Friday, January 29, 2016

Pumpkin's Guide to Surviving a Blizzard

Y'all really love Pumpkin. Last week's annual "Answer Your Cat's Question Day" post was enjoyed by many AND several people have  commented on how much they enjoyed her photos during the blizzard. She should probably have her own blog but she is a cat. She doesn't have thumbs, can't talk, and doesn't know how to spell. I get the appeal. Pumpkin is super cute, a little bit judge-y, and a smidgen mean. She's basically the Gretchen Wieners of the feline world.

One of my favorite thing about existing along side a cat is that I'm not really needed. As long as she has food and water, Pumpkin can basically go about her day without me. She happens to like me (or at least isn't plotting my death every second of every day) so we exist together in a positive way. We sit on the couch together. Sometimes it's on opposite sides but we're together. Occasionally she cuddles on the couch with me when I've had a bad day. She creepily hangs out in the bathroom when I'm in the shower; I try not to disrupt her when she's sleeping by moving around too much. We work.

In anticipation of the impending doom that was Snowzilla2016, I worked from home last Friday. Pumpkin was confused as to why I would be home but not spend all my time paying attention to her. Obviously, if I'm home my attention should only be directed towards her. That's how it works. However, after me being home for three additional days without an option to leave I've decided that Pumpkin is tired of me. I've been around too much. I'm annoying her. I'm interrupting her doing her cat things.

After discussing this with several friends who have cats and one who does not, I got to thinking that maybe it was because I missed something when it came to surviving last weekend's blizzard. Maybe it's not that Pumpkin is tired of me; it's that I wasn't living up to her standards when it comes to having 48 hours (Saturday-Sunday) to do nothing and two days of working from home that could have been spent being productive but also more cat-like in my use of time. That, of course, means that I'm now going to share with you the only list you'll ever need when preparing for a future blizzard. I give you:

Pumpkin's Tips for Surviving a Blizzard

Survival Tip 1: Variety is the spice of napping
Pumpkin shared last week that science is the reason that she sleeps 18 hours a day. It's true; she is a beast if she gets less than that. The key to napping this much is to vary your napping location. Pumpkin loves a sun patch but those are going to be non-existent during a blizzard. Instead, moving from nap location to nap location does the trick. Pumpkin's essential nap locations:
  • On top of the heater
  • On top of the cable box
  • On my lap
  • On the bed but only if she can lay on my pajamas
  • On the bathmat (but only the one by the sink)
  • By a the second dining room chair from the left (the specificity is important)
Pumpkin likes to start at the heater and work her way through the rest of the list. Sometimes the bathroom and dining room chair are reversed but it's rare that she strays from the pattern. Pumpkin is an organized cat.

Survival Tip 2: Creepily stare at the person (or animal) in closet proximity to you
I read an article a few months ago that suggested cats stare at their owners as a form of affection. Eye contact is a way to show they're connecting to you. There are other articles that imply this is more aggressive behavior and it's only when paired with a slow blink that a cat is doing what's called a "kitty kiss." Consider this:

A little creepy right? By this point in your blizzard experience, someone has to exert dominance and a creepy stare like this one is the way to do it. Think of it this way: if you poorly planned your food or alcohol supply for the blizzard, someone is not getting that last Oreo or glass of wine. Exert your dominance with a creepy stare.

Survival Tip 3: Rearrange your surroundings
Being stuck at home really makes a person consider their surroundings. Is my couch in the right place? Do I believe in feng shui enough to rearrange everything? Should I hang that painting that I bought because it's fun and bright and not because I know anything about buying art?

It can also be helpful to knock things off tables every now and then. See how that stack of papers or those pens look on the floor. Where you drinking that cup of tea? It looks better if the cup is moved just a bit more to the right and then completely on the floor.

Cats know a lot about interior design.

Survival Tip 4: Indulge wisely
Everyone does it: you go to the store to buy your storm supplies (milk, bread, eggs, soup, mac and cheese) and as you walk the aisles you add snacks and special treats to get you through however many days you might be snowed in. Pretty soon you've got a bag of Cheetos, mini Hershey candies, Stouffer's french bread pizza, and queso dip because you need it. Add to it your alcohol of choice and that storm supply list soon becomes a storm party supply list.

Special treats are great and we all need to indulge sometimes. Just remember to pace yourself and enjoy those treats in moderation. Cat vomit is just as gross whether there's blizzard or not.

Survival Tip 5: Plan your entertainment in advance
No you may not watch Troop Beverly Hills again.
Like binge watching tv shows on Netflix? Want to watch every Quentin Tarantino movie in order of release? Enjoying movies set in the tropics to make yourself feel better about the storm outside? This is all fine and good but remember to plan what you're going to watch before the storm begins.

This is particularly important if you are snowed in with other people. Sometimes Troop Beverly Hills is exactly the movie everyone wants to watch; most of the time it's not. So if you want to avoid arguments over the remote or a horrifying realization that you might be featured on an episode of Hoarders in the future, make sure everyone gets a vote. Can't agree on a movie or show? Read a book.

Follow these tips and you'll be able to weather any blizzard or other weather event that keeps you stuck at home for more than a day or two. You can trust Pumpkin; she would never steer you wrong.

Are you sure you don't have somewhere else to be? The blizzard isn't that bad.

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