Three months ago, I spent my work days in an empty home, the podcasts emanating from my phone my primary source of auditory stimulation. I am blessed to have a job that allows me to work remotely, and I love sitting at my work station with my nerdy knickknacks displayed near my desk as I edit and manage my other responsibilities. But spending so much alone time surrounded by the same walls, however beloved, can make a person stir-crazy!
My spouse, whose work hours mostly mirror my own, stumbled upon a kitten near the dumpster of their workplace in September. A coworker took the kitten in and nursed it to better health, but the experience led Hannah to plead with me: “Can we please get a cat?”
Well, one thing led to another, and now my work days are far less quiet. I still listen to my podcasts, but I also have to contend with two kittens who regularly chase each other and gently, yet persistently wrestle when they are not vying for attention from yours truly.
Opal, our 5-month-old Siamese mix, is mouthy and rushes to my lap whenever I sit. I just wish she did not leave so many claw marks in my desk chair! Our younger kitten Maeve is soft-spoken and likes to sleepily perch atop the scratching post we bought them with her legs dangling over the edges.
We adopted both cats through Meridian Feral and Homeless Kitties in Meridian Mississippi, a Facebook group whose lead organizer provided us with detailed papers listing which vaccines and medications they had taken and when, suggestions on when to visit the vet for more preventative treatments and other information. I would recommend this organization for prospective pet owners willing to drive to Meridian, Miss.
I grew up with cats in my home, but I had never owned pets myself. I had forgotten that animal companionship can lift one’s spirits, even if the pets in question can sometimes be ornery. While I may have to lift Opal or Maeve off my keyboard from time to time, their presence makes my apartment feel more lively even when my partner is at work. My cabin fever has diminished, and I owe it to these little furballs.
Anyone who also works remotely in empty homes may want to consider pet ownership to alleviate their own restlessness. As it turns out, affectionate critters can be a boon to one’s mental health!
If you would like to help ensure my pets—and those owned by other members of the MFP team—receive food, up-to-date veterinary care and maybe even the occasional toy, consider donating to our newsroom.
Have a great December, everyone!
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