MY CATS love the new normal.

No longer do they have to while away the daytime hours staring mournfully at empty food bowls, waiting for me or my husband to return home.

For the past few months, while on furlough, I spent far more time in the house than I would normally. Now working from home, I am still there and don’t the cats know it? They know only too well that a few leg rubbings and pitiful meows will propel me towards their food cupboard.

They are not the only ones who love the new normal. Our garden birds appear to have latched on to the fact that I am often at home, seated at the kitchen table overlooking their feeders. If the seed levels are down they really do give me the evils.

Some may stock up on loo roll or pasta, whereas my panic-buy has been bird food, and lots of it. I’d rather starve myself than see the sparrows, starlings and blue tits looking miserable. I’ve even bought peanuts for the squirrels.

So, for many of the creatures in our lives, the changes brought on by coronavirus definitely suit.

But what about us humans? We’re all living a new normal or a new abnormal, which is a more realistic way of looking at it.

I’d like to say that my new normal was snuggled up with Brad Pitt in a picture-postcard cottage in the Cotswolds, but sadly it’s not. He didn’t reply when I messaged him about being in my support bubble.

Nevertheless, the past few months have seen a few changes in my life.

I hate to admit it, but my new normal is not unlike that of a 1950s housewife.

Not that I’ve had my husband’s tea on the table when he gets home from work, but there’s usually something bubbling away on the hob.

I’ve branched out from the usual hastily thrown together student fare of spag bol and rustled up some proper adult grub. I’ve actually followed proper grown-up recipes from the likes of Marco Pierre White and Gordon Ramsay, resulting in some pretty tasty fare.

“This is nice,” my husband has said, emphasising the word nice as though he can’t quite believe it.

Like thousands of others, with time on my hands during furlough, I began to bake. The complete opposite to my mum, who is rarely seen without a wooden spoon and mixing bowl, I last bought flour in the 1990s - and that was only to create Father Christmas footprints for the kids.

But since March I’ve rustled up numerous lemon cakes, flapjacks, fruit cakes and - according to my guinea pig taster neighbours - delicious marmalade cakes.

I’m not a fan of Bake Off, but when I peel back the greaseproof paper and set my cake on the cooling tray, I can see what all the fuss is about. No more Mr Kipling for us.

Since lockdown number one our house is cleaner and tidier. The Hoover, polish and dusters have been brought out of retirement and I now keep on top of the housework. I’ve discovered it’s a lot easier once you develop a routine.

According to my husband I am still a slob, but a tidier one.

My bike hadn’t been touched in a long time - the tyres were flat as a pancake. The first lockdown got me back on it. I cycle almost daily and I won’t give it up.

These are small changes, but they have made a difference, and, once the world is back to ‘normal’, they will be adopted into my life on a permanent basis.

Although not where the cats and birds are concerned. There will definitely be a rude awakening for them if I do go back to the office.