How my cat has kept me sane in lockdown life

Helen van Soest
3 min readAug 29, 2021
Photo by Raquel Chavez on Unsplash

So I’m still in lockdown number six in Melbourne, Australia. I am feeling fatigued, bored and unstimulated. I can’t do all the things I love doing, like having brunch with my friends on the weekend, going out for dinner with my boyfriend, shopping, watching films, going for long walks and most of all, travelling to Sydney to see my family.

There are days when I am doing okay. I wake up, start work and am quite productive. On those good days, I often exercise by walking and doing You Tube workouts. Then I will end the day with a relaxing meditation.

Then there are days when I don’t want to get out of bed. I curse the alarm clock for waking me up and my motivation to do work is low. On these days, I push myself to do even the most basic tasks like washing the dishes. My head is not clear — it is full of anxiety about COVID-19, lockdowns and vaccinations.

What I find hardest about lockdowns, is not knowing when they will end. I feel like I am in limbo, not able to make plans for the future or progress in life. I am languishing — surviving rather than thriving.

But I am lucky and have to keep remembering this, when I am despairing about the world we live in now. I have a wonderful partner, supportive family, great friends and a good job. And I also have a beautiful cat called Oscar.

As I mentioned in my previous article, Life in lockdown number six, my partner and I recently adopted Oscar. We have only had him for five weeks, but it feels much longer than that, like he has lived with us for many months or even years.

When I saw Oscar at a pet shelter, I knew he was the right cat for us. He was so quiet and sweet in his cage and when I stuck my finger in his cage to touch him, he purred. We took him home that day.

For the first few days, Oscar was very timid and stayed in his cat carrier. But over time, he emerged and started engaging with us. He is now quite comfortable with us and purrs a lot when we pat him. He is very cheeky and likes to play with all sorts of objects around the house.

When I start to feel low due to the restrictions of this lockdown, I spend time with Oscar who always cheers me up with his cheekiness and sweetness.

From a young age, I have loved animals. My Dad was a vet and ran his own practice. My brother, sister and I all helped my Dad with his work in the clinic when we were only kids. I used to spend a lot of time with the animals, which were mostly dogs, cats and rabbits. Each animal had their own personality and I felt a special bond with many of them.

I am a highly sensitive person, so have a natural attraction to animals. Animals can offer the highly sensitive person so much — unconditional love, their ability to just live in the moment and quiet companionship.

I am so grateful to this gorgeous furry creature for providing me with comfort during lockdown life. I know that Oscar will get me through this difficult time.

If you are very lonely in a lockdown and like animals, I strongly recommending adopting one (or two) to keep you company and give you something to focus on. Now that I have Oscar, I feel happier and more fulfilled and I am able to forget about the lockdown at times. I hope your animal friend (or future animal friend) can do the same for you.



Helen van Soest

I love reading articles, books and blogs and try to write when I can.