Humans of UofR Libraries #2

Alex King (President’s Advisory Committee on Art, Archer Library):

“When it began to dawn on me that Covid would affect us in significant ways, I felt strangely calm. I consider myself pretty resilient, and I can approach a crisis with calm and rationale. I’ve happily lived alone for many years and moved internationally (twice) with minimal support. I’m fortunate to have robust mental health and my favourite place to be is on the couch or experimenting in the kitchen. I have fantastic neighbours. A few months at home? I could do this.

And at the beginning, I could. My apartment was spotless, I was catching up on my reading list. Hell, I could go to work in sweatpants because the office was… my kitchen table. And then as the restrictions tightened and Covid crept closer to home, I realized this was for the long haul. I missed socializing, worried about older relatives, and felt lonely and bored. I ordered coffee deliveries just to see a friendly face.

One day I received a text asking if I could foster two cats in need of temporary housing. They’d been rescued from a hoarding situation and being a timid pair were proving hard to adopt. I agreed immediately. It surprised none of my friends and family that this became a “foster fail”, and I realized Kiki and Kirby had become family.

Living with these two sweethearts has made the pandemic experience infinitely more bearable. Being an anxious new cat mum has been a welcome distraction, and they amuse and delight me every day. Moreover, the slow bonding process has been incredibly rewarding. It took months for these shy babies to emerge from hiding to trust me enough to seek out cuddles and playtime. I’m so grateful for my cute little family!”

Favourite pandemic read: The Autobiography of Alice B. Toklas by Gertrude Stein

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