Cats and Covid
I’ve seen a lot about the separation anxiety and dogs when their owners started going back to work when the Lockdown restrictions eased but I haven’t seen anything about cats. We cat lovers all know that cats are independent and not people pleasers but that doesn’t mean that they don’t want love and affection. As I type this, my Telesto is lying on my lap and I have my laptop on my left hand side. Great typing posture!
There has always been jealousy in my house, they all want attention, usually the second one of the others wants attention. (To prove the point, I stopped typing to give Telesto a stroke, Artemis heard and came and sat on my chest…) Has it gotten worse during Lockdown?
One of the things I have learned about having cats is that the dynamic does change, and their behaviour changes over time. It happens in normal circumstances, so I assume it is something to do with ageing. It has become more pronounced during Lockdown, but I can’t be sure that’s all because I’m here more. It could be because we’ve had some hot weather or because Oceana, the alpha, is not well and her behaviour has changed.
Most of the time, when I get up from my desk to go to get a cup of tea/go to the loo/whatever/ she follows me. (Actually, for a little cat, she has started making a lot of noise when she runs down stairs after me.) This is a new behaviour, and has only started since she started to exhibit symptoms of cognitive decline. She also doesn’t roam very far now. The photograph of her sitting on the top of my neighbour’s outbuilding is the last time she got up there. I think somehow she knew that she was unwell.
The little ones have changed their behaviours too, Telesto is the only one who hasn’t. Artemis has started climbing a ladder that I keep in the conservatory. My friend Kate and I joked that she was going to start working as a handy-cat, but actually, I think it’s that it gives her a good view of me when I’m preparing their breakfast (who needs CCTV?). Getting breakfast takes longer now because of all the medication little O has to have. It’s almost as though Artemis is saying,
‘Hurry it up girlie, I’m hungry.’
Rhea has always been a bit more reticent than the others but she is learning to be more pushy and to ask for cuddles more. The funny thing is, Rhea, normally so placid, is the one who beats Telesto up more now. Another change in behaviour. She also likes to join me in my video conference calls.
And yet other things haven’t changed. Artemis still eats half her bowl of breakfast and then goes to shove Rhea out of the way to eat hers. Oceana is still like a heat-seeking missile and Telesto has fits and starts. Sometimes she wants it, sometimes she doesn’t. And the little ones still cuddle up together.
Telesto and Oceana still think anything that I eat is really for them, until they realise I’ve got that green stuff on my plate, which they don’t consider to be real food. If there is meat or fish they get tooled up and are ready to take me out…. And I thought it was more than cupboard love…
© Susan Shirley 2020