I've been working from/in my actual "office" every day for the first time in awhile, to better bounce back and forth between laptops (three) and email addresses (four), and to have room to spread out piles of documents and keep everything separated by client (five) and basically not rely on keeping everything straight in my head, oh god no, let's not do that, that's how things end up forgotten about and/or on fire.
I haven't worked down here in awhile because one time, not long after we adopted them, the cats hid in the closet and got accidentally trapped overnight, and both of them panic-peed on the carpet. And unlike the Lego bins, getting cat pee odors out of carpet is basically impossible. We've managed it PRETTY well, with both professional cleanings and buying our own carpet deep cleaner and using it regularly (like pretty much every time we vacuum), along with throwing just about every pet stain/odor related product on earth at the problem. So it usually smells just fine (though I think vaguely carpet-cleaner-ish), but other times the smell starts emanating from the padding below and I'm just like, I'm out, I'll be working from the couch again today, ugh.
At some point, yeah, we're just going to have to sack up and replace the carpet. Trust me, it's high on the list of "dammit I can't believe the boring adult shit I need to spend all my money on," right after a new dishwasher and maybe something crazy, like installing a sexy AF utility sink by the washer/dryer.
Until that happens, however, the cats are thoroughly and formally banned from the basement. Because every time they (mostly Stupid Baby) come down here unsupervised, they return to the same corner and are like, YAY INVISIBLE LITTER BOX. So no. They cannot come down here at all, ever. Even if we're down here, because they are sneaky little pee bastards. We even converted the main door into a self-closing one. (A $10 hinge-thing < new flooring = we are cheap and lazy SMART.)
And honestly, that was an even bigger reason why I shunned the office, because I couldn't have my full little pack with me. Upstairs all three of them stay in the same room with me, and often ON ME, which can be annoying whenever I get up and have to shift the lapdesk and laptop while the pets either 1) all jump up frantically and excitedly because WAT WAT R WE GOIN TO THE KITCHEN R WE GETTIN FOODS, or 2) refuse to budge in the slightest while I try to extricate my (likely asleep) legs and feet from under a pile of animals.
(Annoying...but...not really. C'mon.)
Now only Beau gets to come downstairs with me, looking lonely and forlorn on the guest bed, while the cats spend most of their day right outside that damn door, waiting. Every time I go upstairs one or both of them are lying there, usually with a couple paws shoved under the door, because that's not sad/heart-breaking at all. Then they yell at me for a little bit until I pick them up and give them both some attention. Then they want more food.
Also one of them has taken to leaving disgusting liquid-y shits directly outside the litter box. (Finn has IBS, but both of them are prone to a touch of stress-related colitis. We typically manage it just fine with this food, but changes in routine -- or even just the sight of our suitcases -- cause the occasional flare-up. :-/ )
On the one hand, wow, it's kind of nice to know that while your cats are definitely assholes, they are YOUR assholes (wait...phrasing) and actually seem to care when you're not around and prefer to be close to you. That's down right dog like, albeit with worse-smelling pee.
On the other hand, I don't think I've ever felt so guilty to be a working mother in my life. I'm stressing my cats out! I'm a MONSTER. What have I done.
(If you need me, I'll be working from the couch for the rest of the day. I'll be the one covered in pet hair, most likely being 100% ignored by my cats because oh never mind we're over it already let us know when ur gettin us foods.)