Thursday, September 22, 2011

Introduction to Princess Sidney, the Perpetually Annoyed

I am owned by an adorable, spoiled rotten princess who's only reason for having not taken over the planet is that she lacks the necessary opposable thumbs. Her name is Sidney. All 7 pounds of her little fuzzy existence is devoted to following me around, ensuring that I am not doing anything that messes up her living space.

Every morning my alarm goes off too early for my liking, although later than most of the rest of the world. I hit snooze. This is Sidney's cue to leave the closet of my home office and join me for the last 15 minutes of cuddle time. She lies down on my back or belly, depending on which is facing up, and purrs so contentedly as to drip a drool puddle onto my comforter. She is the reason I had to purchase a fancy duvet cover, so I could wash the darned thing of cat drool regularly. I know the drool doesn't magically stop at the cover and the down-alternative beneath must be getting soaked too. I try not to think of this. I suggest you do the same.

15 minutes later the alarm sounds again and I slap at it until it silences. Sidney happily jumps off the bed and rushes ahead of me to the bathroom. The Boy and I keep the bathroom door closed so Sidney can't spend all night drooling on the sink waiting for one of us to go to the bathroom and turn on the faucet. She loves drinking from the bathroom sink and will spend all day there patiently waiting if we let her. The Boy gets annoyed at the hair and I can't help but think that, although it makes her happy, sitting on the sink 24 hours a day can not be good for anyone's mental development. As such, this is the first opportunity of the day she gets to be truly happy with her beloved faucet.

Once I am done brushing my teeth, showering and banging my head against the wall (mornings are not my strong suit) I open the door, point and grunt. She gets the idea and hops off the sink and trots out ahead of me. She lingers at my feet as I make a green juice and tea if I am ambitious,  whatever seems easy and tea if I am not. Then, off to the office, a whole 30 feet away. Sidney sits in my lap, which is folded into lotus or criss-cross, ensuring the princess has adequate lap space to unfold herself.

I tell you all of this so you get the general idea that my cat and I are very used to each other. Like an old married couple, we have come to our compromises, roll our eyes at the other's perceived shortcomings and begrudgingly alter our routines to accommodate the other's needs. Everything goes very smoothly until a new interest or hobby is introduced, like yoga poses in the home.

Much to Sidney's displeasure, I have taken to trying headstands, with the eventual goal of Tiger Scorpion. Very eventual. I am pretty sure I've got a shot at the pose if I can just figure out how to lift my head up. While I am aware that lifting your head is not the most challenging part of the posture, I get the definite impression that this tiny movement will take me so long to grasp that by the time my head is lifted, I will have been practicing for 19 years and the rest of the pose will fall into place.* By then, I plan on having such a great backbend I look like one of those Chinese gymnasts cultivated from the womb or something.

At any rate, here I am, fairly regularly, placing my forearms on either side of my head, and slowly lifting my legs up into the air. Once vertical, I visualize my head lifting off the floor. Slowly, I move my eyes in the direction I want to go. Flop. Try again. Flop. Try again. Flop. No worries. Again. Flop.

After a few very discouraging attempts at moving my head I decide to just hold a headstand. Maybe all I need is a really strong headstand. I get up, hold it for less than a second and inevitably my little Lucy Ricardo trots over to see why I am not petting her. The balancing act that I am so carefully honing impresses my little one not at all. In fact, with my hands so close to her level, why in the world aren't they attending to their duties i.e. petting her? She, I kid you not, starts head-butting me. In the head. I have to squint because her fur and whiskers are poking me in the eyes.

Not only does it take extreme concentration to keep the pose up with a cat head-butting you, but she is also circling my arms and head, which is dangerously close to where my body would come down should I fall. I get a tickle in my nose. Probably from one of the stray cat-hairs she has just thrust up there. It is clear I am going down. In a desperate attempt to clear my precious from the crash zone, I blow as hard as I can on her face. She looks annoyed, but not so much as to run away. Well, crud. Here we go. Whump! Down I come, narrowly avoiding her tiny form as it dashes out of harm's way.

You would think this harrowing escape from death would be a learning experience. Not so with my wee idiot savant. The next day she is there again, head-butting me in the face. Bless her. She will make sure I get my balance one of these days.

Believe it or not, this is actually a step in the right direction. I, at one point, did backbends at home instead. She liked to hang out, to lay down in fact, between my feet and hands, making it impossible to come down. I have literally been in backbends staring upside-down at her screaming, "PLEASE move! I can't come out of this with you there! Sidney!... Damn it!...Jeff! Can you come in here and get the cat!?!"

Sidney strives to accurately convey her level of extreme apathy toward my discomfort.

Sigh. As I said, I am owned by one spoiled rotten princess.

*If you are about to tell me that this is not, in fact, how yoga works, I have just stuck my fingers in my ears and am loudly proclaiming, "LALALALA...I'm Not Listening!...LALALALA!"

P.S. If you read this far, I assume you are also a cat fan. So, I feel I can share this with you, compliments of the best cute-cultivator EVAR, Bleu Caldwell, YOGA KITTEH!!!

Enjoy, yogis, enjoy.


  1. Ninakat definitely follows me around to make sure I'm not messing up her living space! What a good kitty yoga teacher you have.

  2. Hehehe... this post is AWESOME. I used to go to these (not-Bikram) yoga classes with an older Indian couple, and there was a little baby who would toddle around and play with his grandma's glasses while she was holding a headstand in the middle of the room. It never fazed her a bit.

    And I think you're actually right about tiger-scorpion - the head-lifting bit is really the HARDEST part. I can do all the other parts, but that part just slays me.

  3. WOW! I would LOVED to have seen that. And I sincerely hope you are right. If any parts are harder than the part I am trying now (lifting my head) I am gonna' need to be immortal to get Tiger Scorpion!