No Cattitude Here! This is a genuine letter from our beloved Siamese, Prince Waffles the Cat – The Original Slinky Cat – to Hoomans everywhere about how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting him and Slinky Cats all around the globe whilst we co-exist like never before.
Tomorrow, March 28th, 2020 is RESPECT YOUR CAT DAY. It’s one of many National Days to celebrate the purrbabies in your life. But this year, Respect Your Cat Day is even more important than ever!!! That’s why I’m writing to you TODAY, so you can get prepared for TOMORROW. As in NOW!
Respect Your Cat Day 2020 goes well beyond just showering us fabulous felines with love, extra pets, and treats as in years gone by. In 2020 more R.E.S.P.E.C.T is in order.I have to tell you, our lives as cats were turned upside down about two weeks ago. I mean, what the heck, our hoomans and the children of the house are HOME. Not just home, I mean like all day home. MEOWZA!!!
To boot, they all have the ZOOMIES! They don’t know what to do so they just run around the house and get in my way. I am living on any ledge daily so as to not get trampled by my hoomans.
I know I speak for the Slinky Cats of the world, “We need a break”. We are creatures of habit. Our routines matter to us. Not to mention, we are mindfulness masters and intuitive empaths so all this stressful energy is freaking us out! In fact, last night I slept from 6-9pm and missed dinner. That is so NOT me!!! In the olden days, my 1st catnap started by 9am – but now a quiet house all to myself is a thing of the past.
As for my sister, Princess Heart Misti, well, I’m worried about her too. She is stationing in place, loafing all the time. We used to roughhouse and have fun when we had the house to ourselves. Now, it’s all different. So, where your world has SLOWED way down, ours has gotten busy, out-of-this-world busy.
So let’s get back to tomorrow. What does it mean to RESPECT YOUR CAT in this new era? How can I help you help us in this time of dire need?
R. – Rest when we rest. That would be ideal. Take our lead here, we are experts at catnapping. With the world on hold you may have time to finally join us for a bonafide catnap. IF you can’t do so then make us a new REST SPOT that is out of your way or up high on top of a dresser. Sunshine preferred, ocean breeze, or the purrfect view of birds in trees will suffice too. Nothing fancy, a blanket works great too. Just a new (aka – another) space to claim as our own.
E. – Enrichment – A buzzword that’s all over the place especially for your new homeschooling gig. Just like children, us Slinky Cats need to be mentally stimulated. Especially when there are so many new distractions. A bored kitty is a naughty kitty. I know that about now, you are surprisingly thinking that Cats and Children have a lot in common. So this idea is a WIN WIN. Please, I beg you; add Cat Enrichment Activities and Toys to your child’s Creativity Hour, PE Elective or Science Studies. We both need to keep our minds busy and off of technology (unless you are making a lego robot cat toy, that would be the cat’s meow!). When your creativity is inspired, remember we are hunters who love to use all of our senses. I for one am easily distracted, engaged, enriched, and often frisky for the opportunity to figure out a new toy or activity. Especially when treats are involved. Here are some purrtacular Enrichment ideas:
- Inspire my prey drive: Hide small dishes of kibble around the house for me to find (this should be taken from my daily portion of food, no extra kibble please – my physique is handsome as is)
- Extra brown paper bags on hand? Put a few treats inside, close it up, hide it or toss it to me and let me figure out how to get it open to get the treats out. Don’t worry, if I eat a bit of the bag, it’ll pass!
- Hide a bouncy ball in a Pasta Box. Cut out the plastic piece that shows the pasta, drop a bouncy ball inside, and duct tape the top. Game on!
- Bring a part of the outside in. A twig to smell, a brick or paver to rub and scratch on.
- Learn to train your feline to give a hi-five just like I do. (Insert: youtube link or photo of me hi-5ing)
S. – Spend quality time with us. We are loyal companions, although we may have Cattitude on occasion, we also crave and thrive for your attention. It’s safe to say that goes both ways. So, when you’re on your computer or your yoga mat and we come to see what’s up, take a break, grab a brush and spend ten minutes only focused on us. Do that baby talk thing that you do. I’ll purr and we’ll all purr. Think of it as a Refresh Set that both of us will equally enjoy.
