#1 — You associate walls corners with pleasure
You scratch your back by wriggling gracefully against the corner, a swing in your hips and shoulders, probably because you’re listening to a Portuguese song about a rug at the same time.
You find yourself daydreaming about soft surfaces where you could lie down and stretch at leisure, preferably in a sunny spot.
#2 — You have embraced the natural look
You revel in your newfound fuzziness, your nooks and crannies doubling up at pets. Having also embraced the commando and barefoot look, you marvel at the luscious softness of your hair, pubes, and furry toes.
Everyone and everything has whiskers now.
#3 — You enjoy the presence of insects
You delight in interacting with things that fly and things that crawl, catching the former and enabling the escape of the latter. You unlocked the one-handed fruit fly catcher badge weeks ago and befriend spiders on the regular.
You imagine what life with eight legs would be like. Optimized?
#4 — You have regular treats
Your food choices now focus on the interactive, be that pistachios or rainbow candy that you arrange by color on a square of paper towel. You get cuddlier so you revise the definition of treat. You pick new ones.
Because life without occasional indulgences isn’t life.
#5 — You spend time by the window
You notice canines walk their humans but felines roam free and you wonder what that means for the three Dutch pets who got infected with coronavirus.
You gaze at clouds, you gaze at sunsets, you gaze at birds — magpies, crows, seagulls — and appreciate their wingspan, their flight, and their elegance.
#6 — You take many rest breaks
You wander the length and breadth of your tiny kingdom, your ambulatory thoughts pausing frequently to enjoy a moment of stillness on a soft surface, preferably supine, while you rest your eyes.
You stretch frequently in the most twisted ways because it feels good.
#7 — You relish physical attention
You crave the touch of another living creature, be they your own species or not.
You explore the physical bond you have with your own body, your partner, and/or your pet(s) with gusto and consider the full impact of the power of touch to convey fellow feeling.
#8 — You meow at random when outdoors
You know your trusted friend tends to hang out by the trash cans so sometimes you do, too. On the off chance Lady Mucky Paws might appear and stop by for a vocal chinwag and some complementary purring if she’s in a good mood, you linger.
And so does that unmistakable aroma telling everyone where you’ve been.
#9 — You begin plotting wor(l)d domination
You default to curiosity every time your grasshopper mind ends up connecting random dots despite spending most days chasing your tail because you earn a living with words.
In the age of mass-produced catnip getting algorithms high on fear, anger, and greed, you remain in the matatabi camp, reclaiming the internet as a place for discourse, debate, and dialogue, one listicle with a hissy photo caption at a time if you have to.
Because you’re high as well, but on hope, potential, and possibility this time.
I’m a French-American writer, journalist, and editor now based in the Netherlands. To continue the conversation, follow the bird. For email and everything else, deets in bio.