Cats, Comfort, and Coping with Coronavirus – The New Normal

Staying in and working from home is becoming the new normal for many of us.

Like many, I’ve had to reinvent myself numerous times. I’ve been a child of divorce and a child who was bullied. I’ve been divorced myself, resulting in me being a single mom of two boys, struggling to keep us afloat. I’ve also been unemployed several times over the years, wondering how I’d ever pay my bills – all circumstances giving me the resilience and fortitude to survive. With the coronavirus epidemic, I’m reinventing myself again, only this time it’s not just me, it’s the whole world reinventing themselves and the planet we live in.

I’m rather practical and stoic by nature, but I am scared, too. I know we’ll get through this, but I worry about those who have already lost their jobs, or can’t visit with loved ones, or are sick, or know someone who is sick. And going to the grocery store and seeing the shelves stripped to the bone and people wearing plastic gloves and masks is jarring. Hand sanitizers in every room and signs posted everywhere to wash hands, a constant reminder of the enormity of it all.

Our cats give us constant reminder of how important it is to keep those paws clean.

But we’ve also learned many lessons over the past several weeks and there has been some good. The world needed to slow down, and we are finding new ways to interact and communicate, especially as many of us are now working from home as a result of social distancing. My place of employment now has most of us set up with home offices and I will be working from home 3-days a week, driving to work only 2 days now until further notice.

Not having to drive in stressful, rush-hour traffic every day and gaining a couple of hours to devote to my cat writing and blogging, something that has sorely been suffering of late, has been a wonderful gift in the midst of the 24/7 uncertainty and barrage of never-ending, often conflicting and confusing news reports. I love working with my cats around me, as they calm me better than anything else, and I find myself communicating more with family and friends than I ever did, making sure they are okay.

My cats have been successfully practicing social distancing for years.

I’m also dealing with the stress of the unknown in other aspects of my life. I’m president of the Cat Writers’ Association and our conference is scheduled for July. Sponsors, speakers, fundraisers, book signing events, our awards banquet – right now, everything is up in the air, but the good news is the overwhelming support I’m receiving from everyone. Whether we must cancel, change the date, or possibly conduct the event virtually, I know everyone will help get me through this with the safety of everyone our main priority.

I also do my best to be positive and uplifting to those around me – we all have our own unique strengths and mine is to use pictures, words, graphic design, and humor to make a difference on social media. Yes, coronavirus is serious and not something to take lightly, but I also think people need a reason to smile and what a better way than with what I do best, cats. For example, yesterday (Saturday) I shared a silly picture of my cat, Peanut, on Facebook looking like a vampire (see the graphic to follow) with this caption:   

“I think we could all use some levity in our lives today and what better way than by sharing a funny picture of your cat(s) to brighten everyone’s Caturday! Come on everyone, share those funny feline cat pictures!”

Peanut brightening the internet as she does her Count Catula impression.

On one site alone (The Cat Whiskers) over 200 people shared pictures of their cats doing something funny. I know in the scheme of some Facebook posts that 200 is not a high number but for me it is. Touching the lives of 200 people and brightening their day during these stressful times is something I’m happy I can do, and I’ve been sharing my style of pictures every couple of days with the help of my feline gang to help educate and entertain. Click here if you want to check out the Peanut post on Cat Whiskers.  

On a more serious note, I leave that to the experts. Steve Dale, radio host, author, and certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years shares an excellent article on his Pet World blog, answering the most common questions people have regarding COVID-19 and their pets.

How about you all? How are you reinventing yourselves during these difficult times? Are your cats inspiring you and providing you with creativity? I know they touch our hearts and souls and bring us companionship and comfort. And in light of these serious times, they can also provide a bright spot with their humorous antics and funny ways and we all could use some levity right now. 

Stay safe everyone – love and purrs to all.

