• authoraprilkelley1

Call Me a Cat Lady if You Want

My cats have saved my sanity during the self-isolation months

We all need other people to survive. Our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Studies have proven that humans need others. But how are we supposed to get what we need when we've isolated for so long?

I live with my husband in a big two-story house where we can not see each other all day if we choose. I need more than him to break up the monotony some days. Having pets certainly helps with more than just our entertainment. Having pets can solve some of the isolation issues you might have while staying at home.

I only have two and no other animals. We used to have a farm full: chickens, ducks, way more cats, and a few goats. But since I started writing full time, I found it challenging to keep up with farming and working from home as a writer. Often, my children would yell, "Mom, can you feed the animals" as they headed out the door to catch their rides to school. Their excuses usually involved time management. My opinion: they didn't want to take the time to do their chores. I can write a how-to on sustainable living on a relatively small plot of land. Been there and done that.

Anyway, we have two cats now, and that's it. Our cat, Bubby, was my son's best friend. We rescued him from my mother's chicken coop when he magically appeared. My mom found him snuggled up to a hen sitting on eggs.

My son took one look at him and knew it was meant to be. And maybe he needed the emotional support an animal can provide. At the time, he was in high school. Bubby gave him the support he needed at one of the toughest times in a kid's life.

Since Bubby became part of our family, my son has graduated high school and joined the US Navy. He's learning all kinds of things he can't talk about, even to me. But I can say he's a submariner and will often be deployed for months at a time, so Bubby is pretty much ours now.

Our other cat, Tiny, doesn't have as a dramatic of an entrance into our lives. My friend's cat had kittens, which were too cute to resist, so the hellcat that his Tiny is now part of our family. I say hellcat because he lives for no other reason than to play. For two middle-aged adult humans, he can sometimes be a lot.

Or he was when we were both leaving the house every day. Now he's just what we need to survive the world crisis. They both are.

Zoom, Skype, the telephone, or whatever communicative platform you might use will only get you so far before the need for human contact takes over your entire being.

Simply scrolling through Facebook or any other social media platform for that matter can be a lesson in what triggers panic attacks sometimes. Every other article is about the pandemic or the next crisis. And yeah, I like to inform myself. I am a citizen of this world after all, and knowing the problem is a step closer to being part of the solution, which is something I strive for daily, despite my limitations.

Sometimes a little goes a long way, so I don't need to read one hundred peoples' opinions on one particular part of whatever current crisis we're facing. With so much going on at the moment, it's hard to figure out what we need to know to help. It's all one big growing ball of stress. Our pets keep things simple when the rest of the world is falling apart.

Bubby wants to cuddle.

Tiny wants to play.


Since the pandemic has hit, they're a blessing I wouldn't give up for anything. It sounds crazy to think two cats can have that much of an impact on someone's life, but they do.

April Kelley is an author of LGBTQ+ Romance. Her works include The Journey of Jimini Renn, which was a Rainbow Awards finalist, Whispers of Home, the Saint Lakes series, and over thirty more. She's a main contributor at Once and Books. If you'd like to know more about her work, visit her website and sign up for her newsletter https://www.authoraprilkelley.com/.

Pickleville #3 is now available