Quarantine Cat Life

As the COVID-19 Quarantine presses on, our lives are looking more and more like our cat’s life – eat, sleep, run around, lounge, potty, sleep. But the master is, and always will be, the master.

So here’s a tribute to the multitude of pictures of the master lounger – Wakko.

Some of the lessons I’ve decided to take from my cat include:

  1. Cuddle Often – Whenever I sit still for long enough, Wakko will inevitably curl up anywhere he can get close enough to touch either me or my partner. He will literally get up from the cutest little nap spot to come sleep next to or on top of us. So lesson number one is to grasp the opportunities to cuddle up next to someone, to touch them, to love them – CHOOSE LOVE.
  2. Eat consistently – Like clockwork, 15 minutes before 7:00pm, Wakko comes over to me, no matter what I’m doing to make certain I don’t forget dinnertime. He gets kibble in the mornings, but dinnertime is for wet food and we LOVE wet food. Don’t get me wrong, I love food a whole hell of a lot, too. But I do a terrible job at eating at consistent times in the day and go back and forth between healthy, vegan fuel (thanks, Sara!) and total trash. My body doesn’t seem to know what to do with it. So one continuing goal is to allow myself my cravings, but to find a more consistent middle-ground by feeding myself proactively and of course, drinking water.
  3. Sleep, sleep, sleep – If I had my way, I would sleep 18 hours a day just like Wakko does. Unfortunately, life doesn’t really allow that for humans, but it’s still imperative that I get a full night sleep. Especially when the quality of sleep is being marred by stress dreams and anxiety-induced jaw clenching, some days, I just have to stay in bed. Pre-quarantine 6:45 work start time has shifted back a bit now that my partner doesn’t have to be up so early to commute. But some days you just gotta stay in bed til 9 am. Okay, 9:30.
  4. Stay clean – While I don’t love that Wakko chooses the rare moment where my clients use video call to clean himself well within camera-view, I respect him for unabashedly knowing when it’s time for a bath. Hygiene hasn’t slipped entirely in this household during quarantine, but there’s been a time or two that post-workout shower took a backseat to a poorly timed video happy hour. Nothing refreshes my home-routine than wet, conditioner-scented hair, a good brush through my long hair and clothes fresh off the hanger (REAL shirts, sometimes even with buttons! But Yoga Pants for the win still…).
  5. Exercise, both for play and for necessity – Okay, so Wakko’s exercise routine is basically one of two things. Either I’m tossing one of his many toys across the room or for him to chase, or he’s doing his nightly zoomies before he goes potty. But regardless of if it’s just for fun or if it’s to help him poo, he’s always less irritable afterwards. It hasn’t been easy to keep to an exercise routine during this quarantine, but every day that I work out I feel so much better. It doesn’t matter if it’s heavily meditative yoga or a cardio work-out or even a few minutes of basketball (with appropriate social distancing and lots of sanitizer) – doing SOMETHING helps.
  6. Enjoy the outdoors (in a safe way for both physical and emotional health) – I have never seen a happier creature than my cat when the weather is warm enough to open the windows. He will sit on his little cat tree for hours just watching the people walk by and eyeballing squirrels and listening to the wind. What joy his little life has when he has fresh air at his fingertips. I’m lucky enough to be able to get outside a little bit here and there for recreation and we take advantage of it. But with the mask and the paranoia, sometimes being fully outside puts me into more of a panic attack than being crammed inside did. Looks like I’ll be taking advantage of open windows as much as possible for an intermediate solution.
  7. Giving space – For a tiny apartment with very few places to really hide, Wakko does a great job at finding alone time. Sometimes I have to search high and low to make sure he didn’t get out, but sure enough I find him hiding under the bed, sniffing out smells by the window or doing whatever it is cats do in the shower. Most often, he’s just hanging out in the other room to get a little bit of space from the noisy humans and I think it’s the biggest blessing I forget to notice. Space from our loved ones seems to be the most appreciated when its not something we have to ask for but something thats taken when needed. Something firmly demanded, but done with a gentleness that speaks to its necessity for happy cohabitation.
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