Subourbon Mom

Birds, Cats Help Beat COVID Fatigue
March 2, 2021, 9:56 pm
Filed under: Misc. Humor | Tags: , , , , ,

Many of us are suffering from various forms of COVID Fatigue. For a lot of us, part of COVID Fatigue is “Zoom Fatigue,” or being tired after a day of zoom calls because our brains aren’t wired to see only part of the person to whom we are speaking. There are a zillion tiny body cues that we miss on zoom calls because we can only see the person’s face, leaving our brains working overtime trying to fill in the blanks.

One of my methods for dealing COVID Fatigue it is by watching TikTok – before bed, waiting for my lunch to cook, sometimes in the bathtub. TikTok, for some reason, has decided I need more cat videos in my life. (By the way, if you haven’t seen the video of the lawyer who accidentally used a cat filter and couldn’t remove it, I have provided this gem of cinematography below).

I don’t even like cats, but TikTok lets me belly laugh at cats falling off stuff, being given baths and otherwise being generally being humiliated.

Apparently, cats can get COVID Fatigue and need to relax, too.

For a while it was cute having my 17-year-old cat Izzy constantly jumping in my lap and trying to do all the things I do. My co-workers didn’t seem to mind seeing her tail wave back and forth on video.

Why don’t you just lock the door to your office, you ask? Because she sits outside and HOWLS, or sticks her little orange paw under the door, grabs hold and shakes it. It’s like living with a toddler all over again.

Enter cat videos and the BIRD BONANZA. Some people (yes, on TikTok) have solved the cat attention problem by setting up an old computer or iPad and playing bird videos for their cat. The theory is that if the cat wants to do what you’re doing, let them. I decided to give it a try.

When you Google videos for cats, there are A LOT of them. I had no idea there were so many bird voyeurs. The video I use is called BIRD BONANZA, and it’s 8 hours long. (You have to say BIRD BONANZA in your best, super loud and deep announcer voice because anything with the word BONANZA deserves it). The video consists of a variety of birds landing, feeding and flying away from this one particular woodland stump. So, I set up an old computer on the file cabinet next to my desk, hit “Play” and placed Izzy in front of it.

The first time Izzy watched it, she amazed. I was amazed.

It’s cat porn.

For over an hour Izzy sat and watched birds flitting about and chirping, trying to figure out where they went when they flew off screen. She made weird, gutteral noises and purred, and looked very happy.

All of that made me uncomfortable.

But even cats get Zoom Fatigue, I guess. Eventually her little brain got tired of only hearing half the bird conversations and seeing them fly off…to nowhere. It was time to take a cat nap.

The sad thing is….I couldn’t turn it off. That video is weirdly soothing, and now I have it on all the time, whether Izzy’s in the room or not. The only down side is that sometimes I have to explain that the occasional loud chirp is my BIRD BONANZA.

I used to be annoyed at the algorithms that put all those stupid cat videos in my TikTok feed, but without those videos I wouldn’t have laughed until I cried watching the lawyer cat video and I wouldn’t have discovered the soothing sounds of birds on a stump. Relief can come from surprising places.

What do you do to relax that you never saw coming?

Birds on a Budget

Every now and then Hubby and I have a Come-To-Jesus meeting about our budget, where we both agree we eat meals out too often, among the other things we spend too much money on. That’s an easy way to cut back. Then we promptly go out with friends to a Mexican place and have beer and margaritas.  I’m always lecturing the girls on not spending their money at restaurants, and to save it for something they really want—and they promptly go to a local dive called Satterwites and order breakfast. Shocker…

Come to find out, the Animal Kingdom isn’t much different than the People Kingdom in that regard. Nobody likes to eat what’s in their own house.

We (okay, really it was Hubby and friends) recently finished the back porch. I was the SOA (Sr. Outside Assistant, handling things like running to the kitchen for rum and cokes and beer).  The porch is another dream come true (seriously, I’ve been thinking about it for years—BIG points for Hubby)—and then came the opportunity to get some good karma from the Animal Kingdom, to balance out the massive amounts of fish we’d been catching and eating.  (I’m sure that someday I will come back as a catfish—that will be my punishment—in fact, I’ve already got these suspiciously long hairs around my mouth that I now have to get waxed off…seriously, getting old is so gross.)

Unfortunately, a family of wrens built their nest (complete with 3 eggs) in the stack of cushions we were storing on the porch.  By the time we got the screen done and were ready to move the whole stack outside, nest included, there were three baby wrens in the nest instead of just eggs.  What a dilemma—make birds happy, or push on with my dream of sitting bug-free on the porch.

Newsflash: I’m not a bird fan, Baltimore Orioles excepted. They creep me out—all twitchy and beady-eyed.

I spent some time trying to determine how to move the nest without dropping the babies, but finally, better people (Mom and Daughters and Niece) decided the right thing to do was to leave the nest where it was and leave the porch doors open so Mama and Daddy Bird could feed the babies and teach them how to fly. According to the internet, this takes about 2 weeks.

I was not happy to have to share my porch with my feathered friends.

So we spent the rest of the time with the doors open and citronella candles burning, watching wasps, ants, mosquitos and other creepy crawlies enjoy their new home. It was also entertaining to watch the bugs have to re-route their flight paths once the porch was enclosed in a no-fly zone–lots of smacks against the screens. Those smacking sounds were almost as satisfying as hearing a bug zapper, or hitting them with the electric for swatter.

Finally, after dodging yet another angry, Kamikaze wasp, Big Brother said, “If those birds are going to live in here with us, the least they can do is stop going out for dinner. They should eat what’s here.”

I guess even the birds need to have a Come-to-Jesus budget meeting, too.

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