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Stella Talks Exercise

Do cats exercise?

Michael Leaverton  |  Feb 2nd 2021


With Stella having just celebrated her 18th birthday and napping more than ever, I wondered: Do cats exercise? Would Stella exercise? How crazy would it be to ask her that?

Stella, you’re 18 now. I was wondering how you might feel about starting an exercise regimen.
What’s that mean?

Regimen?
Exercise.

Ah. Well, you know how I do yoga in the back bedroom every morning?
Is THAT what you’re doing?

What did you think I was doing?
Initially I thought you were coughing up a hairball —

But I do yoga for 30 minutes.
— a really BAD hairball. But then I blocked it out. I figured it was one of those embarrassing things humans do when they think cats aren’t looking at them, like when you play with your nose.

I play with my nose?
“Playing” is a charitable word for it.

Let’s move on.
I used to think you were digging for fleas, but that would be WAY too many fleas.

Can we please just talk about exercise?
Jeez, relax. You need some time to do your thing in the back bedroom?

I was thinking we could start by going for walks. Get the blood flowing.
Blood STOPS?

I just mean we can get some fresh air.
Our air is OLD?

I just mean this is indoor air. Fresh air is outside.
And we have to walk to get it? How far? Is this why you go to the store so much? Why don’t you ever bring me back some? Are you holding out on me?!

It’s just an expression, Stella.
Who knew exercising was so confusing?

Indulge me, Stella. I think you’d love a walk, out in the sunshine with the wind at our backs.
OK, fine, we’ll walk. To where?

Nowhere, really. Just around.
Cats don’t do “nowhere.” Whenever we walk we have a clear objective: food, water, a sunbeam —.

Wait, I see you mindlessly walking around the house all the time. It’s like all you do.
Those are ROUNDS, bright boy. I’m checking points of entry.

For what?
For people who want to attack me.

Ah, right. I forget you’re a cat.
Cats always have to be ready in case someone wants to attack them. It’s our nature.

Have you ever considered that NOBODY wants to attack you? Like EVER? You’re a cat, and people love cats.
In the moment, maybe. But anybody could snap, and then where would I be? ATTACKED. Best to stay alert.

I still think you’re being a bit paranoid.
How do you think I’ve made it to 18? By being always on guard.

On guard against what? Our mailman?
Precisely!

Back to taking a walk. I could put you on a leash and —
Wait, what’s a leash?

You know, a cord that binds you to me.
Did you say a cord that BINDS me to you?

Uh … how about we make it the other way around? The cord doesn’t bind you to me but it binds me to you?
Hmm. Binds you to me, you’re saying.

Yes.
Something still seems off.

It’s totally above board.
OK, fine. I’ll submit to a walk, with no clear objective, to keep my blood from stopping, and to get air that is not old. Is that exercise?

One form of it.
You’re not going to make me do that stuff in the back bedroom, are you?

It’s just yoga, Stella.
Don’t kid yourself. That is NOT yoga.

Featured Image: VikiVector | Getty Images

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