The one person in my life who is completely in favor of the pandemic is my cat, Schwartz.
I feed him twice a day, at the same time as the dogs, but if he finds someone up late getting a snack, or up early to talk to someone on the other side of the world, he asks for an extra breakfast. The Bacon Provider is working long days, from home.
When I get up, I feed the dogs first, and lock them in their kennels. Schwartz’s breakfast is a tiny scoop of cat kibble and a spoonful of the raw chicken medley I buy for the dogs. He finishes most of it, and if he leaves so much as a single crumb, Eggi gets it.
I do pilates via Zoom three times a week, at 9:30 am. In the first few weeks, he’d visit me during the session, and leave. Then he started demanding to be petted during the session. After that he got overstimulated or impatient and bit me a couple of times. So I got a big bag of the cat treats he likes, and started throwing them around the room to divert him. Now Schwartz howls loudly and insistently every day at about 9:15 am, just in case it’s a pilates day.
He stays the whole session.
On the days I don’t have pilates, he goes to the room and has a nap just in case. He doesn’t want to miss out.
He is turning 16 in April, so he’s not an especially active cat anymore. If he isn’t waiting for pilates, he likes to nap on his special windowsill, or under the piano bench, on a chair in the living room, or in my bed.
Schwartz yowls if his water bowl is empty. He yowls if the dogs’ water bowl is empty. He yowls if his water bowl is almost empty. He yowls if the water bowl might someday be empty, or should be changed or shouldn’t be changed.
He also shouts about his litterbox needing attention, and screams if he wants to go hunting in the basement, and meows if he experiences symptoms of ennui.
When he produces a hairball, everyone has a chance to see it and admire it, because no one has anyplace to go.
Schwartz voices no opinion about anything in politics. He is probably an egoist anarchist with revolutionary tendencies, committing acts of sabotage (pooping outside the litterbox, pissing on piles of dirty laundry) and violent insurrection (biting me while I’m exercising).
When he leaves a turd on the floor next to the litterbox and I’m not the first to find it, there is an entertaining moment of excited dogs running around and people yelling.
Dinner is promptly at 6 pm. Schwartz starts complaining for dinner at 4 pm.
After dinner, there is TV to watch or a fight to pick with a dog.
At bedtime, Schwartz remembers that he is probably a dog, and joins us in the bathroom when the dogs get their teeth brushed.
The cat visits me while I’m sleeping, walking the entire length of my body and curling up in the pillows or next to me, or stretching out on top of me, with his paws on my face. He takes up as much room as my husband.
He hopes everything stays just like this, forever.