I’ve been going to graduate school for my health professional program for over three months, and it is kicking my behind like nothing I’ve ever done before. I am on campus for over 12 hours every weekday and sometimes just that long or for a couple of hours on the weekend. If I’m not on campus, then I’m at home studying there (or asleep). What this means for me is that I barely have much of a personal life because I’m either at home (basically only to sleep!) or on campus. Sometimes, I don’t even have time to do my errands like shopping for groceries. Good thing I have a deep pantry.
With that lack of time for myself, it means there’s even more lack of time for my cat, Agent Romanoff. She’s at home all day and I know she hates the separation. As soon as I open the door, she’s meowing loudly and running to the door to greet me. I pet her as I take off my shoes before entering the carpeted section of my apartment (Asian rule: take off shoes) and she follows me through the apartment as I put down my things and get dressed into comfortable clothes, continuing to meow.
She’s a young cat and she has a ton of energy. All she wants to do is play with me, but either I’m too busy to play with her or I don’t have the energy. A cat with too much energy, but no real way to expel that energy is bad news bears for her, me, and our apartment.
To help Agent Romanoff while I’m away, I have mice toys for her to play with on her own. I also have a toy that spins a butterfly around, which Agent Romanoff loves, but it runs off of batteries, so I don’t leave it on during the day while I’m gone. Sometimes, she still plays with the butterfly when it’s not moving.
I leave a nightlight on for her because by the time I come home, it’s dark, so she always has some light. I used to leave her a movie playing with the volume turned up on my computer so she had some sounds while I was gone, but it didn’t seem to make much of a difference to her.
I can’t make my days on campus shorter, but whenever I am home, I give her as much attention as I can. I got a laser pointer so I could move it about while I read my textbook. I make sure her litter box is cleaned everyday and that her food and water bowels are fresh and full, so that isn’t an issue for her.
When I am home on the weekends, I spend a lot more time with my cat, trying to tire her out with play.
While Agent Romanoff would prefer I stay at home with her, that’s just not something I can do, so I’m continuously working to help my cat with her separation anxiety.
What do you do when you’re gone for hours away from your cat?