Yesterday morning, I started my day with a seventeen-minute-long video of a husky named Gohan eating his fancy chow. This is what I’ve replaced social media with: YouTube videos of dogs eating. I was not going to watch the entire video, but the cats found it to be quite captivating. I don’t even feel bad: this video has 3.4 million views, and Gohan is heckin’ adorable.
Exactly a year ago, I was adventuring in Patagonia. So far this year, I’ve hardly had anything notable enough happening to warrant a blog post, which is why you’ve been reading a lot of my musings, and Grampa Simpson-style narratives about the good old days.
I have not been working much, and it’s been a far too soggy month for bike rides. Climbing at the gym twice a week is not something I could write about. I do well when it comes to keeping physically active, as my body has had years of training. My mind, though, is not trained to focus on mental activities. You’d sooner convince me to do a 47km backpacking trip on the Juan De Fuca Trail as Zoée has than get me to read a book you highly recommend. (Sorry, Ben, I’ll get around to giving Gideon the Ninth a chance.)
The last time I finished a book was a year ago when my friend and I were staying in a trailer in Patagonia without the internet to entertain our boredom. (The book I finished, if you were curious, was The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan. It was good enough for me to finish, which counts for something.)
I can sit down to blog, but I can’t hold a train of thought for long enough to knock out a post in one go. Even the shorter posts are done in a few sittings. It sometimes helps to stare at myself in the bathroom mirror, for the reminder that I’m an actual person with a story to tell. It’s been difficult having all this free time and spending most of it indoors because of the weather.
Yes, I’ve been mildly depressed, it’s hard not to be.
Disconnecting from social media was meant to help with mental stimulation, but it’s going to take more than just that to get my concentration back. I need to re-train my lazy brain some more before I find indoor activities such as reading or drawing stimulating for longer than 15 minutes.
Before deactivating Instagram, a few people messaged me to say that they were sad about being cut off Enfoiré and Bubble’s lives. So, seeing as the cats’ lives are currently more interesting than mine, here’s an update.
Enfoiré found a freshly washed pillowcase on the bed and claimed it before I was able to stuff the pillow back in. He did not leave that square for a solid two hours.
Now that both Yann and I are off social media, we’ve shared our screen time with cats. Bubble has taken an interest in goldfishing.
Enfoiré continues his search for an endless food supply. Occasionally, he’ll get distracted by a small, triangular piece of purple fabric. This fabric drives him wild: it’s the best toy he’s ever had. Better than even Snoopy.
Yann and I still can’t tell whether he likes or hates Snoopy. Every night before bed, Snoopy is somewhere in the living room, usually because Yann and I put him there. By the morning, Snoopy is face-down on the floor in the bedroom, the obvious loser of the midnight smackdown.
We bought the cats drugs, not because we think they need them, but because it makes watching the cats more entertaining for us. We step outside to smoke some weed, come back inside, cut lines of catnip, and watch them trip balls.
The pet store had several catnip options to choose from. Of course, this was the brand we went with:
Imagine some hippie on Saltspring Island experimenting with homegrown herbal blends for his tabby. At one point, he goes, “This could be a lucrative business. Good thing I have some experience with Photoshop from the graphic design course I took in 1997.”
Now he pulls in $12k a year. Not quite enough to pay the bills, but he finds it spiritually rewarding.
I’ve also, as a non-hippie on the big island, taken Enfoiré on a journey of spices and discovered that he’s into a particular herb. I keep several herbs in see-thru magnetic cases on the side of the fridge. One evening, while Enfoiré was hanging out on the stovetop (old habits die hard), I had him smell the contents of each case one by one. He was bothered by the cinnamon sticks, unmoved by most, and completely taken with the oregano. (Later, when I noticed that Enfoiré had fallen asleep on the stovetop, I Googled in a panic, “Spices and herbs harmful to cats”. He’s fine.)
So, I plan on taking over the catnip market with this counterfeit catnip. Then, maybe my life will be worth writing about again.