I spent the entire morning sleeping, and the rest of the afternoon trying to stay awake while my conscious mind struggled to remember what day it was and to figure out the placement of the thin line that demarcated awakeness and sleep. I found myself fully awake at 7pm when my cat awoke me from my stupor with his shrill meows. I recalled I pulled myself up at 10am to feed him, but he must have downed the huge dollop of wet food quickly, that by seven he’s hungry again.
My cat has been my constant companion for several years now. He’s witnessed the ebb and flow of my life, and I may have been in a relationship with quite a few, but he seems to have been the only constant in my life that’s characterized by endless shifts.
He has not left my place since I brought him here more than a year ago, sedated. My cat can be a little springy with strangers as he’s uncomfortable with weird scents so his transfer could only be made possible by having him injected with a powerful sedative administered by his vet. My condominium proscribes owners from keeping pets other than aquarium fishes, but who will heed this rule amid the loneliness of city life?
Given that he can only move about my studio of several square meters and his inability to ruminate on the concept of freedom (I adopted him when he was still a kitten and took him with me when an ex and I had decided to part ways); I believe he is also not a very smart cat—but being his dad, I’ve long resigned to this fact because I love him unconditionally—hence I cannot imagine him capable of introspection much less question my decision to keep him in my studio, albeit all his basic needs are provided for.
It’s interesting to know how his entire day goes and maybe derive some insights on freedom from his experience. On the one hand, my cat has been indoor his entire life that the idea of roaming the streets to find food or mates is foreign to him (I am of the opinion that he is one very handsome tomcat—big, sturdy, and muscular—that he would be alpha if only he were given the chance), and on the other hand, here I am forced to stay home indefinitely because of the pandemic that’s claiming people’s lives and sanity outside. On normal days, I’d spend most of my time working then come home in the evening to be with my cat, read a little then off to bed. Even during weekends, I’m seldom home the whole day.
Now, however, my cat and I are on the same boat. And I am beginning to take cognizance of the fact that it’s tough, that it takes a certain set of personality traits to endure this successfully. To be confronted by thoughts I’ve ignored for too long and to have no one to talk to about them or to have exhausted all possible modes of distraction I was afforded before this pandemic, the four walls of my studio is now becoming an arena for a fight till the end between me and my destructive thoughts.