Tips for Re-Entering Society, According to My Cat

After 18+ months of social isolation, here are some helpful tips for reacclimatizing to the world from an expert on social awkwardness — my cat.

by Nikki Palumbo
August 3, 2021
Gray British shorthair cat with panicked expression looking out a window
Guaita Studio / Stocksy

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Get vaccinated.

Make sure you’re up-to-date on all your shots.

Reconnect with the people you love and cherish.

Headbutt them. Nibble on their fingers. Show them your belly.

Protect your energy.

Don’t commit to anything. Keep your calendar loose and fancy free. A morning nap? Great. A mid-afternoon nap? You need it. A third nap in-between those two? Probably the best thing you can do for yourself.

Remember you’re in public.

Don’t be obscene just because you’re accustomed to uninterrupted privacy. You can’t shit in the middle of the room. That’s where you lick your own butthole.

Communicate your boundaries.

If you’re not comfortable, say something. Let all of the hair on your back stand straight up. Puff your tail. Fire a warning cry, then bite. They’ve been warned.

Establish status.

Assess whether or not this is an environment where you’re the alpha. (Short answer: yes, it is.) Find a place above everyone else to stand and just quietly observe (read: plot).

Adhere to a consistent meal schedule.

Twice a day, eat like you’ve been starved for weeks. Nibble on a little something 13 times a day. Forget water exists until you dump food into it and now it’s ruined.

Opt out.

Just don’t do it. Instead, hide. Where? Doesn’t matter. Under a blanket, under a bed, deep in a closet or the wall. The more obscure, the better.

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nikki palumbo

Nikki Palumbo

Nikki is a writer and comedian. Her writing has appeared on The New Yorker, McSweeney’s, Funny or Die, Reductress, the Google Assistant, and her folks’ fridge. She was named one of WhoHaha’s “35 LGBTQ Creators We Love” in 2018 and a Yes, And Laughter Lab finalist in 2019. She worked as a story producer on the YouTube Originals weekly music show, RELEASED, and wrote for the inaugural 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards: Unscripted, hosted by Nikki Glaser. Nikki hosts the monthly-ish standup show Queer Tiger Beat, which has been recommended by The New York Times and featured in Time Out.