To my fellow Zoomers, please never apologize for your cat arriving in the frame. 

So far, this first real week of Zoom classes has been pretty successful. I’m getting the hang of working from home. I have yet to entirely embarrass myself, and my professors have been very accommodating of the fact that I can’t focus at all on anything because of, well, everything.

But I woke up on Wednesday morning with a deep exhaustion that couldn’t be remedied even by Dalgona coffee I learned to make off of Tik Tok Perhaps the novelty of online classes was wearing off. It’s beginning to set in that this is the reality of the rest of the semester.

During my first class, I was having any number of existential concerns about school, and the world, but then, my classmate’s cat walked across her laptop. I hardly could discern the cat who quickly walked past but fortunately, they turned around and walked back the other way, showing off their soft self. My classmate brushed the cat away. No! I yelled internally. I want to see the cat! I was heartbroken to have this new friend torn so suddenly from my life. It was not unlike when I had to leave my school friends, and come home a few weeks ago. I was bereft, not sure when I would see this new cat friend again.  

Despite this heartbreak, I persisted, endowed with a new lease on life after seeing this cat. Suddenly, I felt propelled to do my work. I participated more in that class, and in the ones that followed. I was a new person.

This drive faded by my last class of the day, and the deep exhaustion returned. My last class was almost over and I was amped to go take a nap. But lo and behold! Another cat! This one was hardly in the frame, providing mere glimpses of their tail. Their owner accepted the cat’s presence and began petting them as the class wrapped up. Simply seeing this cat’s tail filled me with passion for the class’s material that I had never before possessed. Suddenly, I did not want to succeed in the class for me. I wanted to succeed for the cat.

The moral of the story is: I want to see your cat! Do not apologize if they wander in. Let them participate in class! Their very presence is a goddamn inspiration!

My criminal cat, Callie, who bothered me as I wrote this post via Bwog Staff