Is your hard drive safe from your cat?

It’s a Tuesday, close to midnight. I’ve just gotten back from Africa and the animals have patiently waited their turn for face time, making way for the kids to get their snuggles in first. I sit at the computer, downloading the first of several memory cards of priceless photos, the documentation of the punda trip of a lifetime.

Apollo is on my lap, drooling. I nudge him aside to wipe my hand. He waits a minute, then comes back.

“Apollo, stop,” I say.

He bites my finger, a love nibble that leaves a bruise. I detach him with a little more force, trailing a gibbet of spittle as he indignantly scurries to the side. He regards me coolly for a minute, then launches himself onto the keyboard. TAKE THAT, he says, staring me in the eyes in challenge.

My computer, already groaning under the weight of too many raw files and not enough memory, screeches in protest as his kitty butt simultaneously inputs commands to open fifty files, start a video, move twenty pictures to the “Surf Dog 2010” folder, and “delete all.”

I scream “No! NOOO!” as I look in horror at the screen. The computer freezes. I have no idea how many commands went through courtesy of his gluteus before the whole system collapsed. I wait an interminable two minutes to reboot, my life- and his- flashing before my eyes as I silently pray he didn’t delete any pictures I already removed from the flash card.

In my case, I got lucky. The computer froze before anything was permanently erased. But I’ve been on the other side, and lots of you have too. I know people, and I mean really smart, computer savvy people, who have wound up in tears realizing they or their cat have inadvertently lost priceless pictures, videos of first days of kindergarten, and other irreplaceable memories because they just hadn’t gotten around to backing up their data. And poof, then it’s too late.

Cats are drawn to computers like moths to a flame. Perhaps they are just trying to admire themselves or make sure they, too, are featured on YouTube. I get it. Cats are all over the internet.

Small comfort when they cause a minor nuclear meltdown in your hard drive. And of course, they couldn’t care less.

If you haven’t gotten a chance to establish a backup system yet, is offering free 30 GB of storage using the coupon code CATPROOF. It’s an online service, so if you’re like me and using external hard drives it can be nice to have your bases covered in multiple ways. I say this as someone who has fried a Drobo. It wasn’t pretty.

Anyone have any dramatic tales of woe and loss with computer meltdowns? And was the cat to blame?

Filed: Blog, Lifestyle Tagged: , , ,
  • Horsegirlk

    Hah. My cat puked up his breakfast on my DVR box, which also contained a hard drive. It made a nice sizzling sound as it fried. Now all DVR’s, DVD players, etc. are located UNDER pieces of furniture. They aren’t interested in my desktop computer, because it is rarely turned on. The laptop is kept under furniture as well!

  • LB

    Don’t we all just love our barfing, snuggling, and crazy cats! One thing that I would like to add while moving photos is do a copy paste and only after everything is in the new folder then delete photos off the card. With jumping kitties, it saves a lot of hassle!

  • Tabitha W

    We keep the pictures on the memory cards and every year buy a new one then we list on the package what is on the memory card such as Paris & Rome 2011, Christmas 2011, graduation ect. This keeps our computers running better and keeps our pictures safe if the computer crashes. Its like having the negative.
    My cats have destroyed a lot of things including 7 cable boxes and several DVR/PVR 🙁

  • Georgia Jewel

    We thought our cats were chewing on usb cables and mouse cords only to discover it was our 6year old. The cats just rip up the leather desk chair. Luckily, it’s a cheap Ikea one so it doesn’t phase me much.

  • I am one of those fools who always forgets to backup everything. I know I am playing with some serious fire but I just keep putting it off. Maybe this SurDoc will be the motivation I need to finally secure my 576979 MGs of photos! 😛

  • My fiancée constantly forgets to close the computer and put it away when he’s not using it. It drives me bonkers because I know sooner or later my cat is going to hop up on the coffee table and send a glass of water flying all over it. Thankfully it hasn’t happened yet.

  • Queen_of_the_Jungle11

    two of my cats jumped together on to my Xbox360 one day whilst it was running. hello scratched $90 game disc! now we buy the scratch protection when we buy games.

  • Sue Pellerin

    About six years ago we were thinking about how much we had ON our computer and how we needed to back up and have an external hard drive. Called our computer guy and he comes out, armed to the teeth with everything to save our files and photos.
    The guy is taking apart the computer and has the hard drive sitting right there in order to back up everything and the original hard drives decides to crash, literally in his hands!
    ALL my precious kid photos from when they were finding ‘dragon eggs’ coming out of the snow in Tahoe, and little wet bottoms playing in the lake….all the stuff that can’t be re-done or a do-over, gone. And then there is the Quickbook files for TWO businesses that were lost too but that I didn’t care about as much as the photos!
    We sent the hard drive to a super expensive, professional recovery company and they were even amazed at how bad the damage was. The disks or plates or whatever they’re called, crashed together and literally destroyed ALL the data – not one thing was salvageable.
    We are always having to de-fur the the computers of the dog and cat hair too – it’s just a matter of time before it catches fire and fries the computers! LOLOLOL