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The price is too high
May 22, 2020
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by Ivan Raconteur

I have been working from home for the past month or so.

There are some positive parts of this, and a few negatives.

One inescapable fact is that during this period, especially early on when my mobility was extremely limited, I spent more time with cats than people.

This provided ample time for observation.

I wouldn’t want to give the impression that I am jealous of the cats, but I did engage in some fairly detailed comparison of their situation versus my own.

The first thing I noticed is that cats seem to have an almost idyllic schedule. Their routine follows a predictable pattern from day to day.

They experience a brief burst of energy about the time I am having breakfast and watching the morning news. Often this involves chasing one another around the house, running up and down the stairs, and swinging from the curtains. This allows them to stretch their legs and get a good dose of oxygen.

When I switch off the TV and sit down at my desk to start work, this signals nap time to the cats. They find a good place to curl up, often in the basket near my feet.

About mid morning, they get up and stretch, and maybe wander into the kitchen for a snack. This done, they move to the back of the sofa to look out the window until they doze off again until lunch time.

The cycle is repeated a few times throughout the day. Their other peak periods of energy include the time I would normally be getting home from the office, and again at 10 p.m. They really whoop it up in the middle of the night, which leads me to wonder what they have gotten into. I suppose it is easy to party all night long when you have the luxury of half a dozen naps scheduled during the day.

The biggest change I observed during this period is that the cats move their location throughout the day to take advantage of the sunniest spots or the windows with the most entertaining views.

Based on schedule alone, I’d be willing to change places with the cats in a minute.

Being a dedicated researcher, though, I looked at other factors.

Some people would find a cat’s life boring, but they seem to get enough interaction, and frankly, those of us who are naturally antisocial wouldn’t mind the limited contact with other people.

Next, I looked at diet. With some notable exceptions, most cats have a fairly limited diet. I considered this. Although I enjoy a varied menu, I might be able to get used to a repetitive diet. For example, if I was forced to have Sammy’s Pizza for dinner every day, I don’t think I would consider that a hardship.

Then, it dawned on me. As I was observing the cats, I was reminded that, unless they get into trouble, cats don’t take showers. Their only means of cleaning themselves is to use their own tongue. That was the deal breaker. I could put up with a lot, but even if I was that flexible, there is no way I’d be willing to wash myself with my tongue.

The cats can keep their perfect schedule and impressive freedom. When you throw in bath time, it’s just not worth it.


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