P. – Play more often. Especially in tense times when everyone is underfoot and focused on that noise maker TV and CellPhone beeps that just do not stop!!! Put down the technology, pick up the feather wand, or better yet have your homeschooler’s make a new one. Interactive Play brings out the best in us and satisfies our instinctive prey drive. It’s good for our hearts and minds. We get great exercise and you get tons of giggles and possibly the next viral video.
E. – Eat Together. Just because I learned to Meow every time you go near the kitchen, doesn’t mean you should feed me ten times a day now that you are home too. Us cool cats are highly intelligent creatures who know a thing or two about getting what we want when we want it. We can be very purrsuasive. But we also love routines, and can easily be redirected out of the kitchen with a laser or our favorite toy. You hoomans are still in control of serving our meals on a platter. As part of your fur family let’s eat together for breakfast and dinner. And be sure to not overfeed us or give us table scraps. (https://feline-nutrition.org/) We love treats as much as you may be loving ice cream or wine about now. ‘The everything in moderation rule’ is still a good one even when the world may feel upside down for both of us.
C. – Care for me in all ways that you can. No kitten around here; cat emergency preparedness is a thing. A good thing. (https://www.sdhumane.org/about-us/news-center/emergency-updates/emergency-plan.html) Vets may be working virtually or on reduced hours, and I’ve heard my hoomans talk about lack of pet food and even litter. So having a plan for us too makes you a smarty cat. For the most part we only need the essentials – good food, fresh water daily, and a clean litter box. Litter running low? I get it. That’s stressful. Its’ not ideal, but you can ration it. My cat mom is a master at litter rationing, she uses barely two cups of litter and cleans it as soon as I poop. But that’s mostly for the smell of it and during these tough times she has forbidden me to pull the toilet paper down to cover it as usual. Which makes me feel incomplete, but like I’m doing my part to get us thru the TP shortage.
T. – Treasure me furrever. I love my cat family unconditionally and know they think the world of me. I’ve heard them talk about me. In fact, my cat mom not only talks to me, she talks about me, and other cats – like all the time, she’s a fine lady, but kind of a crazy. I’ve also heard her worry about many things while she’s been home all day. Someone asked her if I can carry the COVID-19 virus. I can’t by-the-way, but felines do face similar viruses with similar names. FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis) (https://www.zenbycat.org/faq) is known as the kitty coronavirus and it too can be deadly for us, but it isn’t contagious to the hoomanswe adore. So we get it, we feel you and your emotions literally. While I pretend to be sleeping on her desk, I listen to her tell her friends that staying inside and staying healthy is a must. Knowing the facts about the virus is important (www.cdc.gov/coronavirus), keeping up personal hygiene is a essential (check that one off our list – our butts are always clean) but having the courage to ask for help for yourself and the cats you love during this time is more important. I don’t doubt my cat mom would be there for you too, that’s her thing. She knows a lot about animal resources that are ready and willing to help keep us together furrever, especially in unprecedented times that we’ve never seen in even throughout our 9 lives.
“We are all in this together” for the long haul of this historical COVID-19 forced family staycation. A necessary staycation giving hoomans everywhere an opportunity to stop, rest, relax and R.E.S.P.E.C.T. their cats not just tomorrow but everyday. We will all be feline fine on the other side of tomorrow. Please ask your cats to share their special day with all of us, @slinkycatathome!
Peace & Love & Meows,
Prince Waffles the Cat
Prince Waffles The Cat – The Original Slinky Cat; is a 3 year old Siamese Rescue Cat who is used to staying in, but also enjoys strolling in his shark stroller as the ocean breeze hits his whiskers. You may find him at the park above Moonlight Beach, Encinitas, or looking at the Koi Fish at the Shops at the Forum in Carlsbad. Be sure to show him some love and respect when you see him.