Lockdown Day 42: Four Cats Cataloguing / Encierro Día 42: Cuatro Gatos Catalogando

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

THE BEST EXECUTIVE SECRETARY SAN Geraldo ever had was named Lee Ann. She did it all, and kept him in line. She would schedule lockdowns in his office (with her) until she got all his stacks of papers back in order, filed away, addressed, or tossed. She wouldn’t let him leave until the job was done. Lee Ann spoke with all the secretaries that followed to instruct them on how to manage SG. And they were always grateful. She had a way about her.

Lee Ann must have spoken to the government of Spain because once again San Geraldo is in lockdown and he’s going through stacks of papers. (I hope he finishes fast so they’ll set us all free.)

Since our move to Spain, San Geraldo has been responsible for keeping all our files in order. We must have been on drugs when we made that decision. San Geraldo calls his system ‘horizontal filing.” The file cabinets are perfectly organized. But, many of the hanging folders are empty and if they’re not empty, the tabbed folders within are, or they’re not up-to-date. He has had perhaps a dozen huge stacks of papers — on his desk, on shelves, in drawers — all waiting to be sorted and filed. I began to amass a mess of my own.

We agreed this would be a good time to get caught up. Unfortunately, SG has to do most of the sorting. Once he’s got the preliminary work done, together we’ll get everything filed. Then, I’ll give him a tray where he’ll toss whatever he pulls from a file or whatever comes in and I’ll regularly check that tray and take full responsibility for the files.

The project began a week ago and SG has made excellent progress. (Lee Ann would have been finished six days ago.) SG created labels and has been sorting his mixed stacks into new, sorted stacks. These cover the dining room table and a small table in my office. They initially covered the dining room table, two dining room chairs, the wing chairs in the living room, and, finally, the coffee table. I told him to create a pile on the floor for anything that needs to be recycled.

Every one of these piles has, of course, been an enticing bed or seat for the cats. Dudo loves to inspect. The other day, he found two bags of shredded paper especially interesting. I got rid of those right away and only had to sweep up a bit. Moose has managed to look over all documents, daily, without messing anything.

In addition, without our weekly visit from our wonderful housekeeper, Isabel, we’ve been trying to keep up on things. SG regularly takes out the vacuum cleaner. Sometimes he even uses it. I haven’t been as diligent as I should be, but the house isn’t a complete disaster. Moose helps on that end, too, as you’ll see by the GIF below.


LA MEJOR SECRETARIA EJECUTIVA QUE San Geraldo tuvo jamás se llamaba Lee Ann. Ella lo hizo todo y lo mantuvo en línea. Ella programaría “encierros” en la oficina de SG (con ella) hasta que recuperara todos sus montones de papeles en orden, archivados, dirigidos, o arrojados. Ella no lo dejaría irse hasta que el trabajo estuviera terminado. Lee Ann habló con todos los secretarios que siguieron para instruirlos sobre cómo administrar SG. Y siempre estaban agradecidos. Ella tenía una manera de ella.

Lee Ann debe haber hablado con el gobierno de España porque una vez más San Geraldo está encerrado y está revisando montones de papeles. (Espero que termine rápido para que nos liberen a todos).

Desde nuestro traslado a España, San Geraldo ha sido responsable de mantener todos nuestros archivos en orden. Debemos haber tomado drogas cuando tomamos esa decisión. San Geraldo llama a su sistema “archivos horizontales”. Los archivadores están perfectamente organizados. Sin embargo, muchas de las carpetas colgantes están vacías y, si no están vacías, las carpetas con pestañas están o no están actualizadas. Él ha tenido quizás una docena de enormes montones de papeles, en su escritorio, en estantes, en cajones, todos esperando ser ordenados y archivados. Comencé a acumular un lío propio.

