Sleeping. Cats take it seriously. I admire their dedication. Their focus. Their energy (or lack thereof). For kitties, it’s never just a nap; it’s a competition as to whose siesta is sweetest, whose dozing is the most divine.
My cats gave me access to the private world of feline competitive sleeping, and allowed me to take pictures of them while they train. I had to agree not to wake them up during practice (unless it’s dinner time), to step over them when they’re on the stairs and to give up my office chair as a training area, but it’s worth it just to watch these sleepletes at their best.
The following are photos taken from the sessions I’ve observed, and are mostly of Calvin Tiberius Katz, who is our most skillful snoozer. Like human gymnastics, diving, freestyle skiing or half-pipe snowboarding, the more difficult the maneuvers or positions, the more points it is possible to earn.
Comfy Kitty Ball in the Tucked Position
This is Calvin’s standby. Notice the cat’s tail and paws curled tightly, with just an eartip and a bit of paw sticking out. He’ll have to work on that.
Curved Kitty with a Curled/Straight Paw Combination
This is a little trickier, as one paw must be straight and the other in the cute curled paw position. Calvin has it down, though the judges may take points off for a slight tip to the straight leg.
Broccoli Paws in the Pike Position
This difficult maneuver requires all four paws to align like a bunch of organic broccoli rubberbanded together at Whole Foods. Extra points are awarded for jellybean toe visibility.
Reverse Twisting Backbend
Notice Calvin’s flexibility as his head and hindquarters create that elusive V-shape. His tail is neatly tucked in, and his paws add a touch of adorability much appreciated by the judges.
Upside Down Quadruple Cute Paw with a Half Twist
Not every cat has mastered the quad, but Calvin is one of the few. Extra points are awarded for its high degree of difficulty — and cuteness.
Upside Down Bunny Feet with a Full Twist
Calvin’s sister Elsa Clair specializes in the most difficult sleep positions, and this is one of them. No other cat comes close to pulling it off, and she is nearly unbeatable when she nails this one.
New for 2016: Synchronized Sleeping
All the cats are excited about this new event that will debut in the 2016 season. Calvin has teamed up with Athena to try and qualify. But first they have to stop hissing at each other.
Are your cats sleepletes? What are their best positions?
About the author: Susan C. Willett is a writer, photographer, and blogger whose award-winning original stories, photography, poetry, and humor can be found at Life With Dogs and Cats. She lives in New Jersey with four cats and three dogs (all rescues) and at least a couple of humans — all of whom provide inspiration for her work. Refusing to take sides in the interweb’s dogs vs. cats debate, Susan enjoys observing the interspecies interaction among the varied inhabitants of her home — like living in a reality TV show, only furrier. In addition to Life With Dogs and Cats, you can find more Dawn, Athena, Calvin and Elsa Clair (and the rest of the gang) on Haiku by Dog™, Haiku by Cat™, and Dogs and Cats Texting.