I wasn’t always jealous of my cat.
My jealousy grew recently with my resentment of having to leave my apartment for around fourty-five hours a week not including travel time, whilst my darling cat sat around for the same amount of time, spending time to only travel for three things:
Food, Washroom, and Play.
Before landing my new job, I had it made. I had a job that allowed me to work from home, and Maverick my cat, was my only physical colleague. He didn’t accomplish much other than the three items listed above, but he did it with great determination and dedication. It was inspiring so much so that I modelled some of my habits after his.
In our house, food always came first. Well technically my food always came after his, even my first cup of coffee. Maverick was and is much more demanding than myself with his morning routine. If his routine is broken believe me, you and the neighbours will suffer; His cries and pounding on the doors will be enough to wake up all the dogs in a three block radius. If you want to maintain some peace in the morning it’s best to stick to this organized routine: first place a layer of dry food in his dish, then top it off with a dollop of wet food in the centre. It’s how he prefers it. If the wet food is not placed precisely in the centre, he will shove it to the side, which will cause it to fall out of the bowl and then inevitably be squished under your clean white socks. So pay particular attention, as he certainly expects you to. His water is much simpler but it has to be room temperature, anything other than this will upset the balance of his sensitive stomach acids and then not only will you be cleaning up wet food crushed under your sock but also smooshed finely into the living room rug after he’s left a nice soup like substance there from a binge and purge episode.
After all this consideration, he’s finally settled and it’s time for coffee! But not just any regular cup of coffee, THE cup coffee that will start your day down the glorious path called your life. If you need some guidance I did write a piece about finding the perfect cup of coffee. I highly recommend it, not because I wrote it, but because if you haven’t taken serious consideration to how you start your day with high standards and continually raise the bar, how do you expect to obtain that raise at work or your boss to take notice if you have low standards even with something as important as your coffee? You have many choices throughout your day, make the best ones you can as you never know who is watching. Note: Maverick is always watching. Literally, he is watching you now as you prepare pour over your Chemex v60. He is there at all times, right below your feet staring so intently waiting for Phase II of the morning routine.
Phase II. Now that Maverick is full and somewhat content (one can never really tell) he will demand at least one pat on the head. He is just looking for acknowledgement. Pat him on the head and then he will then go running back in forth in two directions, usually travelling from east to west inside the apartment, until he missteps embarrassingly on the kitchen tile. Recovering from his high speed four legged slide, his eyes become wide and he shakes off his clumsy fall and starts to proceed to Phase III, the washroom.
I don’t envy this part in his day. I have purchased three litter boxes for him to try. The first was to big, the second too small, and the third just right. As soon as he enters his dome like litter zone, he scratches and claws and kicks out all the fine grains of Tidy Cats 24/7 control onto the floor. Don’t panic, he still goes in the box, but you will have to take the broom when he’s not looking to place the littered litter neatly overtop his malodorous attempt to create Duchamp’s fountain. Sprinkle a little baking soda and you have just created your very own urinal cake.
Now it’s time for you to eat. Of course wash your hands and then investigate the fridge. Yogurt, berries, granola are always a quick and healthy breakfast solution. Similar to Maverick and his taste, I find myself doing a layer of dry granola first, then a dollop of yogurt in the middle, I take more liberties with my food than his as I do enjoy distributing blueberries in a circular fashion around the bowl. Even Club Monaco added a little dash of colour to their brand and transitioned itself to international success. An identity crisis is perfectly normal for you or me, but for Maverick, it’s something he has never experienced or intends on experiencing.
I should also mention, Maverick developed his zen like minimalist methods well before Randi Zuckerberg published ‘Pick Three: (You Can Have It All Just Not Every Day)’. In her New York Times best selling business how to and self help guide she outlines the key to success is just picking three: Work, Sleep, Fitness, Friends, Family. That’s technically five and if you add eating – six, and drinking – seven, you can see how quickly life can become more complicated and lopsided in comparison of Maverick and his minimalist methodology. Even the lotto has a pick three and if you’re a person that loves numbers, the odds of picking three and winning are much greater than picking seven.
After reading this I hope you can see why I try to model my life after that of my cat and after close observation, I realize that perhaps he is the wisest one in the household. He is more mindful even in choosing to see jealousy as a wasted emotion. He does not get jealous as he is not insecure. He knows exactly what he wants, how he wants it, and when. His standards are high and he will not lower them even for me. So for fourty-five hours a week I work for him.