Surviving the Pandemic With the Cat

L.A. Strucke

Life is so much more bearable with a little friend

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Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

Thank God for all the dogs and cats out there, that are keeping some very lonely people company when they are isolated from the rest of the world. During this wretched pandemic, these pets are sometimes the only thing that is keeping people from falling into total despair. My life would be so sad without my little cat friend.

It’s normal during the pandemic to feel very alone. After all, it is an unprecedented time in modern history. Millions of people are trying to cope with life while cooped up at home. They are no longer free to work out at the gym or to go out to eat in a restaurant without wearing a mask and carrying wipes. You can’t even spend time browsing a book store or a library without fear of catching a virus. People have stopped attending concerts and sporting events. If you told me in 2019 that the next couple of years were going to be like this, I would have never believed you.

During this frustrating time, if you even dare to leave your home to get food, it’s a risk. I was walking through the parking lot of a grocery store the other day, watching all these masked people rushing in and out of the store. My head is still reeling about it. I feel like we are living in some strange world, where all normalcy has flown out the window. I miss people’s faces. I especially miss their smiles.

Couples and families are sticking this out together. They are bonding together, cooking together, and playing games. Some of them are making music and entertaining people on Facebook Live and YouTube. I look at them and think that is a great way to survive this pandemic. These people are lucky. In this constant proximity, families may get on one another's nerves, but they are surrounded by love, and that’s so much better than being alone. But not everyone is so fortunate to have a loving family surrounding them. And that's why pets are so crucial - they calm people down.

And then, there is my cat. His life hasn’t changed much since the virus came around. He still lives in his home, with his cat tree, and his favorite mouse toys. He also has his favorite human being to follow around all day. He’s happy and content to have someone to love unconditionally and keep company with.

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I look at my cat and think that if it weren’t for this adorable little kitty, I’d be utterly alone. If I should get sick, he’s the only one who will be there for me. If I catch a fever, he’ll rest beside me. If I die, my cat will be the one to find me.

And so, I’m grateful to this sweet boy. He doesn’t ask for much: just food and water, some playtime, and snuggle. At one time, I arrogantly thought I was his entire world. Now I see clearly that, he’s my entire world. He’s seen me upset, he’s seen me at my worst when I felt anxious, lonely, angry, or sad. He listens to me with a great deal of patience when I’m so lonely that I’m having one-sided conversations with him. He’s seen me without makeup, and when I wake up with crazy hair. And yet, he still loves me. All night long, this cute little cat watches over me, like an angel. Only he has no wings, just whiskers. And during this pandemic, when all the people I love are quarantining in their homes with their loved ones, this little cat is my best friend.

I am very much aware that I am not the only single person in the world going through this. We are all grateful for helpful neighbors that often check upon us. I’m amazed at the caring community around us, the people that are risking illness to help deliver food to those who are unable to leave their homes. And where would we be without video chats? It has been a lifesaver. To some lonely souls, it’s the only communication people have with each other.

None of us know when this awful pandemic will end. Only God knows if we will survive this. But it comforts me to know I’m not completely alone. I have this cute little friend, who makes me laugh every day. He’s the one who cares if I awaken each morning, even if it’s merely to open the can of his cat food.

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Photo by Chris Abney on Unsplash

I am grateful to have my cat. With him, I am never alone. I am confident we will make it through this pandemic together. And someday we'll all see people's smiles again.

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