Surviving COVID-19 depression through Dancing With Your Cat
One day I am going to work during the week, and volunteering with my therapy cat on weekends and the next day the entire universe seems upside down. In the blink of an eye, I am working from home completely isolated from all humanity. Trips to the grocery store have become planned excursions that one must dress for like an old “B” horror movie and toilet paper is something to be found on the black market.
I am a solitary person that lives alone. I didn’t realize how much being social meant to me until it was taken away. These past weeks the only real solace I have had is my cat. What my cat once gave to others, she now provides to me. We have new routines and a new life style. Everything is different now and I don’t know when it will be the same, if ever.
I do know that there is cat comfort in a COVID-19 World.
The New Week Day
Like most Americans fortunate enough to be working from home, each morning I awaken and get ready to commute from my bathroom to my dining room. Kali-Ma is waiting for me in the bathroom window with her usual charm to start my day. It is impossible to be in a bad mood with her there to greet me.
As the day progressives and I receive what is likely to be bad news on top of bad news: business associates that have contracted the diseases, news from friends that are in the hospital with the disease, communications from work, etc., Kali-Ma will at some point jump on the table and just look at me. It’s as if she knows when I am at my near breaking point and she will just stand there as if to say “Well, what about me??”
So, I stop everything and hold her. Then I play with her for five minutes and I realize that she just gave me a good dose of cat comfort in a COVID-19 world again right when I needed it. She then turns over and looks at me as if to say “you can go back to work now”.
The New Weekend
Kali-Ma and I use to spend weekends sharing her therapy with others. Allowing the elderly and children to touch her. COVID-19 changed that and made it impossible. When the cat at the zoo contracted the virus from a human, it became even more critical that I protect her from all humans. This is not something Kali-Ma was accustomed to. Quite the contrary, as she loves to be told how wonderful she is!
After three weekends at home with no fresh air, it was clear that we both were going crazy. So, I packed up the car and we went to the park early in the morning. It was my intention that we would encounter as few people as possible on a 40 degree Saturday morning at 8:00 am.
With Kali-Ma in her stroller secured with the top down we walked. Just breathing the air and walking felt incredible. When we got to about the second mile and there was no one in sight, I put the top down on her stroller and let her feel the air. Her head popped up and we were off!
We found a park bench by the river and I gave her a treat. As we shared the moment in silence together with the birds and the ducks, I reflected on how blessed we were at that moment. We were safe, healthy and free breathing air. I sent a picture to my friend in the hospital with COVID-19 and she said she wished she could feel she feel the sun on her face. I thought how much I had taken for granted in just that past few hours.
Now more than ever I thank God for Kali-Ma every second of every
Until we can all see the other side of this, Kali-Ma and I wish you safety, health and most of all that you have Cat Comfort in a COVID-19 World. Please share your stories with us in the comment section. We love to hear from you especially now. I am here with her waiting to see pictures of you and your cat. Let us know you are safe.
Until next time…Happy Tails to you…..
Here are some links from pervious blogs you may find interesting during this time:
Thinking about catnip?
If your house is starting to smeall from the cat litter:
Everything you never knew about Calico Cats:
Tips For Finding A Cat Veterinarian
Nearly a year ago Kali-Ma’s vet closed and I was...
VACATIONING WITH YOUR CAT
Recently, I was vacationing with my cat for 10 days in Traverse City, Michigan. People that we met were amazed at how well Kali-Ma rode in the car, adapted at the hotel, and in general how friendly she was to everyone she met.
Here are some tips for you and your kitty to have a wonderful vacation together the next time you travel.
PREPARE AND PLAN AHEAD
Cats are not dogs, and they are not people. You cannot throw a few cat essentials in the car and hit the road hoping for a good outcome, in fact, that is a plan for disaster. Cats like consistency and routine. So, plan and prepare everything ahead of time to ensure the best possible vacation together with your kitty.
Be sure the place you are staying is cat-friendly, not just pet-friendly, but cat-friendly. When I made my reservations for vacation, I called and made numerous inquiries about the room, the hotel, the cleaning service, etc. I had a list of questions prepared and I then checked several travel websites for references to the hotel before making my final decision.
Because if my research, I was very happy with the staff at the hotel and everyone there for our entire stay. We were at the Bestwestern Plus in Traverse City, Michigan and they spoiled Kali-Ma rotten.
