The library I work for is closed and all of us are working from home.
So what did I learn from the library-system-wide Zoom meeting I was recently required to attend?
Well, I now know what my co-workers — and the director of the library system I work for — look like in sweats.
Also? How messy their living rooms are.
And we all got to learn what everyone’s actual hair color is.
The meeting’s silver lining? I got to admire my co-workers’ cats as they wandered in and out of their owners’ little Zoom squares while we discussed a variety of library-related issues.
In particular, Judy Soret’s cat. As Judy began to speak, her cat jumped onto her desk and, filling the entire screen, gazed implacably into the camera.
He was a large and exceptionally handsome cat.
I’m sure that Judy was making a brilliant point but I didn’t actually hear Judy because I was so busy admiring her cat.
I’m pretty sure that all of us were.
The cliches about librarians being nutty about cats are mostly true.
Judy’s cat was full of attitude. Intelligence. Presence. A cat that you’d enjoy being stuck in a house with for weeks.
Having that cat on the screen definitely made it a much more interesting meeting.
After gazing at us impassively for a while, Judy’s cat turned his back on us — which, I’m sure, was a bit of a downer for every one of the 61 library workers in attendance.
He settled down on the desk with his rump to the camera and stayed that way for the rest of the meeting.
The meeting continued, but as far as Judy’s cat was concerned? It was of absolutely no consequence.
It was hard not to agree with him. And yet? Since I’m not a cat but a human who craves connection, I’m grateful that meeting took place.
So what did we learn? Valid points were made. Useful information was shared. The library community was maintained.
And I’m pretty sure that all of us are now dealing with some serious cat envy.
( Roz Warren is the author of two collections of library and book-related humor, Our Bodies, Our Shelves: A Collection of Library Humor, and Just Another Day At Your Local Public Library, both of which would make great gifts for your favorite librarian or other bookish friend.)