Octo𝘣𝘦𝘳 8, 2020
It began innocently enough. First you saw just a flash of fur across the zoom screen. Seconds later it was a tail and part of a back. Finally, it was the whole cat that decided it wanted to sit in its owners’ lap. The man tolerated this distraction for a moment, but it persisted. Finally, he pushed the cat off his lap and onto the floor. I had to admire his composure. The ordeal lasted almost a minute and his eyes never left the screen in front of him. I have seen this happen several times on various Zoom calls. In can be suddenly amorous cats or curious dogs who walk back and forth behind the camera. What made this funny was it was on the lead in show on CNN prior to the Vice-Presidential debate. I guess the cat just wanted her minute of fame.
I have been intrigued by repots on the number of people who have suddenly become pet people during the lockdown. Adopting a pandemic puppy or a COVID cat helped alleviate the isolation felt in the first months of the virus response. Pets offer several health benefits. There is companionship, but they also create a routine and provide a purpose. Dogs especially require regular exercise which gives an incentive to get out of the house. Pet owners are often found to decrease blood pressure and the pets can provide mental stimulation. According to the ASPCA, the biggest increase was not in adoptions, but in fostering. Many wanted the companionship without the long-term commitment. I wonder how many have been returned.
Our across the street neighbor family is one that adopted a cat. This is a kitten, and it is trying to acclimate to its new surroundings while still exploring. They are trying to make this an indoor cat, but I think it is a runner. Melissa received a call last weekend asking if she could find the cat and give it something to eat. They were gone for the weekend and the cat had run away just as they were leaving. She has had previous interaction with the kitten, and it has always been friendly. Melissa opened a can of tuna, and it came right to her.
𝗧𝗛𝗢𝗨𝗚𝗛𝗧𝗦: The neighbor’s kitten has been more than willing to explore our garage and try to get into the house. I have always jokingly said that you only needed one cat per neighborhood. While some cats are content to stay inside, outdoor cats frequently do not come home and are often fed by more than one house. My roommate had a cat that was always gone. Talking to my upstairs neighbor I found it was also living at their house. Adjusting to the changes of the pandemic will not be a short-term solution. While it is still unclear what the new normal will be, it will not be the good old days. We will not be able to return it once we get tired. Follow the science. Change is coming and it starts with you.