Boots jan11-2014                           

Everyday my cats teach me something about the writing life through their own brand of Olympics. Here’s a list…. 

Patience EventHave you ever noticed how a cat can sit and stare at the same spot for a long time? They can stare at the bird feeders and hope for a bird. They’re willing to sit still as if they were frozen when a curious bug crosses their paths. We can all learn from them. Writing is at times an angst ridden chore of “what ifs”. If we practice the sit and stare we can usually decide and move forward.   

Boots             Cat Leap Event — They are master hunters, so any movement is an exercise in agility. How high, how far and how successful are they at capturing the prey—my foot. It’s humorous to watch Boots, our 9lb cat arc across a king size bed to land on my foot. I often wonder if she’ll sail over the side.  At a mere 5lbs, Neo has mastered cat leap events as a game. He’s fast, has an eagle-eye and uses all four legs to make sure his prey isn’t leaving the bed. Meanwhile, my foot, trampled, grabbed, clawed and chewed, was thankful for a thick blanket. When writers tackle a new project, they feel trampled, pummeled, clawed and chewed up. A little agility and risk usually solves the fear involved in seeing a blank page. Exercise provides a clear mind to solve any pesky plot issues.

                       Neo asleep                          

          Relaxation Event— Cats nap. Sometimes they insist on a nice warm lap for their respite and when that is not available, they resort to furniture. Whether the cat condo or the reader recliner, their artistic side prevails. Writers have the liberty to work long hours, but it takes a toll. Cats have the right idea. A few naps along the way, some added stretches and an hour later, we’re good to go. Back to the words shaping up as we move forward.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort on our part to stimulate the imagination. While I’d love to join my cats basking in the sun, rolling on the floor tossing around a toy mouse and stretching my body, I must sneak off to write while they’re relaxing. How do you offer your body a breather so that you can continue writing?





3 Replies to “CAT OLYMPICS”

  1. Loved this. You’re preaching to the cat choir here. We are down to two cats, but has as many as four a few months ago. I loved all you noted on your Cat Olympics. I’m currently watching one move with the sunbeam across the living room and the day. (What was that old song? “Sun, sun, sun…gotta follow the sun!”) Then she will slip into her napping event on her pillow. Yes, we can learn a lot from our cats. Hmmm. What’s that you say? It’s nap time. Don’t mind if I do 🙂

    1. Hi. Yes, your cat may well put on a bit of weight just after spnaiyg but that should settle down after a few months.You do not say whether your cats are indoor cats or do they go outdoors as well. During the winter the outdoor cats put on weight whilst they laze about in the warm house but once they start spending more time outdoors again, they lose the excess’ weight they have gained. We find that the indoor cats do not have such a great winter weight fluctuation as the cats which go outdoors as well. Personally, I’ve never found a satisfactory way of separating cats feeding to ease one cat having a special diet but if you can, good for you.Cats should always have a mix of wet and dry foods and not just one or the other. When using dry food in addition to wet food, the cat will need less of the wet food than if you just gave them wet food alone. This will help them to maintain their nutritional balance. Also, when putting out dry food, remember to ensure that the cat has a good supply of liquid as well. For dry food our cats all seem to like Iams and their coats seem to be more healthy but it is not cheap. Our cats also like Vitacat Healthy Balance(I believe this is an Aldi own brand) which is much more budget friendly and still keeps them very obviously healthy. For my current cats, these are the two dry foods I try to ensure are in the house at all times as they suit them best. However, the cats will also tolerate short spells on Go-Cat, which has a good variety of flavours to keep them interested, and Whiskas dry food but consistently turn up their noses at Tesco, Sainsbury and Asda dry foods. Over the years, and new cats, I’ve tried most brands and own labels but find that it is a trial and error exercise to find what suits the animals bestHope you find what your girls prefer and the youngest cat’s weight settles soon.(Edited to add the essential reminder to ensure that liquid is available if dry food is used in addition to wet food.)

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