I ignore this morning’s alarm as I lay stretched out in the center of the bed. Michele, my best friend, and roommate lays next to me. She stirs quietly, as she reaches for the snooze button. I creep up to my favorite spot as my whiskers tickle her face and I start to purr. This is how we start each workday.
As I wait patiently for the final snooze cycle to end, I reflect on how lucky I am to work alongside my best friend. I know it seems impossible that a humble cat, like me, could land a full-time job in the tech industry. But as you know, anything is possible these days.
My story starts around this time last year when I was first introduced to the idea of “work”. Michele brought me along to her job to celebrate National Bring Your Cat to Work Day (which everyone knows happens on the 3rd Friday of every December). During that pivotal day, I followed Michele to all of her meetings, learned about her job on the diversity, equity, and inclusion team, and even made a cameo on some of her video conference calls. I enjoyed the day and wrote a blog about it that evening. What I did not know, however, was that day would change my life forever.
As a result of my performance, I was allowed to attend more and more meetings. Before I knew it, Michele was offering me a job as an Associate Program Manager. She said that she had work for me to do on something called the Diversity Annual Report. I would be paid in head scratches, belly rubs and unsalted turkey jerky. Those are my three favorite things; I could not believe my good fortune!
Before I could finish celebrating, however, the roller coaster had already begun.
Under my supervision, we started the project like any good cat – by making friends. We met all sorts of new people across the entire company. I could quickly tell who was a cat person and who was not. I advised Michele using my animal intuition and, together we navigated one disagreement after the next.
Just when I thought things could not get any more difficult, our workload seemed to explode. We took on the task of literally herding cats. Yes, I too did not believe that was a real job, however, it’s actually written in the fine print when you accept a role on the diversity team. Luckily for everyone else, I was uniquely suited for the role.
The project progressed, but it felt like every step forward resulted in two steps back, but such as the nature of herding cats. I told Michele to be patient, forge ahead, and trust that everyone was going in the same direction. There were many late nights during this time period, but the head scratches and unsalted turkey jerky never ceased.
As we neared the deadline, it seemed like nothing would ever come together. I knew it was finally time to teach Michele a very important lesson, a lesson that all cats are born knowing : Bossy bitches get shit done.
With knowledge of this new truth, Michele took on a new persona where she emailed, texted, called, slacked, and snapped each project team member at all hours. She demanded answers to important questions and stipulated work to be completed off-hours. Time seemed to stand completely still in the last few days leading to the report’s release. I thought it would never end.
However, time marches forward. Eventually, life was breathed into the diversity annual report, and everyone on the project team collapsed into exhaustion. As I watched the accolades pour in, I took great pride in my role as the unsung hero behind the project’s success. Everyone knows it takes a cat to pull something like this off.
As I drift in and out of dreams of diversity reporting glory, Michele gently shakes me awake. She informs me that it’s time to start a new diversity annual report. I feel conflicted as I know the work will be hard, but I also know that I will be surrounded by friends. I outwardly complain to cover up the sense of warmth that slowly spreads across my heart. It’s time to push ourselves to create something truly remarkable… a little bit of progress.