During normal times, we were all typically out of the house during working hours on most days. I worked from home a couple days a week, and I'd notice the cats eyeing me curiously from their perches in the windows.
"What's she doing here?" they'd think.
The two of them eventually got used to my days at home and would join me in the office, making sure to jump on my desk and put their butts in my face any time I got on a conference call.
Then the world shut down and we started the new normal of being home all the time. Our cats do not seem happy about it. I hear of co-workers whose dogs are so happy to see their humans home. They're getting extra walks and belly rubs. Not our sullen cats. They're stress eating, constantly running away from crawling, poking, drooling babies, and fighting more.
That's true during the day, where they mostly hide from the chaos with my husband in our office, but at night they come out and sit on the couch with us as if to say, "Damn guys, we just saw the marathon you ran today. Want some cuddles?" Then, they sit on our laps and purr as we watch television.
When our cat Fiona hears the "thwack" of my yoga mat hitting the bedroom floor, she knows it's her time to catch a quiet moment with me. She lays next to the mat as I go through a bedtime sequence, occasionally coming onto the mat to get an ear scratch. When I finish my stretches and settle onto a large pillow for a ten minute meditation, she curls right into my lap. I follow my breath in and then out, sitting present in the moment, noticing my thoughts and helping to ease them away, and all the while I have a large, fluffy ball of love splayed out on my thighs. I breathe and pet her and let the calm wash down over both of us, and I know we've done what we both need to do to make it through another day.