Becoming a Queer Single Cat Mom in Covid

by Lucy Gervais
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covid cat

By Lucy Gervais

My name is Lucy and I indulge in the lower-middle class luxury of living alone, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Before living on my own, I cohabitated with partners, parents and, at one point, six roommates (love you guys). Now, however, 100% of the cooking, cleaning, and bill paying falls into my lap. And that suits me fine.

If you’ve lived by yourself, you understand the joys: You can have friends over; you can not have friends over. You can have a date over, several people for group sex over, or absolutely no one over. Your home is an oyster, and you are the pearl. All the stuff in the place if yours, and no one is double dipping into your wine at 4am except for your own degenerate ass. Being able to manspread in your underwear on the couch, watching Contrapoints and ignoring your phone is a dream come true for some of us (me.)

The peace and solace that comes with having one’s own place has few downsides… that is, until a pandemic hits. Then things get a little downside-ier.

Perhaps your walls start to close in, your wonky wardrobe gets dustier as your pyjamas wear thin from over-use, and you decide that you don’t care if it’s crazy to talk to yourself out loud. Trips to the grocery store may become the highlight of your social life as cashiers are the only people who hear your human voice in person (a very one-sided relationship you’ll find). You’ve been drunk on Zoom chats so many times that you forget that they used to be for pitch meetings.

And this is why so many single-dwellers suddenly remembered that they’ve been meaning to adopt a pet for a while now. I, dear readers, am no different. But which pet should I adopt?

Dogs are tricky when you live in a small apartment and might become difficult to walk once work starts up again.

Fish? Cleaning that tank can be a real pain and there isn’t much affection you can get in return (I wanna pet something on the face.)

Rodents are great pets… for other people. Rats and ferrets are loving companions, but I have a small space and a VERY sensitive sense of smell. If you love rodents, you have to be ok with their signature scent (in small doses, yes, I can do it. But not all the time in my home.)

My ideal home companion? A kitty cat because they give affection, and they don’t need to be taken outside to avoid risking bowel related messes. Not to mention, my apartment, even with the above mentioned covid-related downsides, is my little chunk of paradise. There is at least one feather boa on the wall, many pieces of home-made ‘art’, and a lightbox which reads ‘HOT FEMMES P@RTY.” Many people will likely read this as ‘weirdo’ apartment, however the artistic direction this home looks to achieve is a ‘queer weirdo’ apartment. This witchy home is the perfect place for a cat.

Plus, cats are free, right? And there’s tons of them looking for homes. I bet I’ll have a cat tomorrow! Maybe in like 45 minutes give me a cat already.

Well, it turns out, there is no such thing as a free cat. Kittens need vet care, SPCA and rescue cats have adoption fees.

Adopting a cat to keep me company turned out to be more of a pain in the ass than I thought. I found out that rescues and people looking to home cats are more likely to give a cat to a family or a couple, much like agencies do when adopting out children. I had a lady inspect my apartment and loudly GASP when she noticed my window screens were a little loose. I really did feel I might get burned at the stake for that one. Was I really going to be gatekept from my career as a crazy cat lady?

Once dealing with overzealous pet people was over, and I had an actual other being in my place, I took a breath of air and gave my little buddy some well-deserved snacks. We played, snuggled, I gave him pets, and then we slept at the exact same time uninterrupted. PSYCH!!!

I get woken up at 2am with the rowdy cat equivalent of a brass orchestra. All those little chachkis I’ve been collecting and arranging on shelves are now paw bait. It’s fun cleaning up my cup of pens once a week, that I keep next to my laptop which is his favourite place to stand.

It suddenly feels like I’m in the process of obtaining and raising a human child again. If you decided to adopt a cat, have fun googling how to tire your nocturnal cat baby out so you can sleep. Hint: a lot of the solutions involve rearranging your place to accommodate your new roommate. Your roommate who doesn’t pay rent, who’s poop you scoop and food you’ll remember you need buy while he lightly bites the side of your foot…

My name is Lucy and I indulge in the lower-middle class luxury of living with a cat, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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