My Four-Legged Fitness Trainers

Like most people, I had never established a pandemic exercise program.  Over time, I came to realize that my “fitness program” consisted of two parts: human-initiated and cat-initiated.  

The human-initiated program was a dismal failure.  Once I removed my cat Maui from my yoga mat, I would do some half-hearted stretching while she supervised.  She also groomed my hair, a nice perk since any hairstyle was better than no hairstyle when the salons were closed.

Next, came the exercise programs on YouTube.  She was my so-called trainer, while my cat Teddy quickly fled from the room, not wanting to see me make a fool of myself again.

Then it dawned on me:  I was already participating in the feline fitness program.  It was an epiphany.  First thing in the morning, Teddy made me squat repeatedly to pet him, as he occupied my chair.  This also tested my balance, while I tried to get into my sweats.

The vet had recently changed his food, which was high octane; thus I found myself incessantly running up and down the stairs, dangling a toy mouse on a string.  Who needs a Stairmaster when you’ve got a cat on high-octane kibble?

In addition to the consistency of the cat-initiated exercise program, it also proved more intense at times.  How can I forget the 4K sprint as I tried to get Teddy into the carrier?  And hauling him from my door to the car was my upper body workout.  

Now I’ve come to realize that the cats’ exercise program was better and more fun than my own.  I can sit down and watch a movie, guilt free, with the two of them on my lap. Seeing between four ears is another matter.

Contributed by Dakin volunteer, Sharon Mangieri

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