Early on in the pandemic, the Wall Street Journal had a piece about pets debating the lockdown in which the dog viewpoint was that humans should stay at home as long as possible while cats urged humans to leave the house already and go back to work. I grew up with dogs and we now have cats, and that absolutely rang true for me.

My three sisters who currently have dogs report that the pups have become more devoted than ever and in a couple of cases seriously codependent. But let’s face it, dogs will almost always lavish their humans with maximum love. Cats can be a different story.

Lucky for us, lockdown is intensifying Ruth & Dave’s love. I’ve mentioned that Charles Dickens quote “What greater gift than the love of a cat?” when I’ve talked about how kitty love must be earned. Turns out he was more of an accidental cat-lover, but we’ve spent two years earning Ruth & Dave’s love. And between all our COVID time together and the surprising (to them) disappearance of one of their human friends, our cat’s appreciation of us has magnified.

Lately, every morning when I come downstairs and start tidying the kitchen, I hear a persistent meow. Then I poke my head around the doorway to the basement playroom and see this:

This is Ruth, who would like me to please come downstairs with her and toss that red rope around. She particularly enjoys stalking the frayed end. She does not enjoy it when I try to throw the rope while also reading Twitter on my phone. She prefers my complete focus.

Dave, is our scaredy cat. When I’m throwing the rope for Ruth, he’ll sometimes join us to watch, but if it gets too close to him, he runs and hides. He’ll still sometimes look at us as if he expects us to attack him, but lately he has gone as far as climbing up and nestling in with us on the sofa. Ruth will meow significantly until I’ll sit next to her, and then she’ll climb into my lap. This is one of our COVID sliver linings. At our house, we welcome as much cat codependence as we can get.

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