Acordamos que este sería un buen momento para quedar atrapados. Desafortunadamente, SG tiene que hacer la mayor parte de la clasificación. Una vez que haya realizado el trabajo preliminar, juntos lo archivaremos todo. Luego, le daré una bandeja donde arrojará todo lo que saque de un archivo o lo que sea que ingrese, y revisaré esa bandeja con regularidad y asumiré toda la responsabilidad por los archivos.

El proyecto comenzó hace una semana y SG ha logrado un excelente progreso. (Lee Ann habría terminado hace seis días.) SG creó etiquetas y ha estado clasificando sus pilas mixtas en pilas nuevas y ordenadas. Estos cubren la mesa del comedor y una pequeña mesa en mi oficina. Inicialmente cubrieron la mesa del comedor, dos sillas de comedor, las sillas de ala en la sala de estar y, finalmente, la mesa de café. Le dije que creara una pila en el piso para cualquier cosa que necesitara ser reciclada.

Cada una de estas pilas, por supuesto, ha sido una cama o asiento atractivo para los gatos. Dudo que le encante inspeccionar. El otro día, encontré dos bolsas de papel picado especialmente interesantes. Me deshice de ellos de inmediato y solo tuve que barrer un poco. Moose ha logrado revisar todos los documentos, diariamente, sin alterar nada.

Además, sin nuestra visita semanal de nuestra maravillosa ama de llaves, Isabel, hemos estado tratando de mantenernos al día. San Geraldo saca regularmente la aspiradora. A veces incluso lo usa. No he sido tan diligente como debería ser, pero la casa no es un desastre completo. Moose también ayuda en ese sentido, como verá en el GIF a continuación.

Author: Moving with Mitchell

From Brooklyn, New York; to North Massapequa; back to Brooklyn; Brockport, New York; back to Brooklyn... To Boston, Massachusetts, where I met Jerry... To Marina del Rey, California; Washington, DC; New Haven and Guilford, Connecticut; San Diego, San Francisco, Palm Springs, and Santa Barbara, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Irvine, California; Sevilla, Spain. And Fuengirola, Málaga..

29 thoughts on “Lockdown Day 42: Four Cats Cataloguing / Encierro Día 42: Cuatro Gatos Catalogando”

  1. As I have been working from home, I have a couple piles on the dining room table of items to be mailed, newsletters, and bulletins. I now have to put heavy objects on them or I find it all on the floor in the morning with both cats sitting on the papers.

    1. Susan:
      I’m amazed at how careful Moose and Dudo both have been when they jump down from one of the stacks. Moose on the table is shocking. He doesn’t move one piece of paper. But it’s coming I’m sure. One of these days they’re going to have one of their insane races around the house and everything will fly. They send pillows flying off the couch regularly.

    2. Susan:
      It’s so funny about cats. They’ve done studies that show if you simply draw a square on the floor with masking tape, your cat will very quickly settle in that space.

  2. Lee Ann would NOT want to see my ‘filing system’……..lol
    Good on you guys for taking this on.
    Think I may get a cat to help with the house cleaning.

    1. Jim:
      I just wish Moose would change position when he dusts. In California, one of our cats had gloriously long hair. He was much more effective.

  3. Late in life my father said one day, “decades of files, and I can’t remember ever needing to dig anything out of them.” He started shredding everything, nothing bad happened. It did make sorting out his affairs a bit of treasure hunt. I never did talk with his electric company.

    1. David:
      I’m sure at least half of what we save is unnecessary. My mother saved everything… and I STILL have some of hers.

  4. moose the furry duster! moose can take over lee ann’s duties. dudo can supervise it all. and you can make hundreds of balls as a reward for SG!

  5. Carlos does our files and when he couldn’t find the title to a car we were selling, I tore apart every file marked ‘Cars’ to no avail.
    It was in a file marked ‘Home’ because that’s where the car is.
    I would have killed him but I was too tired to dig a shallow grave.

