The coronavirus-induced lockdown is making people stay in their homes, and it’s making them pretty lonely. So lonely, they’re starting to do things they were scared to even think of. Like talking to their neighbors.

And what better topic to chat about than cats? After all, not all of us have pets who can keep us company during the quarantine.

So, following the guidelines of social distancing, people have been getting to know their neighbors’ felines using window signs, and their exchanges are absolutely wholesome.

Turns out, locked-up people love staring at their feline neighbors

Image credits: sian_cosgrove

Some are trying to learn their names using signs they hang in windows

Image credits: sian_cosgrove

Image credits: sian_cosgrove

Image credits: sian_cosgrove

Image credits: sian_cosgrove

Image credits: sian_cosgrove

Image credits: sian_cosgrove

Image credits: sian_cosgrove

Sian Cosgrove from Leeds, United Kingdom, was one of the people who decided to learn more about their neighbor’s kitty. Just like most sensible adults, she and her partner have been living in isolation. “[We] are now both working from home so we are pretty much completely in the house (aside from food shops, etc),” Cosgrove told Bored Panda. “It was very strange at first but now we’re getting used to it!”

“We saw the cat sitting in the window opposite our house pretty much every day but we didn’t know his name,” Sian told Bored Panda. “There are loads of cats in the area and we know most of their names but didn’t know this cat’s name, so I asked!”

Before, Cosgrove didn’t know these neighbors at all. “Our gardens back onto each other so we don’t even live on the same street,” she explained. “They responded really quickly, within minutes! I wasn’t sure they’d reply at all so it was really funny that they came back to me so fast.”

Image credits: waltersobchat

Image credits: waltersobchat

From Great Britain to the United States, these conversations are happening all over the world

Image credits: Pixelsandpurls

Image credits: Pixelsandpurls

Image credits: Pixelsandpurls

Image credits: Pixelsandpurls

While social distancing is necessary to flatten the coronavirus curve and prevent the pandemic from worsening, it also threatens to cause what some describe as “social recession”, a collapse in social contact that is particularly hard on the individuals most vulnerable to isolation and loneliness — older adults and people with disabilities or preexisting health conditions.

“Social isolation has been associated with a significantly increased risk of premature mortality from all causes,” a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine report found, including a “50 percent increased risk of developing dementia,” a “29 percent increased risk of incident coronary heart disease,” a “25 percent increased risk for cancer mortality,” a “59 percent increased risk of functional decline,” and a “32 percent increased risk of stroke.” The mental health risks are also serious. The researchers reviewed dozens of studies and found a consistent relationship between social isolation and depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation.

So, make sure you try to socialize during the quarantine, and if it means talking to your neighbors about their cat, go for it!

And they prove that cats are the answer to (almost) all problems

Image credits: ajlobster

Image credits: ajlobster

Image credits: ajlobster

Image credits: LizzieBartelt

Image credits: LizzieBartelt

Image credits: CTowersCBS

Image credits: CTowersCBS

Image credits: CTowersCBS

Image credits: CTowersCBS