Quarantine 101: How to be a Cat (in the face of Covid-19)
While we were all busy living in our extroverted dog-eat-dog world, the cats were doing it right the whole time
Purr yourself a catpuccino and get comfortable: listen to me meow over why and how you should consider adopting a feline-lifestyle during this Quarantine Season, in the podcast episode below (cats love podcasts):
- also available on Apple Podcasts (please leave a review!)
This is your very own Quarantine 101 Reference Guide to refer to when needed, in case you are a forgetful kitten. Discover why being a cat during lock-down is the is key to staying pawsitive, and the top 5 tips on how to do just that.
To make things even more interesting, the first 3 people to guess the closest number of cat puns in this complete blog post, will receive a shout-out on my next podcast episode. I'm not kitten around.
On the topic of cats, I need to mention the massive Netflix hit that sky-rocketed throughout the internet and took over twitter, just as covid-19 locked us in: The Tiger King. I reference the show in the podcast, as for the beginning of quarantine, watching it certainly helped generate a sense of feeling 'normal' in contrast to such an unrelatable, extreme and dramatised stranger-than-fiction series.
The tagline is: Murder, Mayhem, and Madness, and that, it certainly is. But more so, it is a brutal and sickening binge. The worst thing about the series is how the actual ill-treatment and abuse to the tigers is overshadowed by the drama between characters themselves.
The documentary plays into Joe Exotic's moral repulsiveness as quirky, for character likability and meme-generating moments (as great as those memes are, this is not okay). Moreover, it villainises and even misgenders other characters in the show.
What I'm trying to say is, after getting sucked into the Tiger King black hole and spat back out, I now know just how f#*king terrible the show is in respect of tigers, choosing drama and entertainment over the actual animal welfare crisis. I just wanted to complain about that, there's my 2 pence.
There's no better time than Meow
Since the UK locked us in almost two weeks ago, I’ve been busy, not being busy. I've been being a cat. And if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you'll know I broke my silence with a big fat meow and some rhymes (apparently cats love poetry just as much as podcasts)
Other than being a cat, I've been writing my first ever book *screams internally* a collection of poems. If you're interested in sneaking a preview, seeing some other incredible poets perform, or even sharing some of your own writing, join our Live Open Mic Night here
It must be said, like you and I, each cat is different and has their own personality. But, also like you and I, cats share similar behaviours and have self-care rituals of their own.
In fact, self-care is so important to cats, you only need to spend a day with one to realise at the centre of their universe is simply themselves.
Unlike dogs, cats can be very finicky, sassy and totally unphased by your existence. But when they crave love, they won’t hesitate to rub up against you, be affectionate and loving. Whether your're in a basket full of kittens or a stray cat during this lockdown, I hope this lesson enlightens and uplifts you, and you can take away some tasty treats to include in your coming days.
Anyway, let’s not pro-cats-tionate (totally works) any longer, it's time to take advice from our furry little introverts who make quarantine look so easy.
How to Be a Cat in 5 easy steps
1. Sleep Fully, Nap Often
Cats love sleep, and if you got as much sleep as them, you'd look like a little furry angel too. Cats will sleep any time, any place, and anywhere (at home). To be like a cat, make sure you get a full night's sleep, and nap whenever feels right throughout the day. A quick cat-nap should take about 10 to 20 minutes, so take as many as you like. If napping just isn’t in your DNA, try to rest early in the morning, for an hour if you can. Purr-haps you’re still adjusting to life in lockdown, going from 100-0 can take some time. It’s totally normal to be chasing your tail and wondering, what the heck am I supposed to do all day? Take advice from a cat, press the paws button, and start with a good nap.
Wait a meow-ment, isn’t too much sleep a bad thing?
Too much of anything is 'bad' but societies have been too busy this whole time. Mother Earth has called us to rest, so respect that. Chances are, you were completely sleep deprived before this all kicked off anyway, so you deserve the extra Z's.