    1. Bob:
      Sounds a bit like some of SG’s file folders. But it’s no problem, really, because there’s nothing in them.

  6. Poor pussies having to endure this interminable lockdown. Must be absolute hell for them. 🙂

    1. Raybeard:
      Moose is loving it. Dudo simply walks away when he wants time to himself (Moose doesn’t seem to EVER want time to himself). There’s going to be hell to pay when we finally do leave the house.

  7. Moose is most beautiful. My filing system is to throw everything away and just keep digital files. Dennis’s system is to make multiple folders, which he rarely uses and which contain at most 2 items (outdated, usually), and to throw all other papers into a drawer or a pile. The air is blue when he searches for something. Hope you get things put away before the cats take over.

    1. Wilma:
      Dennis’s system sounds like ours, although I’m more of the scan and toss type.

  8. It’s a good thing Moose is there. He make a excellent paper weight in case a huge wind should come thought. I too have cleaned and organized my file cabinet while being in lock down. There are four drawers and each for something different. For some odd reason I still had ultity credit card statements from back in 2000!!!!!!!! Old tax returns from back in 1999 to current. And we only need to save the last 7 years in case of an audit. So now everything in up to date in the statements going about just a month. The hardest part was the shredding…..it took forever!!!!!!! another drawer continued contracts and warranties of household items.Cut in half on things I now longer have. I could now go down to a three drawer cabinet if I wanted.

    I’ve been meaning to get to this for an age.

    1. Mistress Maddie:
      Oh, the shredding is a royal pain… especially when SG is shredding with his office window open while I’m trying to take a video of the roaring surf… which I can’t hear over the sound of the grinding shredder.

  9. I could use a Lee Ann. I have piles of papers that need to be sorted and then resorted and then filed. It’s too exhausting to think about! And, there are way to many medical papers in the mix. I’m a big time procrastinator, and it’s going to come back to bite me sooner rather than later.

    I love reading about your various “doings.”

    1. BethB:
      Everyone could use a Lee Ann. She was amazing. She even made sure SG saw his personal trainer weekly. And when he was filling out forms, she told him how old he was. She was good!

  10. The trick to filing is to set aside one hour every week dedicated to doing it. Letting it build up is disastrous. Now that I’m retired and have all the time in the world, I strive to “file as I go.” Not to brag or anything, but I have a beautiful filing system that would make grown men and cats weep.

    1. Debra:
      Well, I know I would weep. Organization is a huge turn on. The plan once this project is done is that I will regularly file so it doesn’t get out of control.

  11. Cats and their endless fascination with “what’s on the table?” and “what’s in the box/bag?”. I have a similar mind numbing project taking 7 years worth of company files, pulling out the important signed contracts, sorting the rest into reusable paper (where only one side is taken, saving trees here) and then shredding the rest. I’ve been doing it for about 6 months and have only done about 2 years worth as just grab a few files a week. It will get done when it gets done 🙂

    1. Cheapchick:
      Well, only 5 years to go. Just don’t get 6 months behind during those 6 months it takes to do 2 years. Then you’d actually end up only catching up 1-1/2 years, which means that to catch up on those first 7 years, you’d have to spend … and I’m beginning to sound like Rainman.

  12. I maintain our files here at home. Ugh! Fortunately they’re limited to a single file box. We don’t have very complicated lives, and a lot of stuff (statements and whatnot) we get electronically.

    1. Steve:
      We have a LOT of files. And what adds to it is SG’s genealogy research. We have boxes and folders filled with family photos, histories, journals, diaries… It may not even all be worth keeping, but we hate to part with anything until we’ve read it through and either scanned, transcribed, or decided to toss. This week, I’ve emptied 6 of 15 manila folders we brought back after my mother died. Argh.

    1. Urspo:
      One thing is certain: We’d get more sleep. But they do give us so much love… and entertainment.

    1. Parsnip:
      I DO love these guys. They’re very photogenic, too. And Dudo has the most expressive.

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