Have you ever wondered what your pets are up to while you are away? Obviously some of you have or else there wouldn’t be such a market for pet cameras in a variety of models from basic surveillance to interactive treat shooter, or how about the millions some of y’all have given to animated movie studios to watch unsupervised domesticated animals with cliche personalities speaking cliche dialog.
Admit it, while we are away, we enjoy imagining our pets having adventures or living the high life based on the personality we assign them. Once upon a time, I had convinced myself that Mr. Tiddles (may he rest in peace) was dealing drugs from our apartment behind my back. Even my husband used to claim that his favorite cat, Elvis, fought crime while we desk jockeyed under fluorescent lighting in our corporate cubicles (but now Elvis is old and his crime fighting unitard has been retired to the attic).
Because of the pandemic, I have been working from home since March 23, 2020. Not having to go into the office, I learned a lot about my home and my neighborhood:
- Around 9:30 am every other day, a homeless man walks by on his way to Walgreens for some panhandling,
- The neighbors two houses down come and go from their home with suspicious frequency,
- The guest bedroom becomes intolerably hot by 11 am because of how the sun hits the window at that time of day, and
- Our cats waste their days by not doing a damn thing.
Expanding on the last bullet above, it’s embarrassing how little these heathens accomplish with their free time. There’s no crime fighting. There’s no drug dealing. There’s no mystery solving or game playing or secret parties. They just lounge around, hanging from the furniture like cheap, discarded fur stoles and splaying on the floor like road kill. I’ve experienced more excitement standing in a nursing home lobby while high on Xanax.
Then again, maybe they do have their secret daily routines. Maybe it’s because I am home during the day. Maybe they want to keep their activities a secret. At least that’s what I’ll continue to believe because it would be disheartening to learn that Damien doesn’t spend his days rehearsing with the Memphis Symphony Orchestra like I imagine (trombone, third chair, ridiculously good for having such short arms) or that Predator Face wasn’t the boss for the ruthless Crinkle Toy Mafia. Maybe they’re just waiting for time alone so they can be free to be what I imagine them to be. I know sometimes I do.