Meet Bobo – my one year old Persian princess. He’s a male cat but trust me, that doesn’t make him any less of a princess.
I never thought of myself as a cat person, or even a pet person in general. The idea of taking care of another living thing freaked me out – still does sometimes. But getting a cat has been one of the best decisions I’ve made, though somewhat impulsive.
It all started when one Sunday morning I told my husband about the dream I had just woken up from in which we had a cat and then blurted out that we should get one, to which he said ‘okay’. The very next day we came home with Bobo and that was it!
In less than a year, he has already taught me so much.
He’s taught me to practice self-control even though I wish I could give him treats every day because his well-being is more important than his short term happiness.
He’s taught me to be patient when I wake up from him digging in the cat litter-box at 4 a.m., because you have to go when you have to go.
He’s taught me that it’s fine to wake up diagonally on the bed due to him taking up all my leg space because that means he just wants to be close to me while I sleep.
Like the rest of the world, I have been practicing self-isolation and social distancing due to the Covid-19 situation. I spend the entire day at home and I realized this is basically Bobo’s life (he is an indoor cat). Here are some self-care methods I’ve caught on from observing my cat so far:
Napping is great – and I should do it often.
Cats spend nearly two-thirds of the day sleeping. This may not be possible for us because we still have lots of things to do – but a nap doesn’t hurt! Working out of home means we have to be away from our beds for extended periods of time, but now I can sneak in a quick nap whenever possible since I’m always a walking distance away from my bed.
Self-grooming is a must.
Bobo spends so much time thoroughly grooming himself. Being at home doesn’t mean I need to be like a hobo (although to be honest I do spend my entire day in pajamas). It’s good to have a shower and trim my nails and do little things that help me at least feel more presentable. At first it was nice to just let go and chill, however I don’t know about you but I’m feeling the laziness more as the days go on. Brushing my hair and doing some skin-care has helped me feel a little more connected with myself.
Boundaries can be good.
Cats have a bad rep for being the type of pets that are not affectionate and don’t care about anything. This could not be further from the truth. One thing I’ve learnt from Bobo is that it is okay to take some time away from everyone, that doesn’t make you a bad person/cat. Boundaries are an important method of practicing self-care and they look different to everyone. These days I take periods of time to distance myself from WhatsApp group chats that are going on and on about the coronavirus and how we are all doomed because it can cause so much anxiety.
Create your own space and take care of it.
Cats are clean creatures. They like to constantly clean themselves and their surroundings. During this social distancing, I am living in my home way more than I usually would. It has given me time to clean, to organize, and to beautify my space. I am trying to take time out to clear up a lot of the clutter that has formed and piled up around the house. One thing my husband and I noticed is that this is the first time we are actually on top of all the house chores!
Get up from the couch and run.
Bobo loves to sleep, as we have already established. But as soon as I get his toy out he gets up and gets ready to play. He gets completely engrossed into the game and runs around the house (making me run too). Cats don’t smile but I can feel his excitement in those moments. This reminds me that I should also get up from my desk, or the sofa where I am watching Netflix all day – and do some home workouts, might be difficult to get started but eventually it does make us feel better and our bodies will thank us.
Waking up early and watching the sunrise can be healing.
Every morning without fail, I wake up to see a fluffy tail sticking out under the curtain. That’s because once the sun starts rising, Bobo goes behind the curtain to enjoy the sunrise from the balcony window – while we are usually still sleeping. It’s easy to allow ourselves to wake up late as we have nowhere to go, but maybe waking up early can have its own benefits too!
Even being able to carry out these self-care methods is a huge privilege during these times. I know many parents would be spending their entire days taking care of their kids and keeping them entertained. Many are worrying about how to pay their bills at the end of this month. So I am coming from a place of immense privilege. If you are also in the same situation, please remember that there are many people out there who are busy serving the community and the best some of us can do it stay at home and let them do it. So let’s continue supporting each other in whatever way we can during these times and practice strict social distancing!