Rolz – reporting for duty. What a paper towel, you know the rules.

hearts

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  1. Thanks for the smiles, especially from Peanut!
    We have been social distancing since last Monday. We are expecting to hear tomorrow that over 70s and those with compromised immune systems will have to self isolate for 12 weeks. My cancer treatment puts me in that group.
    It is a very worrying time. I also have to the hospital on Wednesday for an MRI scan and that is the last place I want to go right now.
    Yes, I am scared, I would be lying if I said I wasn’t.

    • Deb says:

      Oh gosh, Memories of Eric and Flynn. You really do put things into perspective and our heart go out to you. We will be thinking of you this Wednesday and pray for your safety. xoxox

  2. meowmeowmans says:

    These are worrisome times, indeed. We are hunkered down at home with our new and excellent co-workers, Gracie and Ava. It does take getting used to, but we know it is so important so that everyone has a chance in this fight against COVID-19. Stay safe, and stay healthy. XO

    • Deb says:

      So glad you have excellent co-workers, Gracie and Ava to see you through these difficult times. Warm purrs to you and yours and thank you for all you do to keep shelter kitties safe.

  3. jmuhj says:

    As often, you’ve echoed my thoughts and feelings so eloquently. It’s wonderful that you are looking for and seeing the upside where it exists, and sharing it with us. I’m also a glass-half-full person and have learned many of those life lessons you write of, which have also been sources of strength and resilience. Our cats are such blessings at all times, and never more so than now.

    My work in cat advocacy continues daily, though the ACC has for the most part gone silent on social media. I’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone reading that cats and kittens continue to need our help, never more than now, as kitten season has started and sheltering facilities run low on food, have to reduce staffing hours, and are experiencing drastically reduced adoptions, donations, and fostering. EVERYONE can do something to help. If you are reading this, please go on your social media accounts, look up sheltering facilities anywhere on earth, and SHARE for the cats. You may very well save innocent and precious lives.

    • Deb says:

      Thank you for your reminder, jmuhj. You are so right, cats and kittens do need us more now than ever and whatever anyone can do to help is appreciated. No deed, great or small, is ever done in vain.

  4. It’s a scary time…and the mom is definitely feeling quite anxious about what’s going on. We’re doing our best to keep her calm and sane.

  5. Timmy Tomcat says:

    This is a really great post. We need to remember that this too shall pass and for many of us who have been through a bit of life it is another challenge we will surmount. Thanks friends

  6. What a cute way to remind us these impawtant health measures ! Stay safe, furriends ! Purrs

  7. Brian Frum says:

    I know you’ll make it through to the other side, you always do and we admire you so much for surviving all of your struggles. Hugs from all of us. Stay safe, healthy and virus-free.

  8. Ellen Pilch says:

    Great post. Always good to find the bright side and I think this is bringing people closer together even with social distancing.I like you toilet paper rationer 🙂

  9. Mrs H reinvented us both but seems like her imagination only ran to the same two sterotypes 😉 MOL
    Stay well and safe.
    Purrs
    ERin

  10. databbiesotrouttowne says:

    guyz….heerz hopin everee one ther stayz healthee & yur cat tree ree manez….BURD FREE 🙂 ♥♥

  11. Kitties Blue says:

    So happy to have you join us on the hop. The photo of Peanut and meme with Rolz really brightened our mom’s day. She is almost always at home, so this is no change for her. The only place she is going now is physical therapy. Anyhoo, she does not have Facebook but our dad does, and he is sharing all the funny posts about home schooling and the cute/funny animals. It is really keeping their spirits up. Stay safe and stay healthy. XOCK, angel Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, angel Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth, Calista Jo, Cooper Murphy and Sawyer

  12. That was a fun bloggie, kitties😸Clean Pawkisses for a Happy Wednesday. Stay Safe, Healthy and Yourselfie🐾😽💞

  13. Our Mom has been working from home for years, but with Dad now working from home, Mom has found a new stress to deal with. What to do with Dad when he’s bored. The solution has been to pull out the Honey Do List. Our floors have never looked cleaner! We wish all of you at Zee and Zoey health and happiness.