25: Guru Kitty

25: Guru Kitty

From Chicken Soup for the Soul: I Can't Believe My Cat Did That!

Guru Kitty

Commit to be fit.

~Author Unknown

“Hey cat, careful, you’ll scrunch my papers.” Naomi, my sleek, black kitty, ignored my warning and plopped into my lap. She kneaded the papers several times with her paws and settled in.

“Sorry. They’re important.” I set her on the floor and smoothed the papers as best I could. They were important indeed — a report on my bone density scan that showed osteopenia. The doctor warned if I didn’t take action I was a likely candidate for osteoporosis. I pictured a cabinet full of medications and a future where I had to be on constant vigil not to fall and fracture something. I had to take action, and fast.

Naomi leapt back onto my lap.

“Seriously, cat. Quit messing with the papers.” I ruffled the fur between her ears and set her on the couch beside me.

“Meow.” She turned her head to stare at me with her round, green eyes.

I started to read the lab report for the tenth time.

“Meow.” She extended one slender paw and whapped my arm.

This was atypical Naomi behavior. Could she be trying to tell me something?

“You have an idea, Miss Naomi?” I ruffled the fur between her ears.

“Meow.” She tiptoed to the other end of the couch where she sat, turned her head away from me, and began licking her back.

“Is that advice?” I couldn’t lick my back in a million years. And if I could, what would that have to do with my bones?

Naomi stopped grooming herself and looked at me. Her expression was a mix of disgust and disdain.

I thought a minute. “I get it. Flexibility.”

She revved her gravelly engine until she had a loud purr going.

I was so impressed with her advice that I set the lab report on the lamp table, got up from the couch and did something I’d been putting off for years. I called the yoga studio a friend attended and registered for a weekly class. I resolved to take exercise classes at our local recreation center too.

With one more glance at the papers, I went to the kitchen to prepare dinner. A wedge of three-layer chocolate cake left over from a granddaughter’s birthday beckoned me from the counter. I got a fork and prepared to dig in for some quick energy before I started cooking.

Before I could take a single luscious bite I felt Naomi rub against my leg. Naomi isn’t a cat who rubs against legs. I leaned down, swooped her into my arms, and scratched the white spot in the center of her black chest.

“Hey, Miss Kitty, what are you doing?” I asked. “I hope you don’t have your eye on that cake. Chocolate is bad for kitties.”

“Meow,” she answered.

“Okay, so it’s bad for humans too.”

“Meow.” She blinked her eyes.

“Are we talking a diet for me?”

Again she rumbled into a purr.

I thought of the articles I’d read about the benefits of whole grains and green leafy vegetables. “I don’t have to give up cranberry orange muffins and mochas, do I?”

She rumbled on. Who was she to talk? Or rather purr. Holding steady at eight pounds, she refused all kitty snacks and had maintained the same weight and waistline for fifteen years. I couldn’t say the same for me. More importantly, geriatric for a cat, she could spring on any counter in the house. Nutrition had to have something to do with that.

I set Naomi on the floor and put an inverted bowl over the chocolate cake so I wouldn’t be tempted.

Naomi stretched and walked across the kitchen. “Meow, meow,” she said, looking back at me from the doorway into the hall.

“I need to make dinner. Do you have more advice for me?” I supposed with all the controversy I’d read in articles about the treatment of bone density, a cat’s advice might be as good as any.

“Meow.” She twitched her tail.

“I’m coming.”

In the master bedroom Naomi went immediately to a shoebox lid of cat toys near our bed. She lay down on her side, stretched one paw into the lid, and batted a cloth mouse, sending it flying. Then she pounced on it and batted it directly toward me.

“I’ll play ‘cat and mouse’ with you.” I surprised us both when I lay down near Naomi and knocked the mouse her way.

“Meow,” she said with a tone that implied, “look at you relaxing and having some fun.” She whopped the mouse back to me.

I sent it scurrying in front of her nose.

She flicked the toy just out of my reach.

I scooted for it and flipped it back so quickly it whizzed by her head.

Naomi’s ears flattened and she pounced on it before batting it back. We’d have to try out for the cat and mouse Olympics. I was Type A to the max, which couldn’t be good for my bones, not to mention my cardiovascular system. I should do this every night.

I crept closer to Naomi, snaked out an arm and pulled her close.

She lifted her head, rubbed her cheek against mine, and burst out with her loudest purr yet.

“You’re better motivation than any article I’ve read,” I said, my lips against her tiny damp nose. Naomi was a nice name, but maybe I should start calling her Guru Kitty.

~Samantha Ducloux Waltz

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