Meditation on Animal Play
When you listen to this podcast, you’ll notice that there’s no mention of Bamboo the cat’s behavior during these intervals. This is because from the first instant that he made the connection between the woodstove, and warmth, and my clawably comfortable yoga mats, he decided that no interactive toy could compel him to budge from that location. I suspect this occurred because his idea of a good interactive toy is a rodent who dares venture into the basement through the dry stone foundation. Compared to that, even the most creative manmade toy lacks pizazz.
The meditative setting The clawed mat
Because of this, I’ve had to resort to devious tricks to keep him off the mat. Thus far my greatest successes come in cold weather because—great outdoor explorer though he is—he does not like to be cold in the house. To capitalize on this feline weakness, I immediately stoke up the woodstove first thing when I get up in the morning. My goal isn’t to warm the house so much as to warm the brick center chimney that serves as the flue for the stove. More importantly, said chimney runs through my office right behind the corner of my desk where Bam sleeps.
If all goes well, by the time I download the day’s email and reply to the most pressing, the chimney’s warmth will have lulled him into that comatose sleep favored by felines. Then the dogs and I sneak downstairs and the day unfolds as described in the podcast.
If the chimney fails to do its magic… well, let’s just say that yoga is apt to give way to aerobics as cat and human vie to maintain possession of the mat for the next hour. On a good day for me, it’s a draw.