I decided to adopt Shiro and Sora because I needed some companionship and at the same time, to keep myself busy. I underestimated the ‘busyness’ that came with them. The thing is, unlike kids, I do not have to supervise them because they are pretty independent to a certain extend. On top of that, unlike dogs, I do not have to walk them every day. However, the small pockets of time spent in various forms do accumulate, filling up my schedule rather quickly.
Clearing the litter
Time spent: 5 minutes each time, 10 minutes per day
This is a necessary act to avoid one’s place stinking up. At the start, I only had a covered litter box for Shiro and Sora and I cleaned it once a day. It worked fine for the first one and a half months. Thereafter, they started to pee and poop outside of the box i.e. the carpet which is placed just outside the box and their carrier. I am not sure who the real culprit here is so I will just assume them both guilty as charged. To avoid more disasters, I added another litter box and after reading some tips from fellow cat owners online, I decided to clean the litter box at least twice a day. Apparently these feline creatures are very particular about cleanliness and sometimes they do not want to pee and poop at the same place. So far, no other accident occurred and I hope it stays this way.
Sweeping/ Vacuuming/ Cleaning the Floor
Time spent: About an average of 30 minutes per day
Before having the cats, I swept the floor every two to three days. During summer, I may need to sweep the floor every day as all the windows are left open and the wind brings dust and dirt into the house. Now, it is a definite must to sweep the place each day as cat litter traces the floor while stray furs float all around. Aside from the daily sweep, I do an extra sweep of the room where the litter boxes are because there are just too much wood shavings scattered around. I would probably need to get a better carpet to remove the shavings from the paws of the kitties. In general, six days of sweeping, one day of vacuuming and seven days of an extra sweep of the room.
Removing Fur from the Sofa
Time spent: 5 minutes each time, 10 minutes per day
They love sleeping on our sofa and our of course, leaving strands of furs entwined into the material of the blanket. With my reusable lint brush, I roll through the blanket cover twice a day.
Time Spent: 3 minutes per meal, 9 minutes per day
Three times a day. Dry pellets are given twice a day while the wet food is given once a day. Giving the food is pretty quick but what takes time is to have to close the door of the room to ensure that Sora, who eats much slower than Shiro, finishes her food before allowing Shiro to enter.
Brushing and Grooming
Time spent: 5 minutes per day
Most people on the forums say that it is good to brush the kitties at least twice a week. I cannot imagine doing that because even having brushed my kitties at least once a day, they still have loose fur invading the space. When the weather is warmer and Shiro seems to lose more fur , I would give him an extra quick brush at the end of the day.
Putting Things Back in Place
Time spent: 30 seconds per item, about 10 items per day, an average of 5 minutes per day
Every morning as I step out of my bedroom (nope, the cats are not allowed to sleep with us), there will definitely be something out of place. It may be a plastic cup or lunch box on the floor, my notebook thrown off my desk, a blanket pulled away from the sofa etc. Throughout the day, they will always to toppling over different things, depending on their mood. Just this morning, I realised that Shiro has been munching through my loaf of bread. He has this incomprehensive fetish love for plastic bags.
Chasing them off the Kitchen Counter
Time spent: 15 minutes per day
With their predatory instinct yet not being able to hunt in the wild, they ‘hunt’ my dead meat of chicken, beef or pork. Even when I am cooking an all vegetable meal, they will sniff around to make sure that I am not hiding stuff from them. Instead of taking an hour to finish preparing a meal, I take an extended amount of time because of the unwanted interruptions. Sometimes they get on my nerves so much that I just put them away in the room to be able to cook in peace.
Saying ‘No! Get down/ Stop it!’
Time spent: 10 seconds each time, about 20 times a day, about 4 minutes per day
As they are still young and full of energy, they keep finding their paws in every possible corner of the house. Whenever there is something new in the house or when something is not in the same state/ condition/ position, they are the first to spot it. For example, sometimes the door of the cabinet where we store food opens a little on its own due to unaligned fittings. The cats would paw through this gap and happily hop into the cabinet to inspect our stash. They love to jump onto our dining table which is totally prohibited. There are many more examples which I shall not elaborate on.
Time spent: About 15 minutes per day
The young always has lots of energy and I prefer that they release it positively instead of destructively. I play ball with them. Surprisingly, they like chasing after the tennis ball though they don’t fetch. I vary my activities as their interest does not last more than a few minutes.
‘Pet Me’, ‘Love Me’ Time
Time spent: About 30 minutes per day taking place randomly throughout the day
We are fortunate to have two cats who enjoy a great amount of love and affection from us. In the day, they would usually come to me to be petted and to nest in my lap. At night, they will go to Dan for their second dosage of love.
Grand total: 133 minutes/ about 2.5 hours per day
People have been asking me what I have been busy with and my reply has been ‘my cats’. I didn’t know how but after this breakdown, I have a better understanding for myself. They are indeed, integrated into my schedule now. For those who are eager to have cats or kittens or animals in general, be mentally and physically prepared to commit your time and energy to these furry creatures. The acquisition part may be fun and exciting but the maintenance part is less of a novelty.
Signing off with love,