Wednesday, August 05, 2020

Nonstop Cat-Astrophe

Far from it, far from it. There is also very little cat-erwauling.

Of course, my exasperated moments loom largest, with their weight of guilt and regret, but much of the day is quite tranquil. They are often perfectly quiet the whole night, even if I’m in bed for 12 hours. Early in the day and in the evening there are periods of frenzy, but after they have their large morning meal, they mostly doze through the late morning and afternoon. When I am meditating, they seem to become particularly calm.

The other day, I left my apartment briefly twice without putting them in the bathroom, and both times I re-entered without them taking any particular notice of the open door; they were rewarded with thin flakes of dried tuna. I had to choose the right moments for these experiments. At other times, I crack the door to toss out a bag of cat poop for a later trip to the trash chute, and one or the other of them covers several yards in a split second to try to get out the door.

Last night I got mad at them and scooped them up and dumped them into the bathroom. I growled ferociously to express my displeasure, and one of them looked at me with a fearful expression. I felt terrible and apologized profusely when I let them out of the bathroom. They evidently forgave me, because this morning I woke up to find Howie curled into a perfect little ring under the covers, asleep nestled against me. Duckworth was curled into a similar ring and asleep wedged under my chin.

I confessed my sins to Carol-Joy, who pointed out that mother cats teach their kittens what not to do by providing negative feedback, complete with growling. “You’re their mother!” she said. That made me feel better.

I got a call from my boss asking if I could work on a certain day. I wasn’t able to, but since she was on the phone, I asked her about my email about masks at work and aerosolized coronavirus. She said the policy is clear—masks are certainly required—and that I should feel free to tell my co-workers that I would like them to follow the rules, and if I need support, she is there.

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