We had a two-bedroom with a loft. Having the room cleaned knowing that Kali-Ma was cared for with kindness and love was a weight off my mind. Miss Heather and her team took excellent care of her at all times when I was out of the hotel. I would come back and find her tucked in the bed every day.
Every morning I would get up early and walk her before breakfast. You can watch a video of one of our early morning walks on our video page here: https://www.tailsofkalima.com/videos/
Often early risers would see her and great us with smiles because they were pet lovers staying at the hotel too. Then when we returned Kali-Ma would run upstairs and play amongst the loft walkway while I held my breath!
As you can see from the photos she had a most extraordinary time at the hotel and I can highly recommend it to anyone with a cat. Bestwestern Plus – Traverse City
The Car Ride
Please read my complete blog for car travel tips with your cat: Cat Car Travel Tips
There are just a few things I want to touch on for long car rides with your kitty.
From experience, I highly recommend a pet booster seat. It secures the cat with a harness so they cannot roam about the car. Kali-Ma loves hers and she rides very well in it. It allows her to lay down and sleep or see out the window if she chooses. It also has pockets for all of her papers which I always carry with me when we travel.
Also, ride with your cat before you travel on vacation. For instance, Kali-Ma travels well around town on short trips, however, she doesn’t care for the sound of semi-trucks on the highway. So, sometimes I consult our veterinarian for travel assistance in case we need it.
Never leave your cat in the car alone or unattended. Kali-Ma and I stopped at a rest area in Clare, Michigan as I had to use the restroom. I put her in her stroller and was wheeling her to the bathroom with me. Her stroller fits nicely in any handicap stall.
I find her stroller to be the best tool for travel as I can keep her with me and it also allows her to have a break when she needs it. Although I know my cat, and she will never use a litter box in the car or eat or drink unless we are stopped and settled in where we are going, she does like to get some fresh air. So, we walked around for a short while. I gave her an Inaba Treat and when we continued on our journey she fell right back asleep.
Pack For Your Cat
Kali-Ma and I were gone for 10 days. I had (3) suitcases and she had (2) plus she had (2) bags and a litter box. Essentially, she had more luggage than me.
Remember, cats like consistency so BRING THEIR BELONGINGS because they have their scent on them! I packed a small bag of her toys, two of her cat scratchers, some liquid catnip (so I could spray it around the room and calm her when we arrived – Catnip and Cats) and all of her essentials.
The more of your cats’ belongings you bring the happier your cat will be!
INCLUDE YOUR CAT IN YOUR VACATION
Depending on the cat, don’t leave it cooped up and ignored all day in the hotel room. If your cat is a cat that doesn’t enjoy walking on a leash or being in a stroller, then my advice is – spend time with your cat in the room. Play with your cat. Don’t ignore your cat for 15hrs a day and expect it to behave in a strange place.
I included Kali-Ma as much a possible on our vacation. She is my best friend and if I could take her everywhere I would.
While shopping in downtown Traverse City, we kept hearing “it’s a cat, it’s cat….”. People stopped to pet her and tell her how wonderful she was! She received more compliments than I could have given her in a month. So, for her good behavior, I stopped and gave her a treat! Inaba is a good treat with vitamins and probiotics. It also keeps her hydrated when I cannot get her water.
Traverse City Open Space and A Winery
After she rested from days of shopping, I took her for a walk on the Traverse City Open Space.
We also drove out on the Peninsula and stopped for a picture near a winery.
Kali-Ma loves the water so I walked her at Clinch Park Marina.
That day, she walked the length of the entire peer. When we were done two ladies in their car clapped as I placed in her stroller to continue on our walk. They rolled down their window and said: “I’ve never seen a cat like that!”.
Although Kali-Ma is special to me, I do believe with patience and time you can teach a cat to walk on a leash: Teach A Cat To Walk On A Leash
I had the best vacation with Kali-Ma. People do not understand the relationship I have with my cat, and often they refer to me as that “crazy cat lady” but that is ok. It was so wonderful to have her there with me to walk with her every morning and share the beauty of my trip with her every day.
She also touched so many lives as she often does when someone sees that Pink Polka Dot Stroller and say “It’s a cat…can I touch her?”. Kali-Ma always obliges them and they go away just a little happier for having met her.
On the drive home I told her how much I loved her and treasured every moment she shared with me and others. It seems she constantly gives selflessly of herself. Cats are truly amazing creations.
I hope you found helpful some tips here so that you too may share your vacation with your cat. Until next time…Happy Tails to you!