The COVID-19 Diaries: Pets

There will be a companionship blog following this regarding the human side of things but it’s impossible to leave out our furry, feathery, scaly — Any left out? — friends. Even Katey has put money down for a pup, securing one for when we can appropriately welcome him into the family. But for now, we have the Roosevelt.

Last night on the news, Syracuse native and ABC World News anchor David Muir reported what Katey and I felt was repeated news about pets and COVID-19. Cats and dogs are susceptible to acquiring the disease, and it is required that these fur buddies must social distance from their species and their owners — especially if they are affected.

Roosevelt be three in July. Five weeks from then will mark the three-years we’ve been there for each other. We’ve suffered through his intense gastro issues and room-clearing farts, worm scare, and adjusting to a variety of living situations. This does include his latest adventure up to camp.

That following October, I met Katey. December finalized the decision and investment of a century, moving into an actual house. A year and a half of adventure later led to a proposal, her saying yes, and then COVID-19 hits.

I’m incredibly grateful to have Katey in my life since it makes this global situation easier to swallow. Yes, I’m privileged to have my family but we’re all distancing.

Companionship is critical. Having friends in close technological proximity is important. If need be, meet up but stay and exceed the required six-foot separation. If you need assistance, please feel free to reference this list. I know there are more resources, but this is a start:

Look at how damn cute Roosevelt was.

As stated in my last post, Roosevelt has adjusted to a simpler life. Although a three-room cabin could be confining for him, his routines have not changed. He gets fed mornings and evenings. There are toys —he loves the bullring game as well — and catnip to encourage excitement. The number and size of windows are perfect for him to look through without needing to jump on tables and counters — a great thing. He stares at birds and squirrels as if they are the COVID-19 delivery orders that consistently run away. The two bedrooms are his jungle gym — jumping bed-to-bed, leaping over half-partitions, and balancing across narrow lips of wood.

The mice that dwell beneath and within the cabin now have a giant, dark monster to fear. Unbeknownst to the elusive rodents, Roosevelt’s monster equivalent is that of Sweetums. There has been little commotion during the evening hours to our surprise. We don’t wake up to see tables upturned, fallen chairs, broken glass, emptied bourbon bottles, or cigarette ash. One night he must have been chasing a mouse because we heard a crash near the stove. The light, which isn’t securely fastened, fell and that could have simply been it; however, something probably provoked the Rube Goldberg disaster.

Roosevelt caught his first rodent. He came from the darkened left bedroom with his tail raised higher than normal. It was like his but was floating and he was walking on his front paws. His congenital stray cat strut was brought out, exciting audiences equally to Michael Jackson’s Moonwalk.

The squeaker appeared lifeless in Roosevelt’s mouth, and we praised the cat. When he dropped the scared shitless mouse by our feet it bolted.

Roosevelt clearly wanted to be friends. He proved that he didn’t know what to do with the mouse. The mouse’s heartbeat was proabably felt through the cat’s fangs, so it was clearly a living toy. No batteries needed. Roosevelt loves to chase and fetch, and the remainder of the evening was spent hunting the Micky’s cousin down again.

Roosevelt is a sweet boy and cuddle monster. Don’t let the amiable personality fool you — he’s naturally Machiavellian. Perhaps more so than the average cat.

He’s great with other animals even though most animals he’s interacted with, mostly cats, are intimidated by his presence. He loves attention, for certain, and is incredibly verbal.

He greets me in the morning with a “Hi-O!” sound and immediately breaks into a monologue about how starving he is. When breakfast and dinner, his or our own, the nosy feline stretches up and puts his paws on the counter, lifting his head enough to see what is going on, if we’re going to be feeding him sooner than later.

His accent is still to be determined.

Food is Roosevelt’s middle name, probably. He sits at attention by his bowl when we go into the kitchen. Even when we stand up or return home from any place. It’s as if he knows what a grocery bag is — things he likes to try and crawl into.

As frustrating as he can be at times, the attitudes with the occasional furniture scratch, Roosevelt is a stress reliever like most pets are. There is plenty of research and articles about animals and their ability to relax a human. They’re nothing but fur and love, and the love and respect should be reciprocated.

(Even though we do accidentally step on him.)

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