the Cloud and how I could integrate it more into my writing life. This was Phineas’ last gift to me as my writing assistant. Without his gentle disruption of my habits, who knows when or if I would have taken time from my usual concerns to explore these developments?

Although already a DropBox and GoogleDocs user, I hadn’t yet realized how Cloud infrastructure had integrated to give writers significantly new ways to work using Cloud, desktop computer and mobile device. These Cloud storage devices can provide more than just floating copies of files. I don’t know if this is internet 3.0, 4.0, or 5.0, but something has changed. There are new options, and good ones. I will write more about that later.

Phineas supported me to the last day, feverish and weak, but still trying to help me. After two days, medication failing, his temperature rose to 105.9F. He chose to spend his last hours on my writing desk. With loving mercy, we said good-bye. He was not quite six years-old.

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Published in: on June 11, 2013 at 9:19 am  Leave a Comment  
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