This morning, as I was napping underneath the couch, I heard Brother Henry and Sir Thomas talking in the living room. Brother Henry said, “Sir Thomas, proper stretching is extremely important if you want to maintain your cat reflexes.” I peeked out from under the couch and saw Brother Henry sitting on top of the cat tree in the front window. He continued, “So, let’s start with a simple one leg stretch.” He sat up and raised his right paw.
Brother Henry said, “So now you want to just reach upward, stretching all the muscles along the right side of your body…” As he spoke, he extended his leg upward.
Watching from the floor below, Thomas became very excited. He said, “But Brother Henry! What if I want to stretch even more of my body? I think if I do the same thing you just did, but add a twist it will stretch me even more! See!” He then stretched upward while at the same time twisting his body 180 degrees.
Sir Thomas lost his balance as he spun, and ended up sitting on his stomach on the floor. Brother Henry said, “Sir Thomas, please, just do what I do. Now, if you had followed my instructions, you would have been able to transition directly from the one leg stretch into a full on two-legged hallelujah paw raise… like this.” He then performed a perfect HPR.
Again getting excited by what he saw, Sir Thomas said, “That is amazing, Brother Henry! But what if I want to just stretch my neck and do like a hallelujah head raise or something. It would be all like this!” Thomas looked up, stretching his neck skyward.
Brother Henry said, “No! No! No! Sir Thomas, please follow along! See, if you would have done as I asked and did the single paw raise, and then the hallelujah paw raise, you could have transitioned directly into the squatting tiger stretch. See, you just squat down and stretch both paws out in front of you with claws extended. This not only stretches my back and legs, it also keeps my claw muscles nice and limber.”
Thomas said, “Whoa… oh man, but what if after I stretched my neck I was all like this!” Still laying down, Thomas reached out with his front legs. He said, “See! My legs and claws are stretched here too, but I am down lower…. where the real danger is… on wiener dog level!”
Now clearly exasperated, Brother Henry said, “That’s all well and good, Sir Thomas, but if you had followed my instructions and moved into squatting tiger pose, you would have then been able to quickly transition into crunchy bird capture pose. See, if you are in squatting tiger, and a crunchy bird suddenly flies by, you barely even need to move to reach up and grab it. See, I’m in squatting tiger and… BAM! I have a snack.” As Brother Henry said, “BAM!” he rotated his body and reached upward as if he was grabbing something out of the air.
Not to be discouraged, Thomas said, “Yeah, but from my pose I can capture birds too! See, I am sitting here ready to fend off wiener dogs and… BAM!…oooof.” When Thomas said, “BAM!” he tried to reach up as Brother Henry had done, but he lost his balance and fell on his side.
Sir Thomas had knocked the wind out of himself. Brother Henry jumped down off the cat tree, and I came out from under the couch. We both wanted to make sure he was OK. Fortunately, nothing was hurt but his pride.
Brother Henry decided to wrap up the morning stretching session at that point, but he asked Sir Thomas to think about what he had learned, and be prepared to follow along more closely next time. Thomas meekly replied, “Yes sir.” I decided to try to cheer Thomas up and I told him that in honor of the amazing effort he had put forth I was declaring today Super Stretching Sunday. He perked up saying, “Thanks Leader O!” and then he headed off to the water bowl for a much needed drink.
So Sayeth Otis