Inspired by A Cup Of Jo’s series on juggling work and motherhood, I want to share how I balance work and cat motherhood. You see, I’ve been a copywriter for 4 years and a cat mom for most of those years, too. Dealing with the antics of an 8-9 year old cat (Corey was adopted) and the trials and tribulations of writing and writing well, there are a lot of reminders that, no, I can’t have it all, but it is worth it.
1. What’s my work schedule?
I wake up a good hour and a half before my husband does, so I’m on breakfast duty. After hydrating with a glass of water (moms have to take care of themselves to be able to take care of their cats, right?) I get Corey’s breakfast ready. Corey eagerly awaits his breakfast, walking around his food dish and walking around the kitchen, but once he has it, he pretty much eats it and then chills out under the coffee table. Then, I get myself ready for the work day. I say goodbye to my husband and Corey and I’m off to work. From 7am to 3:30pm, I’m at work. I do have an hour-long commute, so I like to listen to audio books along the ride. When I get home (on good days at 4:30pm), I feed Corey. It’s pretty much the same routine as breakfast, only there’s daylight. Then it’s exercise, dinner and prepping lunches for the next day.
2. How do I handle catcare?
Well, my husband or I are usually up/at home to feed Corey at his regularly scheduled times. (Routine is important for the well-being of cats.) Sometimes when we go out to see a movie or get together with friends and we know we won’t be back in time to feed Corey dinner, we’ll feed him before we leave. Even if it’s 2pm, he acts like he hasn’t eaten in 3 days and munches down on his food right away. On the occasion that we go out of town, we have an automatic feeder/waterer that we set up. And, we usually have family come over and check on Corey once or twice, depending on how many days we’re gone for.
3. When do I typically hang out with my cat?
Corey and I always have breakfast together—except on the weekends when I’ll get up once he scratches at our door to feed him and then go back to bed (I must sleep in). But, there’s always the nightly ritual of “pet time.” This is when either I or my husband will spend 20 minutes petting Corey. We know it’s important for his socialization to have this one-on-one time and plus we love rubbing his flabby belly.
4. What do I like best about my current setup?
I like coming home to a cat. When I’m having one of those weeks at work where I feel like I’m accomplishing nothing, I scroll through my iPhone pictures and look at a few of Corey. When I see those big, curious yellow-green eyes, I know I’m doing it all for him and I know he’ll grow up to be a better cat for it.
5. How do I and my husband fit our marriage into the balance?
We both love Corey, but we love each other more. We’d never mistreat Corey, or any other cat, but sometimes you have to put out the auto-feeder and take a long weekend to reignite the romance!
6. Do I have time for myself?
I’ll never have as much as I want! But, I take it where I can get it—like my long commutes that I use to catch up on books via audio books. Throughout the day I find little 5 minute snippets of time just to breathe and be alone.
7. Any advice for new cat moms?
Take it slow! Don’t become overwhelmed by everything. Rome wasn’t built in a day and cats surely weren’t raised in a day. Do the best you can each day and try to do better the next. In the end, I think our cats will come to understand and appreciate our sacrifices and love for them.