Stay at Home Order Tips from the Cats

Kitten Tuesday Quarantine Edition

It’s been a while since I posted for kitten Tuesday and I was thinking that y’all might be up for a big dose of cuteness. Also, Anabel and Sally wanted to share some stay at home order tips, so here you go!

I realize that having to stay home all the time is a big change for most of us, but for Anabel and Sally, it is standard operating procedure. They would be much more bothered by actually having to get in the car and go anywhere. Even when Anabel sits by the back door watching Mr. Man puttering around in the driveway, she is not inclined to step out when I open the door for a trek to the laundry room.

Full disclosure: my sister sent me these tips in a meme, but Sally and Anabel, who are professional at stay-at-home-quarantine protocols, did endorse the recommendations.

Nap early, nap often

As I write this Anabel and Sally are very busily partaking in their afternoon nap.  They never seem to let having their nap interrupted prevent them from resuming napping as soon as it is appropriate. I think this attitude can apply to all sorts of stay-at-home activities. You just have to go with the flow and know that you will get back to whatever it was that you were trying to get done as soon as it is feasible.

Seek out sunbeams

I would argue that this is probably the single most useful tip that you can adopt from cats in quarantine. A little sunlight does a world of good for me, although I usually grant myself the extravagance of taking my sunlight outside of the house (go for a walk, it’ll be ok, I promise).

Eat on a regular schedule

Sure, it’s easier to just have food out and snack all day long, but at some point, you are going to have to put your real pants on again, just sayin’.

Bonus tip here: why not use the fancy dishes?

Keep yourself clean

You don’t need to adopt a cat’s multiple times a day cleaning routine, but do take a shower, even if you don’t “need” one.  Afterwards, put on a clean pair of sweatpants (even though the ones you were wearing yesterday are your favorite and they are practically clean after all).

It’s ok to run around the house screaming when it all gets to be too much

Or in Sally and Anabel’s case, to have a little knock down, blow out brawl just to clear the air.  I mean these cats will go at it.  Someone is chasing the other one from room to room. One of them is pouncing on the other one. There is some hissing and growling.  And then they are done. And you will probably find them cuddling an hour later.  Sometimes you just have to get it out of your system.  But once you have, you need to drop it, no holding a grudge.

Sally Snuggles

Yesterday, I had been in-and-out of the house all day.  The kittens (oh, excuse me, now they are cats) had followed me around all morning. We had a little bit of kitten snuggle time and we even had a very productive session with the brush. But eventually they settled in for their mid-day naps and I went about my puttering.

Around five-thirty, I sat down in the front room.  I was going to catch up on Instagram, then come in here and do some writing.  Sally had other plans for me.  He hopped up on the chair, climbed into my lap and settled in for some snuggles and tummy rubs.  Now, this is unusual.  Yes, he is a sweetie who likes his belly rubbed and he will let me pick him up and hold him like a baby, but he doesn’t really ever seek me out for cuddle time.

So, I flipped on the TV and enjoyed having an armful of purring pussycat.  Two hours later (yes, TWO HOURS!) I was starting to get hungry.    It was way past his dinner time and even Anabel had emerged from her don’t bother me spot looking for something to eat.  But I couldn’t get up. I didn’t want to break whatever magic spell got me such a substantial kitty cuddle session.

Eventually he did wake up and let me escape (so that I could give them their dinner).  It was almost eight o’clock.

Even though I didn’t get any writing done, it sure was a good way for me to spend some time.  I may try to only watch TV while I have snuggling kitties on my lap, that way there is some redeeming aspect to my trashy reality-show obsession.

Now if I can only get Anabel to sit with me…

Anabel is a Daddy’s Girl

Recently, Mr. Man went off on a dirt adventure for a few days and left me at home all alone with the kittens.  Which is really no big deal, it is a lot like every day except including nighttime.

But Anabel was not happy about it at all.

She spent all day every day sitting in his desk chair.  She barely got up to eat and after, would go right straight back to her spot.  She didn’t want me to pet her or pick her up.  She didn’t even want to play, and Anabel always loves to play.

At night, I usually go to bed first, then Sally, then Anabel, then Mr. Man.  When he was away, Sally would come to bed with me like normal, but Anabel would just spend all night in Mr. Man’s chair. I had no idea that she was such a daddy’s girl.

