If you’re lucky enough to have had any contact with me in times a-recent, you’ll be aware of the existence of Bees, my (and Harry’s) cat.
Bees is a musically trilling firework; a manic pixie dream boy; a veritable teenage mutant bat cat; our significant shadow tabby. Bees is, quite frankly, a magnificent beast.
And but of course he is. We’d always, always had animals growing up in our house. So when H and I moved in together, some (minor planetary, in the grand scheme of things,) moons ago, I naturally wanted to squeeze a cat in with us. Third abode in and now in Bristol, we did it. Picked up our little blue-eyed, beautiful and shouting four-legged hairy millipede from the suburbs, shuffled our lives around him, and introduced him to our ways.
Of these ways, one of the most initially baffling and bemusing to our little zoetrope, was of course my fixation with lolloping. Sorry, er, running. And all the faffing I do around it.
A big part of this faffing is doing all my stretches / vague nods at contortionism before and after going out for a dart. Being a morning runner, this is how it normally goes: I’ll finally drag myself from our bed, clamber into my running gear, make myself a bucket of herbal tea (tea bag kept in) and roll out my squishy blue yoga mat in the glare of the window, with a flick. I’ll then set about some pacing forward folds, to start the leg-loosening process.
Turns out that not only is Bees fantastic at catching lone earthworms, jumping into my muesli at height and collecting pigeon feathers. He also has a penchant for yoga.
Hearing the soft landing of ol’ squishy blue, Bees extricates himself from his breakfast of meaty biscuits and gravy, and appears, with an upturned ‘brrrrrrrrrr’, under my now downward facing dog.
Grinning widely, Bees’ cat yoga routine opens with a rebounding figure of eight for a time. Depending on his mood (though this is less frequent since his op, cruel mother that I am), he will bump heads with me for a while like some happy drunkard, either carrying on gleefully, or sinking his teeth into my bare and bracing wrists, his pupils like dinner plates, becoming more and more incensed in the throes of the ‘game’ as I yelp.
I then move on to my hip-stretching pigeon poses, while Bees trots purring alongside my lengthened leg, and curls up in the crook of the bent one opposite. Finally, he jumps up, then in and out of the house through his cat flap, collecting morning rainwater on his fur and distributing it widely in muddy pawprints up and down my lovely sky blue mat. He finishes this curious choreography by tucking his feet under himself in drumlin fashion, staring unblinkingly at me to get on with it.
Far from my mad cat being a distraction, funnily enough, his routine now makes my routine. I always thought having a cat at home again would help me be more mindful, more present in my surroundings; less ossified by my latest millennial existential angst or Fear Of Missing Out. Turns out I was right. My yoga cat is a charm.