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Because We Aren't Cats ...

By Teresa MI Schaefer, PHD

Because we aren’t cats,

… we can’t spray the leg of the couch to communicate with our housemates.

… we can’t simply scratch up the litter in a nice box and toilet without tissue.

… we can’t curl up in the sunshine and sleep all day.

… we can’t wash our face, paws, or privates with our tongue.

… we can’t pretend like we don’t care if we see people or not; or, conversely rub up on the legs of strangers.

… we can’t knock everything off the table, counter, dresser without having to pick it back up.

… we can’t swat others when we are mad, scared, or playing.

… we can’t climb into a box and pretend the world pandemic doesn’t exist.

Because we are humans,

… we need to use our words to speak our needs and our ears to hear the needs of others. We need to take the time to talk with one another.

… we need to recognize that toilet tissue is a commodity needed by all. We need to access what we need, while recognizing this resource as one needed by many.

… we need to remain active, practice good sleep hygiene, and get out in the sun. Being outside recreating in open spaces or working in the yard will be good for us.

… we must increase our usual practices of washing our hands, our bodies, and our clothes. Recommendations include washing your hands every twenty minutes with soapy water, after toileting or touching any metal surface, and before eating. And, keep your paws off your face.

… we need social contact. Think of social distancing as physical distancing. Keep physical distance, but call, write, text, email, FaceTime, snap, tweet– connect with one another.

…we must recognize that there are consequences to all our choices and need to choose wisely. Use trusted sources of information for your decision making.

… we must recognize that emotions are running deep right now and that we must manage these with the greatest of care – both our own and those of others.

… we must recognize that while our vulnerabilities are different, COVID-19 does not know age, gender, race, religion, or financial standing.

Because we aren’t cats, we don’t have nine lives. We are humans. We have one life—each of us.

Wash. Write. Share. Be wise. Be well.


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