Albert Einstein reportedly slept for 10 hours a night, plus daytime naps, and he was a genius. Next time anyone barks at you for napping, tell them you’re working on the next theory of relatively-good coronavirus memes to send to SJ at Handle with Care and you need sleep.
If you need even more reasons to nap, sleep experts have found that daytime naps can improve: mental awareness and alertness, boost creativity, reduce stress, improve perception, stamina, motor skills and accuracy, enhance your sex life, aid in weight loss, reduce the risk of heart attack, brighten your mood and boost memory.
Cats like to protect their stomach when they sleep, they like warmth and anything just freshly washed. So, go full whiskers and find a nice patch of grass for a sleepy sun-bath, curl up with a cushion, or cuddle into a fresh pile of folded laundry (sorry Emily).
2. Do Yoga
Be a cat, cow, downward facing dog - when it comes to Yoga, cats are more committed to their mat than that 6am yogi in the lotus pants who’s always early, probably waiting with some incense in samakonasana (the splits).
After waking up from a satisfying nap or a long night's rest, stretch out your body with Yoga. And just like a cat, you can take your time; cats are never in a hurry (unless there’s a red laser dot around). Stretch every muscle while you wake your body up. Sun salutations are great to include in your stretching routine because they even resemble how cat’s like to stretch. Don’t forget to yawn and stretch your face muscles too, cat’s love yawning.
If you’re new to an at-home yoga practice, or even just yoga in general, I cannot recommend Yoga with Adriene enough. She is the cat’s pawsjamas when it comes to yoga at home and all her youtube videos are free, without ads, and with a gorgeous dog named Benji. Not all cats hate dogs.
3. Clean Yourself, Often
No, not like that you pervert. So, cats aren’t the biggest fan of water, but they do clean themselves frequently by licking and pawing their faces to remove food, odors, and excess hair, all day long. Shower, bathe or take some extra time with that skincare cleansing ritual, at least once a day, to keep yourself clean and feline good.
If you wanna go full wild cat, take a cold shower. Cold showers have lots of benefits like reduced stress levels and increased alertness, but most importantly, they strengthen your immune system. Corona-who? Stay healthy, stay home, and hop in a cold shower.
When a cat sits motionless, gazing intently, looking as though they're zoning out, they’re really just channeling their inner Buddha and practicing meditation. Cats have more nerve cells than humans in their cerebral cortex that emits a higher degree of alpha waves (associated with relaxation and contemplation). These waves manifest during a relaxed mental state in both humans and cats. Unlike us humans, cats maintain an alpha mode throughout most of their waking hours. We would call this state feeling zen. So find a cat, and call them your Guru, and meditate everyday.
Believe it or not (it actually isn’t butter), cats use their purring abilities to effectuate calm and relieve stress. In this way, purring is basically just chanting in meditation. As humans don’t have a built-in purring mechanism, we can use mantras and/or guided manta meditations to find our own purr.
Deepak Chopra just released a FREE 21 Day Guided Meditation course for Finding Hope in Uncertain Times with *drop roll* Oprah Winfrey. You need to download the app, and there’s an option to purchase other meditation courses, but this one is completely free, you can also find loads of Deepak Chopra meditations for free on YouTube.
5. Practice Body Positivity
Cats don’t give a damn if they’re fat, hairless, have big ears or a big bush-y tail. They’re always loving themselves. Sexy, confident or beautiful isn’t defined by your weight or appearance, it’s a state of mind, so change your catitiude about how you should look during this time.
beautiful is a state of mind
It’s totally normal and expected for your body to change during this time, everything is changing, embrace it, own it. Unleash your inner wild-cat, give your skin and hair a break from any standard of beauty you previously, lick the mirror and say meow you doin'? Fur real, I’m extremely pawssionate about this lesson, so please listen and accept your body exactly as it is in this meowment. Show yourself and the same love and affection you give so freely to others, meow and furever.