As I worked on my laptop, my cat leaped up and placed my furry black butt on my keyboard. She was hungry and, deadline be damned, wanted to be fed NOW. Immediately, my screen went black. I did not get a panicky feeling in my chest until after I got removed from the laptop and could not get my screen back. I tried my mouse, hit the space bar, frantically pounded on the ESC key. Nothing.
Finding answers to tech problems
As I do with all the tech questions I have, I went to Google. On my smartphone, I typed in "cat sat on a keyboard now screen is black" and found a solution to my problem (see below). I was relieved at how quickly and easily my problem was solved, but what struck me most was that I was not alone.
Apparently, many, many people have gone online because of their help in their technology crisis,
- "Help! Cat sat on keyboard! "
- "Cat ran over keyboard and my screen has turned black and white."
- "My cat sat on the keyboard and now everything on my screen is GIANT."
- "Cat walked on my laptop – now a sideways screen."
- "Cat walked on the keyboard again."
There are IT support forums all over the internet tackling requests like mine. According to the most recent pet owner's survey of the American Pet Products Association, 47.1 million households in the United States have at least one cat. That's a lot of potential for cat-related IT mishaps. (Just a thought: This could be how they will execute their world domination plan.)
In order to help the countless human companions of the anxiety and sheer panic caused by IT – dare I say it? – cat-disasters – here are the most common cat-related IT mishaps and their simple solutions.
1. Crazy things happen when you type
Your text appears in all the letters or it randomly highlights or even disappears, and your windows keep minimizing. This insanity is caused by "sticky keys" says Jaco Toledo Gerrish, a systems engineer with a technology blog at ubuntuboss.com. It's caused by hitting (or in this case, probably sitting on) the shift key in a row.
To fix this in Windows, says Jaco, tap the shift key five times. You should hear four beeps, and the sticky keys feature should turn off. (This feature is enabled by default in Windows and Mac users will have to manually enable it.)
2. Your screen is sideways or upside down
This is probably the most common problem IT problem, say IT support specialists. It happens when your cat miraculously hits the Ctr, Alt (Option) and one of the arrow keys all at the same time. Your screen will flip in the direction of whichever
To fix it, you need to hit the Ctrl, Alt (Option) and Up Arrow keys all at the same time.
3. Your screen goes black
Marcel Vachon, owner of CIO Main Street, has a tech consulting company based in Maine. Marcel has experienced this situation firsthand.
When his cat, Butterscotch, interfaced with his keyboard and his screen went black, he did not know what happened at first. (It is reassuring to know that even if they know that they are going to be able to do this
In this case, simply say, it will restore your screen, he says.
4. What has been black is now white
Your cat has somehow inverted the colors on your screen. To save your regular colors, which is an option for turning on color inversion, and thus restoring your screen colors, says AJ Santos, owner of technology services company TechOTG in Orlando, Florida.
Press and hold the Windows key and then press and release the + (more) key. Release the Windows key. The magnifier should be on you now, because you will be really large.
To return your screen to normal size, press the key and press the key. To turn color conversion and restore your normal screen colors, press the Ctrl, Alt and i keys.
On Macs, the option for inverting colors is in the Accessibility Options. Shortcut should be Option + Command + F5. See the display option here: https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT202562.
Tell us: What crazy tech / computer has your cat caused? How did you fix them?
Thumbnail: Photography © DjelicS | Getty Images.
Stephanie Bouchard is a Maine-based freelance farts writer trying to protect her from further cat incursions. Find her at stephanie bouchard.net.
Editor's note: This article originally appeared in Catster magazine. Have you seen the new Catster print magazine in stores? Or in the waiting area of your vet's office? Click here to subscribe to Catster and get the bimonthly magazine delivered to your home.