For those who aren't aware of this, my previous employer (I'm an electrical engineer) shut down the plant I'd worked in since 2002 a while back. Hence, 2010 has thus far been the Year of the Job Search.
So, what does this have to do with cats, you may ask? Well, today I had my first-ever phone screening interview. And at one point during the conversation, Nikki jumped up on my lap and proceeded to bite my elbows. Repeatedly. Not enough to be really painful (no blood was drawn), but enough to be surprising.
So there I am, trying to keep up with the interviewer's questions about analog design and decibel conversions (a feat in itself, given my auditory processing difficulties, which the phone really tends to exacerbate), but also having to pause and apologize for being distracted because one of my cats has decided to chew on my arms.
Thankfully the interviewer seemed unfazed by this. I have an in-person interview scheduled for next week!
But what was Nikki trying to tell me with the elbow-biting? She has never, ever done that before. Did she just want attention? Was she trying to get me to stop doing whatever I was doing, as it was clearly making me agitated? (Again, it was my first phone interview and I was straining to parse the interviewer's words the whole time, so I probably looked pretty tense).
Honestly, while I don't like to over-interpret in light of only minimal data, I would lean toward the latter. Nikki is one of the most empathic cats I've ever met.
She and I sometimes get into these "loops" wherein I'm stressed about something (but don't entirely realize it), and then Nikki starts getting agitated, and I'm all focused on trying to figure out what is going on with her, until finally I realize that the agitation started with me. And so I calm down. And then she calms down. It's very interesting when this happens and it definitely suggests to me that cats can be really adept at "reading" and responding to human affective states.
So, while again I don't know FOR SURE what Nikki meant with the elbow-biting, I'm darn certain she meant something. I mean, it's not like I'd been dousing my arms in salmon juice!