I feel like so many people I know got a puppy or a kitten during this pandemic in the past year, is it just me?
Also, can we talk about the fact that we’ve been home for almost an entire year at this point?
My last day in person and “normal” was March 13, 2020 (I remember because it was Friday the 13th). My district is having faculty/staff return to the building on March 17, 2021 to begin hybrid-learning. Devon went back to his school last week for the same thing. It’s just so crazy to think it’s been a year since we all shut down and who knows how long it will be before we “feel normal” again…if we ever feel normal again, that is.
Devon and I have worked from home since August when the school year began, which our kitten, Krieger (who we adopted in July) has greatly appreciated. The more he gets to be around his humans, the happier he is.
He’s kind of like a puppy, really. He’s not a cat/kitten that is super aloof and wants to be left alone. If Devon and I are in the same room, he’s typically with us. If we aren’t, he typically goes back and forth between us until we’re in the same room again. The only time we really block his access to us is when we’re sleeping because he has a tendency to (be a cat) and pounce on us when we sleep which is…about as “fun” as it sounds.
And even that he’s not super excited about.
So now Mom and Dad are both, not only going to be sleeping each night, but also out of the house for most of the day again. Granted, we’ll both still be working from home on Wednesdays, but we will be back in our offices/classrooms every other work day in the same hours we were prior to the pandemic. So, Krieger will wind up being alone, probably 16 hours a day now.
He’s NOT gonna be happy about that.
Maya (my beloved 20 year old cat/girl who passed away in June) didn’t have issues with being left alone. She enjoyed her quiet time, even when she was younger. Of course, she also never had humans around her as much as Krieger has had either.
I know, eventually Krieger will get used to us being gone and it won’t be a big deal, but I am to also make sure he doesn’t freak out either. He’s the kitten that sometimes scratches the bedroom door at night because he wants us to come out; he looks for us when one of us is out of the house. So I want to make sure he doesn’t spend all day worked up or scared when we’re gone.
It’s a conversation my friends and coworkers and I have been having because we’re all saying the same thing; “how do we leave these guys all day when they’ve never had it happen before”?
One thing I’ve started doing, when Devon goes into work, is closing the office door for a couple hours at a time, so he can’t see/hear me. I think he still kind of knows I’m here, but he doesn’t have access to me like he has. After a couple of hours, I’ll usually come out and (typically find him asleep on our bed) play with him or let him cuddle for a few minutes. I’ll leave the door open for a little while but then close it again at some point later in the day.
I think, next week I’m going to add in me leaving the house for a little while. Maybe I’ll go get lunch or something for an hour, then come back. Then work up to going to work for a couple hours and then coming back. I just want to try to help him understand that even when the humans leave; that they’re coming back. I feel like, by how he is with us, that he doesn’t understand that, which considering he’s never really been without at least one of us, makes sense.
I was also thinking about leaving something with our “scent” on it for him to snuggle with, if he feels like he needs it? His cat bed is in our office (because he typically sleeps in the office while we’re working) but I think I’ll move that out to another room; maybe our bedroom; not sure.
In all of the pet raising I have done in my lifetime; I’ve never had to do this. Cats are typically very independent, but a kitten who has never known life without humans is different. I want to make sure he’s safe while we’re gone and that he’s not scared or freaking out until we come home.
If you have a pandemic pet and have dealt with this feel free to leave a comment or send me a message on how it’s going for you and if there is anything special you did to help your pet adjust.