Whilst many of our canine friends have been overjoyed to have their beloved humans working from home, spare a thought for the poor felines who suddenly find themselves with no peace and unable to get on with anything because there is a human lumbering around in their space.
And if you have a second thought to spare … spare one for me, living under the disapproving gaze of 18 feline eyes. I see them chuntering to each other, looking at me, looking at the clock. I’m aware I’m cramping their style and feel guilty taking up so much space in their home.
It’s been a steep learning curve these last couple of weeks. We have a whole new vocabulary: self isolating, social distancing, Zoom, mircosoft teams, Tesco delivery. Terms never previously uttered but now part of every day conversations. Tricky for all of us to realise that I can’t simply be sent to the shop when we run out of chicken. I have asthma and need to try to play this one safe.
I’m heartbroken, if I give myself chance to think about it, that we’ve had to close to admissions and adoptions. It’s been my life for the past (almost) 10 years. Pretty much every non-work day had an admission, homecheck, potential adopters visiting, taking cats to their new homes – often multiples of these. Work days ended with a vet run usually once or twice a week. Then of course there’s all the admin, messages, accounts, ordering, advertising. It’s a shock for it to end so suddenly … or “be put on pause” as I see it in my more positive moments.
We still have rescue cats here. We have our own four resident cats, plus Henderson who is long term foster (please don’t anyone mention that to him … he believes he’s a resident and we want to keep it that way). Plus Kevin & Dasher, who were taking some time to find a home due to their shyness around others. Then on Saturday 14 March, anticipating changes due to COVID-19, Rolo & Rowan returned to us from foster care. We also have Howard and Oscar in long term foster care placements. So nine cats in this household, plus two in foster placements.
We took Rolo & Rowan in, and put them in the back bedroom where they’d lived with their family when they first arrived last summer.
We thought it would be a good plan to let them have a bit of time to settle back in here before re introducing to the other residents. Unfortunately only a couple of days later, by the Monday morning I was having to turf them out to make their bedroom into my office. That room used to be my study … and in some of the more grouchy moments over the last few years I’ve fantasised about reclaiming it. I never in a million years expected the process to happen so suddenly, in the space of half an hour following a text message from my manager. Our team were WFH .. sort it.
Thankfully they’re sweet kits, and accepted sharing space quite readily and soon got to know their pals in the rest of the house again.
One thing I’ve given thanks for is that this dreadful situation didn’t hit when these two arrived, with their two mums and 7 siblings, and their aunty who gave birth to 5 more kittens. On top of our 5 residents, plus Kevin and Dasher, I don’t know what on earth we would have done. It was chaos even then, but at least more or less manageable chaos as the rest of them were adopted.
Imagine lockdown in a small house with 20+ cats and growing kittens, and trying to WFH! I’ve heard mixed reports of whether vets are able to offer routine neuter ops at the moment … I’m so anxious about how that will impact on this year’s kitten season … though completely understand the issues.
It’s not been easy just with the 9 of us … and I’ll tell you more about that in the next blog …. then again it’s not been easy for anyone!
Stay Safe .. Stay Sane x