Finally, on the evening of day three, she came out to the living room and hung out with me for a little bit (maybe 30 minutes) then back to her vigil.  The next morning, she seemed to be getting over it finally.  Either that or she knew that he was coming home that day.  She followed me around a bit and talked to me and let me brush her.  I was relieved that she was starting to act normal again.

That night, I went to be, Sally came to bed, then Anabel came to bed and eventually Mr. Man did too.  But what I really want to know is: if she only is going to come to bed when he’s home, why doesn’t she sleep on his side of the bed?

Kitten Day Dreams

After I wrote about the kittens’ nighttime sleeping routine, I began cataloguing where they sleep during the day, the locations of kitten day dreams. 

Even though they have the run of the house, there are around a half-dozen places where they are most likely to be found during daytime naps.  This simplifies kitten inventory.  Yes, I will go around the house at least once a day making sure that I can locate both kittens. Even if all of the windows are closed and no one has gone outside.  Do I think they have gotten out?  No, not really.  They are very good about waiting at the door but not trying to get out.  But one of them has accidentally gotten stuck in my closet at least once and the thought of having to clean up what could happen if a kitten is trapped in there for too long gives me nightmares.

They still really like the front room which was the kitten nursery when they first came home.  That room gets a lot of sun and is always warmer during the day; I like hanging out in there too.  There are a bunch of nice little kitten-sized nap spots that they will rotate through over the course of a day.  One of Anabel’s favorites is a basket full of blankets.

I keep their travel crate open on the floor next to my desk.  When they very first came home, they would go back in there to sleep, it was their safe place.  The vet encouraged me to leave it out and open for them; if there is an emergency of some sort, it will be easily accessible, and they will be used to it.  Anabel doesn’t really use it anymore, but after I have been sitting at my desk for a bit, Sally will head in there and sack out for the day.

Sally also has a wicker chair that is HIS chair.  Anabel likes to sleep on Mr. Man’s desk chair.  Once, he was gone for three days and she barely moved.

There is also a sort-of perch that Mr. Man created for them that consists of a crate, covered with a towel, on top of an end table.  This is a favorite place for both of them, it is usually just a matter of who claims it first.

I like that I rarely find them hiding out under furniture.  Occasionally Anabel will go hide out under the futon.  Unlike Emma, whose default was under the bed, that is the last resort place to look for Anabel.

When I used to work at the dining table, they would keep my company by taking their naps in there.  They both had their designated chairs and after they took a lap across the table to inspect my materials, they would retire to their designated chairs.

I have yet to catch either of them napping in the living room.

Sleeping Beauties

News flash: cats sleep a lot.

Ok, not actually news at all.  As I sit here writing, I am surrounded by sleeping kitties and it made me think about how funny they are about where and when they sleep.

Of course, there are daytime sleeping spots and nighttime sleeping spots.  And while in some ways it seems like they will sleep anywhere, Anabel and Sally can be fairly particular about their nighttime sleeping spot.

Both kittens come to bed with us at night.  Sally knows when bedtime is and he will sometimes beat me there.  Anabel likes to wait until no one is looking and then she comes to bed too.  Neither of them snuggle with us though.  They both sleep down by my feet. 

I used to have a blanket on top of the duvet.  One night, Sally started going crazy and was attacking the blanket.  He would scratch and bite at it.  I kept throwing him off of the bed and throwing him out of the bedroom, but he kept coming back (no, I didn’t close the door because…cats) and raging at it.  Mr. Man was not happy.  Finally, I took the blanket off of the bed and then he was fine.  He had just been upset with the blanket.

The kittens resumed their nighttime sleeping position.  It was a tenuous detente because I was worried that at any moment Sally would get mad at the duvet and attack my new down comforter.  At some point during the next few days a sweatshirt or something wound up on the foot of the bed.  The kittens made a point of sleeping on top of it; Anabel seemed especially happy about it, so I left it.

After a bit, Sally started getting mad at that shirt too.  Yikes!  Ok, let’s put that in the hamper.  How about if I get a clean shirt out of the drawer?  Oh, he likes it!  Happy kittens, phew.

So, now we have a system where I leave a t-shirt out on the foot of the bed for the kittens to sleep on.  Every few days I switch it out for a clean shirt.  The kittens love their spot and we haven’t had any more incidents with trying to kill the bedding.

On one hand, I really would like to be able to sleep with my legs stretched out.  One the other hand, when I wake up in the morning, I find adorable snuggling kitten vignettes that make my heart overflow with happiness like the bubble run-off of a poorly opened bottle of champagne.