Consolations of Being an Inside Cat
Jonah and I have been keeping our distance from the world these past couple of weeks. He’s an old hand at this. As an indoor cat, he’s been in lockdown his whole life. With his tuition, I’m beginning to appreciate the upside of self-isolation.
In this new reality, many things I took for granted are finally getting the attention they deserve.
Cuddles, for instance. There are few greater comforts than snuggling into the soft warmth of another living being. If you don’t have an isolation buddy already, it could be a good time to think about acquiring- or fostering- a four-legged one. If that’s out of the question, a cashmere rug could suffice.
Even though I haven’t been able to see our adult kids and grandchildren for a while, I’ve felt closer to them lately. Every phone call ends with “love you”, which didn’t used to happen. I’ve contacted old friends, too, and made sure the ones who live alone are getting along okay.
As a highly sensitive cat, Jonah has trained me to limit my exposure to news. Twice a day is enough. I’m turning away from sociopathic news cycles to activities that soothe and bore me – knitting a rug for our granddaughter, weeding the garden and (dare I say it?) cooking. For the first time in years, I actually enjoyed making pumpkin soup the other day.
On my rare outings into town, it seems the only thing spreading faster than the virus itself is anxiety. Worry isn’t good for the immune system. It releases hormones that reduce the body’s defences.
Unlike cats, people aren’t naturally solitary. We function better when we work together, rather than against each other. We have a common enemy this time. It’s time to stop fretting and hoarding stuff. We need to share resources. I have a spare bottle of OMO, by the way.
I’ve been thinking about my parents, and how their resilience was moulded through two world wars. Jonah and I watch the evening light and listening to music the way they used to. No wonder the Goldberg Variations (played by the iconic Glenn Gould) is medication for rattled nerves. Bach wrote the music for an insomniac count. The golden notes tumble through our heads, leaving nothing but calm in their wake.
Jonah and I have slowed down. We’ve forgotten about deadlines. Nobody cares if we’re tooth flossed and Instagrammable. Hairdresser, Pilates studio and nail salon are out of bounds. Who knows what we’ll look like by the end of this – wild cats?
Meantime, we eat, breathe, listen to music, dance. And cuddle. Let’s not forget the cuddles.