Someone posted a video of a yoga-guru doing her practice. I had no idea that the body could combine so much strength and flexibility into seamless movement. You’d have to see it to really understand, but I was in awe. This woman did a forward bend (hands on the floor while standing) then went straight into a handstand. She then proceeded to do a crazy number of suspended back bends and cross-legged poses, all while upside down. I was impressed! It reminded me of when the cats fold themselves into all sorts of contortions while cleaning themselves. If I could do half of what they do, I would be in much better shape and a whole lot more flexible.
Btw, here’s the video that was so amazing: air dancing~ Meghan Currie Yoga
In September in Seattle, you often hear people talking about the upcoming weekend and about how they need to take advantage of “the last nice weekend” before the weather turns. You never know which weekend it’s going to be, which is why you might hear it a few weekends in a row. It’s generally accepted that at some point the clouds will roll in and not leave until spring. The cats love the sun and soak it up any chance they get. It’s possible to predict which room they will be in based on the time of day. You might find them hidden on the other side of the bed or underneath the dresser stretched out on a sun strip. Once the sun goes away, that spot quickly shifts to any spare blanket. Last winter I got myself a heating pad and it wasn’t mine for long.
One of the first things Hank does when you get home is run to his bed (the guest bed that he thinks is his) and flip onto his back with a sweet meow. You can’t help but be enticed by the soft fur and the clear invitation to rub his belly. But the second you do, he switches to attack mode and grabs your hand with both paws, pulling it to his mouth for immediate gnawing. If you resist, his back paws get into the game, scratching you with a quick shredding motion. I’ve learned to be strategic about petting Hank. First, it’s best if he’s on his feet, that way his paws are otherwise engaged. If he drops to the ground onto his back, you can usually get him back up with a quick scoop under his butt. If he stays down, you’ll need both hands. That way you can wave one hand safely above him as a distraction while you use the other hand to pet his side or belly. When he realizes you are petting him and goes to bite the other hand, switch sides and wave the other hand above him, just out of reach. He must have abs of steel from all the crunches he does trying to reach you. Sometimes, the draw to rub his belly is too great, so I sacrifice my hand to the bites and hooks of his claws in order to get a few seconds of softness. Just be careful if you do it…it’s not always easy to get your hand back.
Sometimes the weight of the world can be overwhelming. It feels like the stuff keeps piling on and we can’t get out from under it. Hopefully, we know most of the stuff put on us doesn’t mean shit and can ignore it. B is particularly carefree. She doesn’t like to be disturbed but she also doesn’t like to move. I thought this was a pretty good number of things on top of her until I saw pictures online of cats with serious piles on them or buried entirely. We could try for a bigger pile but I don’t think we are the type of family that makes an effort to keep up with the joneses. That’s one more weight we don’t need.
*No cats were hurt in the making of this photo, and yes, that’s Henri in the background.
How many times have you been hanging out, watching TV on the couch, when you realize you want to grab a beer but can’t because you have an anchor on your lap? In any other situation, it would be unacceptable to ask someone else in the room to get you that beer. However, in this scenario, all you have to do is point at the cat on your lap and say you’d get it yourself if you could. That person is likely to nod his or her head in total understanding. Even worse is the bed shrinking effect when one of them decides to sleep in the middle. Even so, I will let my legs go numb and wait until my side starts to ache before moving them. Maybe if it happened more often, I would be concerned with my own comfort. As it is, if anyone gets too close I put my hand up and say, “Don’t disturb the cat!”.
Max has so much character, you need only know him by reputation. In fact, I’ve actually haven’t met him since he lives across the country in Buffalo, NY. However, I feel like I’ve gotten to know him over the past 2 years through stories and pictures relayed by my boyfriend, originally from his twin brother. In fact, the first time I saw Max was within a week of first talking to my soon to be boyfriend. I don’t think we had even met face-to-face yet when I received this picture of Max via text. It didn’t come across as a conversation starter. Instead, I think he was so enamored with Max that he couldn’t help but share the photo that was just sent by his brother, who’s actually the one holding him. You see, Max has a special kind of charm. He has captivating eyes and a nose you can’t stop looking at. He’s especially big, but more like a football player than a couch potato. As the Big King, he rules the house but is also very lovable. He has been known to claim pizza boxes and baskets as his own, but if those aren’t available, he is happy to take a nap on your lap. After that first picture was sent, I could see right away that Max is an awesome cat. But more importantly, I knew I was free to text back my own cat pictures, which was a sign that this would be a very successful relationship.
You know those days when you follow the same routine but don’t get the same result? You get up in the morning, take your shower, get dressed and do your make-up but you somehow still look like you just rolled out of bed. I’m not sure what it is – maybe dehydration or extra puffiness – but being tired isn’t pretty…for cats! Of course, I have no idea what that’s like personally. It’s not like I’ve been accused of looking like a zombie by my lovely boyfriend. If I could relate, I’m sure it would most likely be on a Friday, when the effects of work deadlines and staying up too late have accumulated, when the days have started getting shorter and the fridge is empty. In either case, B and I will be sharing that pillow for a few extra hours this weekend, and I’m sure we’ll both feel (and look) better by Monday.
Since I mentioned Hank’s similarities to the Shiba Inu in my last post, I thought I would introduce you to a cat that is even more like a dog, my Dad’s cat, Mo. Mo is a Bengal cat, a breed that’s meant to be big and a bit wild. He’s been traveling on a leash since day 1 and, for the most part, seems to like exploring his new surroundings. He isn’t always seem comfortable not being able to hide (that’s usually when he gets a shoulder ride), but he has gotten to see much more of the world (read: PNW) than most other domestic animals. This cat has probably been on more beaches and job sites than me! If he could, I’m sure my dad would have him on a kayak or in a backpack going up a mountain. His name is in reference to a song. I can’t remember which one exactly, but I believe it’s about wanting more (pronounced “mo”), more life, more everything. It’s hard to differentiate Mo’s character from my dad’s, given that they are always together and are both eccentric, but I do know that these two are living life to the fullest and aren’t wasting a second.
Maybe it’s because I love my cats so much that I notice things that remind me of them, but I swear I see resemblances of Hank in the very popular Shiba Inu dogs walking around the city. According to Wikipedia, the Shiba Inu is “a small, agile dog that copes very well with mountainous terrain, [and] was originally bred for hunting.” Clearly, Hank is related to this breed somehow. He is very agile, loves to hunt, and has hints of orange in his coat…and just look at the similarities in the nose and ears. Also, “the Shiba’s frame is compact with well-developed muscles”, just like Hank’s! Okay, so it may be a stretch, but my boyfriend and I have started pointing out the “Hank-dog” as we pass one on the sidewalk. Now if only Hank liked to go outside…
*P.S. Does your cat have any distant relations to other animals?