Like a million other homes in the United States, COVID recently barged through our front door. It was a souvenir from our recent trip. I don’t blame the cruise – they were impeccable in their cleaning, the staff was always masked, and they had high standards for testing and vaccinations for the passengers.
No, I blame the flying experience. I will never look at an airport as anything other than a petri dish of micro-organisms, and an airplane as a test tube of smoldering gases and solids, all waiting to combust. Add to that my own carelessness on the way home, and you have the perfect experiment gone awry. I’d been super-vigilant at the front end of the trip – masking and relentless hand-washing. Not so on the return when we ran maskless through airports, then heaved sighs of relief on the planes, no masks in sight.
Fortunately, I had only one day where I felt like I’d been hit by a freight train. A day’s worth of Aleve pulled me out of that funk quickly. But by day three, I realized – I was living the life of a cat.
I’d wake up, do a little stretching, practice some self-care, eat, stare outside and watch life go by, then nap. Wake up, eat more kibble, then it was nap time again. Lots and lots of napping.
Which brings me to the value of a good couch for napping.
My east-facing bedroom is at the end of the air conditioning line in our house. That doesn’t matter unless you live in Arizona and it’s 90 degrees at 5:30 AM. Sure, the ceiling fan helps, sort of like a breeze in the Sahara.
So, for my afternoon nap, I sought refuge on the couch.
When we bought this house, we inherited a large, over-stuffed, low-to-the-ground pleather couch. There’s never been a finer napping couch. But we finally tired of picking up pleather flakes and rolling onto the floor to get up, so we bought a new couch, and the only thing over-stuffed is me. It’s sleek (doesn’t take as much space), firm (better for old people), not so deep (better for short people), which makes it lousy for a good snooze. You know, the kind where you plant your shoulder under a pillow, and nest your hip into a cushion before you kick out your legs. Instead, I felt like I was a Number 5 pencil in my old Betty and Veronica hard-shell pencil case from fifth grade.
I’m better now, though the fatigue can still catch up with me, and I still cough more than I’d like, sort of like a cat trying to expel a hairball.
I also realized during this time that my worst days are still better than many people’s best days. Maybe I needed COVID to remind me of that. The life of a domesticated house-cat is a pretty good life.