I used to have a cat. I like cats. I got that cat when I was still a child. But I didn't stay a child. At some point I was a PhD student, and that turned out to not be very compatible with having a cat. I made long days! And that meant the cat was alone at home. She didn't appreciate it. If I had been particularly absent she would beat me up. She had clearly had a rough youth, and she still had some rough habits left over from then. So if she wasn't pleased, the claws came out! So when she died at the venerable age of 17 I didn't get a cat again. I was still in academia, so still would piss off a cat with my prolonged absences.
When the pandemic hit, and I suddenly was at home all the time, I was thinking about a cat again. If I am at home all day, I can just have a cat who won't be lonely. Cats are quite independent and can amuse themselves when you're working. It just makes a difference whether you are physically present or not. If every time you go to the loo you give the cat a cuddle I'm sure they will thrive. I know I am now writing as if all cats are the same, and they most certainly are not, but I think that as a rule of thumb it works.
My first thought was giving a new home to my friend's cat, as she said the relationship between her and the cat had broken down. When I thought I would lose my job and would be working at home on something else forever I could really see that happen. But then I kept my job, and knew that sooner or later I would have to get back to the office. And then the problem would resurface!
Then I offered looking after another friend's cat while she would be off at sea. For her work she has to go offshore fairly regularly. And that offer stands but the friend is still on land!
Then I suddenly got a message from yet other friends with a request for help. They had been intending to move house for a considerable amount of time. And now they were approaching the sale of their house, but they had not found one to buy yet. That meant they would have to rent for a while, while looking for a place to live in in the long run. And then they found out that landlords are not overly keen on their tenants having pets. And they have lots. Could I perhaps look after their cat for a while? And I said yes. The pandemic was still raging at full strength, so I figured I wasn't going to go back to the office until September. That surely should give them enough time to find another house! And so it was agreed. It wasn't clear yet when this would happen as you never know when completion of the house will take place. But then suddenly completion loomed. When was it convenient for me to accept the cat? So it was happening!
On Friday, 5 February, so less then two weeks after the initial request, I saw a Land Rover approach my house. The cat was imminent! My friend carried her in, and a box full of supplies. And we opened the carrier. A cat walked in my house!
She immediately started exploring. She was fearless! I expected that; my friends are really good with pets, so I expected a mentally stable and confident cat. And my friend and I had a bit of a chat. That was nice! It was also the first social (indoors) visit I had had in a long time. And I was curious to hear the details about where he was going. They are moving into their new abode within weeks.
|The first day|
|Tired after an intensive day!|
|The next morning|