I love routines. During my day, routines help me feel as if I’ve actually gotten something done and contributed to the world. This makes me happy. But very often, my cats seem determined to disrupt my daily routines. Sometimes this is annoying, but in retrospect it might be a very good thing. Perhaps it teaches me to be more flexible and not get so attached to the outcome that I want. Hmm …
Here are my routines that my cats LOVE to disrupt:
When I wake up, the first thing I usually love to do is have a cup of coffee or tea, and check my email. The cats have other ideas. They haven’t been fed since about 5 p.m. the previous day. That’s a long time to go without food! So, they all do their best to let me know that they are Very Hungry, and that perhaps my surfing could wait. In a very unsubtle way, they crowd me at my laptop and make it difficult to type. They position themselves between me and the coffee cup, and make me have to worry about whether that cup and its contents might end up on the floor.
But do I really need to start my day with surfing? Maybe my cats have a good lesson for me here. I have to cherish the moments I have with my cats, even if the task is as mundane as feeding time (mundane to me, not them). So I get up, leave the computer (where I do spend too much of my day, I admit) and take care of the cats.
I live in a place with a long cold winter (though the New England winter is proving to be much nicer than the Minnesota winter where I used to live). I use a small “happy light” in the morning, when I have that cup of coffee, to help with the darkness of winter and the lack of sunlight. It does help — when the cats don’t block it, that is.
Why is it that cats love whatever we focus on? If I am looking at a piece of paper, they must be right on that paper. If I am reading a newspaper, they must get between me and the newsprint. And if I am using the “happy light,” they want to be right between me and the light. Maybe they need some sun rays, too. They remind me to pet them, and love them, and pay attention to them, when I get distracted by all the other stuff of life.
I have been much better about this routine lately. But I do my workouts on a basement floor. For that reason, I roll out a yoga mat. The mat provides a little bit of bounce for my feet. However, a yoga mat is much like a cat magnet. I roll it out and a cat (usually Zorro, who loves to pose and luxuriate on the mat) suddenly occupies one-third of the mat. I don’t move him (he looks so comfortable!), so sometimes I end up with a pretty convoluted workout. I am also constantly looking over my shoulder to make sure that any jumping around doesn’t injure a cat wandering into the area.
After the workout comes yoga. Yoga mats and anything yoga related are cat magnets in this household. Strangely, the cats don’t disrupt the flow of yoga too much. It seems to relax them, too. By this time, they’ve been fed and they’re settling in for naps. I usually end my yoga with a meditation. I have had a cat crawl into my lap as I meditate — the ultimate bliss.
In this household, music is a definite cat magnet. Just last night, my husband and I were on guitars, making up a silly song about Zorro (with an easy chord progression, thank goodness, because that’s all I know how to play). We instantly had a cat audience. Maybe Zorro liked his song.
But it gets wilder when I practice piano. Kieran is up on the keys immediately, and he’s usually right where my hands need to be. He LOVES the sound of music on the piano, and he seems to get great joy out of getting in my way. I end up laughing and letting him bang around. How many cats have I had who can play the piano? Not many, though now Zorro seems to want to follow Kieran’s example.
So I guess my cats have a good reason for disrupting my little routines. While I may think the routines bring me comfort, maybe there’s a thing more important that needs to be paid attention to here — a cat’s love! After all, I can always play piano, or do yoga or have my coffee or whatever, but my cats aren’t going to be around forever, hard as it is to even think about that! So I keep learning how to be flexible, bend, and break from those routines and go with the moment.
How about you? What routines does your cat love to disrupt? Tell me in the comments!
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About Catherine Holm: Told that she is funny but doesn’t know it, accused of being an unintentional con artist by her husband, quiet, with frequent unannounced bursts into dancing liveliness, Cat Holm loves writing about, working for, and living with cats. She is the author of The Great Purr, the cat-themed memoir Driving with Cats: Ours for a Short Time, the creator of Ann Catanzaro cat fantasy story gift books, and the author of two short story collections. She loves to dance, be outside whenever possible, read, play with cats, make music, do and teach yoga, and write. Cat lives in the woods, which she loves as much as really dark chocolate, and gets regular inspiration shots along with her double espresso shots from the city.