Every day I come home exhausted from work, then switch into toddler patrol mode for a very active toddler. Once she toddles off to bed, I prep food for the next day, wash an absurdly large amount of toddler dishes, then plop on the couch ready to pass out. I'm so spent that engaging in quality time with the cat often becomes an afterthought.
But when the cat walks up and stares at me, I feel guilty. I know she wants to play but I just don't always have it in me. I'll encourage her to jump up on the couch next to me so I can pet her without having to move too much. Sometimes it works. Sometimes she scolds me with her eyes for being so lazy.
I try my best to play with her when I can. Often it happens late at night after I've brushed my teeth, when I have a final smidge of energy. Just enough to get on the floor and wave a plastic rod attached to a feathery string, which makes the cat light up with playful glee. It shouldn't be so hard finding pockets of quality time for the cat. I just have to make sure to look for them.