Everything My Cat Taught Me About Being Alone
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Everything My Cat Taught Me About Being Alone

If a picture is worth 1,000 words, then a "meow" is worth 1,001.

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Everything My Cat Taught Me About Being Alone
Photo by Davis Purtell

For all intents and purposes, my cat is my best friend. She's the one constant in my life, always there to celebrate the highs, and always there to commiserate the lows.

Lately, her and I have been doing a lot more commiserating. Just like everyone else (well, mostly everyone else), I miss my friends, I miss regular school, and most of all, I miss the simple joy that comes from sharing the sanctity of life with other people.

This fact of existence — the skill of being alone — is something that we, as humans, are inherently bad at. As social animals, we thrive off the energy we get from interpersonal relationships. But to most people, being alone is just a temporary suffering that takes place between dates, parties, and kickbacks. Now that the country is under quarantine however, no one knows the next time you'll be able to go to another party or have a kickback with the boys. While the suffering is still temporary, it inches its way towards feeling like permanence every day.

This thought brings me back to my cat. She's always alone. In fact, I think the last time she was with another cat was the day we took her home about four years ago. She's never had the luxury of looking forward to seeing her friends next Friday. She's never experienced the nervous excitement that comes from going on a first date tomorrow. She's never even had a cold one with the boys. All things considered though, she seems to be doing great.

This got me thinking: what makes her so damn good at being alone?

Run away from things that make you uncomfortable.

The nicest thing about being alone is that you are in control of everything. Anything you do and everything you consume is all up to you. Is the news making you anxious? Stop reading it. Your frozen pizza sucks? Stop eating it. My cat has mastered the art of avoiding things she doesn't like. If I'm playing my music too loud, she does what's in her own best interest and sits in another room. Whenever she does this, she makes me think of all the things people do that makes them uncomfortable, even when there's no reason to. Here in Lonely Town, you are the mayor, so go ahead and act like it.

If you need something, bitch and moan until you have it.

This is especially important if you don't have the direct power to do something for yourself. Even though she's perfect in every way, my cat simply lacks the dexterity and opposable thumbs to feed herself. So, she takes it upon herself to beg to the powers-that-be to put food in her bowl. And sometimes, while annoying, us humans need to do the same thing. You don't have to complain per se, but being vocal about your needs is a proven method of getting what you want. The worst part of being alone is feeling helpless, so take my cat's advice and do everything you can to help yourself.

Sometimes you want to be left alone, and a gentle nip is the best way to assert yourself.

The only thing that sucks more than being alone is when you just can't get away from people. My cat has perfected the art of assertion with her sharp, carnivorous teeth. If she wants to be left alone, she'll bite me (gently, without breaking skin) and I'll let her do whatever she's doing. As humans, we can do this to, albeit more elegantly. Despite this, most of us don't. We're all too worried about being liked rather than being comfortable. So, the next time your annoying friend won't go away, don't be afraid to show your teeth. Remember that as mayor of Lonely Town, you're also in charge of law enforcement.

Lastly, if all else fails, it's okay to just sleep it off.

Sleeping never killed anybody. If you're just not feeling the whole "life" thing, just find a cozy box, curl up into a little donut, and take a nap. That's what my cat does, and it's working out for her so far.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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