Norm in the Time of Covid

Fears, doubts, anxiety, loss… 2020 is not a year I’d prefer to re-live. Back when COVID-19 turned our world upside down, and it seemed we were experiencing A Westworld of Our Own, I wrote:

I think that is what I am grieving now – for the person I once was and for the possibility I once envisioned for myself. That person cannot exist in 2020. She is gone.

It is true. The person I had hoped to be in 2020 never was. But the person who came out of 2020 was a lot more whole than I gave her credit for. And that is because of people like you – family, friends, and peers.

I came out of one of the loneliest months of the year joyful and hopeful. I learned that I often feel lonelier in a crowd than I ever do alone. Routine saved my sanity. And so I start 2021 feeling loved and supported.

That was my year. Norm, my eight-year-old black and brown tabby, has his own recap.


Another day. Another Doug.


The Big Dumb Cat thinks a cardboard box of sponge-y soccer balls and hair ties will help me forget my cone-filled trauma of 2019. I have one word for her: FOOD.


Not sure how I feel about the Big Dumb Cat being home all the time. I mean she hasn’t left the apartment in eight days and has been obsessively cleaning. I like to keep things tidy but there is a fine line between order and insanity. Though I do like to make kitten paw prints on the wet hardwood. She doesn’t seem as amused.


Lunch is a rare treat. Seven days a week is a true gift. Apparently, the Big Dumb Cat is in “quarantine.” It’s only been a month. I’m currently on Day 1,905 of cat quarantine. You learn to make the most of it.


I deem this the Year of Reverie (or at least that is what I told the Big Dumb Cat, mainly so she’ll quit bothering me and I can catch up some zzz’s).


Okay, I guess the Big Dumb Cat is having a tough year. She’s stopped playing with me altogether. I’m not sure I like this new companion called “the puzzle.” Little does it know chewing cardboard is my favorite way to manage stress. Hee hee hee.


Every day the Big Dumb Cat stacks wrist bands on the table next to my hammock – one of the many reasons I gave up on my prison escape plan years ago. And every day, I knock them off. Big Dumb Cat = 0, Norm the Cat = 177.


When you’re forced to spend 24/7 with a partner you didn’t choose, sometimes you have to get creative to find some “me time.”

Forced dancing. Enough said.

New toys.

Okay, I guess August wasn’t so bad.


A tip to staying fit: daily competitions with the litter robot. One day I will prevail.


A night with Froedrick and Eegor.

I also got to achieve a lifelong dream of being Scar for Halloween. He’s my spirit animal.


The Big Dumb Cat put me on a diet (I think I’m beautiful just the way I am). And once a week, I have to fast for 12 hours, then swallow two oral pills coated in butter (with only a syringe full of water as my friend), and fast another two hours, all to get my calcium levels down. I’d like to say I have it good but it really sucks being a cat sometimes.

But an old friend came to visit. And for a week, I got my own air mattress. It was pure bliss.

Oh, and I turned eight. But who’s really counting?


I got to spend the holidays with the Big Dumb Cat this year. As much as I complain, I really miss her when she’s gone, so I guess for this month, and this month only, I can refer to her as the Big Loving Cat.

She did give me my own wrapping station, after all.

So long 2020.



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