Saturday 19 June 2021

Wife went back to the office this week, her favorite cat is waiting sadly at her empty desk

The headline comes direct from because I can't beat it. This is happening all over America and Europe; cats suddenly and unceremoniously left without their human companion who they've been close to for 18 months or thereabouts due to social distancing measures i.e. lockdowns.

Wife went back to the office this week, her favorite cat is waiting sadly at her empty desk. Photo: user: u/HawkTheHawker
Wife went back to the office this week, her favorite cat is waiting sadly at her empty desk. Photo: user: u/HawkTheHawker

The same is happening for dogs perhaps even more so. This is because a lot of people adopted dogs during the coronavirus pandemic and all they've known is to be with their human companion all day long. Suddenly, their owner is going back to work at the office and bingo, a puppy who's lived most of his life with an owner who was always there is suddenly alone. This is going to cause a lot of distress for the dog and I guess for the owner if they are genuinely concerned.

And cats aren't quite as independent as people make them out to be. Domestic cats have become social creatures and they love to have their owner at home with them. As you can see in the photograph they particularly like the desk with a computer because this is where their owner has been working and of course the computer gives off some heat which they also like.

The cats are simply not going to understand it. It will take some time for them to settle down and revert back to the old routine. In the meantime, I would guess that some of them will suffer from separation anxiety. There will be a few cases of cats being a bit naughty because if they become stressed it can be manifested in what people describe as 'bad behaviour' such as spraying urine or perhaps scratching and even perhaps becoming a little more aggressive because they are irritated.

Their owners will be distressed too because they will miss their cats. There is a big argument that people should be allowed to take their pets to their workplace. Apple, as I recall, allow dogs or is it Google? I think it's actually Google who allow this. Google has a very open attitude towards the workplace which is very evident. Everything within a Google office is untypical but geared up to creative thinking and productivity. The presence of a companion dog arguably improves productivity. There may even be a study on the topic which supports this.

It is much harder for cats to be brought to the office for obvious reasons although it does happen. The Foreign Office of the UK government used to have an office cat called Palmerston but he didn't really like it and he was pensioned off. Larry at Number 10 Downing Street is more at home and he's been there for quite a long time. It's worked out well and I'm sure he contributes. These are high profile examples of working cats and offices. There should be more but the complication is that a person or persons need to look after the cat and these will be volunteers. That's what happens at Number 10 Downing Street. And I recall they even use their own money for the purpose because there is no official funding for Larry. Larry was spraying when Dilyn the PM's dog was adopted.

A lot of animal rescue organisations are particularly concerned about dogs because they foresee a lot of abandonments of newly adopted dogs by inexperienced people who haven't really researched what dog ownership entails because they've hastily bought into the idea of adopting a sweet flat-based puppy such as a French Bulldog during lockdown. 

They discover that dog ownership is unviable when they return to the office which is happening right now. So, they offer the dog for sale online. They have to sell because their cute puppy cost them £3,500 which is a lot more than they normally cost due to market forces. And if you sell a companion animal online you generate some problems, at least potentially. 

And the dog, of course, is then being pushed around from pillar to post which is unhelpful particularly when they are young and going through those developmental years. It could result in the dog becoming badly behaved i.e. developing bad habits which lead to the possibility of the new owner passing on the dog. These are the negative effects of the coronavirus pandemic in respect of companion animals.

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