I don’t know about you, but I like to set goals for myself. Even though I’m a cat, I believe you should strive to achieve long term, short term, monthly, weekly and daily goals. My long term goal is to live my full nine lives. My goals for this year is to exercise daily in the middle of the night and my short term goal is to sleep all the hours I’m not running around chasing my tail or eating.
Mom’s Fitness Failure
My mom’s goal for 2018 was to get in really good shape. She failed. Last year it was up and down for her. One week she exercised a ton, ate healthy and and lost a pound or two, and then the next week she gained it all back. She was sooooooo mad! But now in 2019, she’s ready to try it again.
One reason she failed in 2018 was because she was bored with her routine. But last fall she had an epiphany. And it involved me.
Running with me
On September 5 she was lacing up her running shoes to go for a run. She noticed I was at her feet. (I think it would be funny if she tripped over me and fell so that’s why I do that. I’m naughty and I know it.) But instead of yelling at me to move, she scooped me up, put me in my stroller and took me on her run.
I was shocked. Before I had time to digest what was happening, we ran a half mile around the house and the wind was blowing between my ears. It was actually super fun. I pretended I was in a Mercedes convertible breezing through the streets of my neighborhood. Thus began our new workout goal… to run a 5K together. We trained every day until last November, when the snow started to fly and it was too difficult for mom to maneuver the stroller.
Our winter has just been plain lousy so Mom hasn’t been able to take me out. But as soon as the weather clears up, we’re both ready to get back at it. In the meantime, Mom is running some 5K’s without me. Running with a stroller is a little different than running by yourself, so we will use the Couch to 5K running plan. It’s great because it gradually builds time and distance. You run a little and walk a little until you’re running for at least 20 minutes straight.
You must be thick skinned when you run with your cat, because let me tell you… people will stare. They think it’s a bit silly. My neighbors think the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous, including my human dad, who says he doesn’t want to be seen with me and mom when we run together. We get teased a lot and everyone laughs, but we don’t care. As long as we have fun together that’s all that matters.
I’m pretty sure I will be my mom’s running partner for the rest of my life. I love it! Stroller rides were actally recommended by my veterinary behaviorist. Since I was an orphaned kitten with no siblings, I have some aggression issues. I need extra stimulation to keep me busy or I do very naughty things. My stroller is my safe spot, and I love to be zipped up and see new sites and sounds. Rain, snow, sleet or shine, I want out!
How to get your cat to like the stroller
You may be wondering, how did Mom get me used to riding in a stroller? It was a special process.
She started with putting the stroller in the living room and bedroom and making it really soft and comfy. Being a creature of comfort, I crawled in it and began using it as a bed. She then moved the stroller to the front entryway, where I continued to sleep in it. I couldn’t figure out why she wanted me to sleep by the front door.
But one day it all made sense.
While I was sleeping, she zipped me up and we went outside for our first walk. I loved breathing the fresh air and hearing all the birds. I love my stroller because my person sometimes throws in some treats to make sure I associate it with positive experiences. Walking in the stroller led to running with the stroller.
Since mom and I live in a cold climate, many cat owners probably have no desire to do what mom and I do. But I hope this post inspires you to do something creative with your cat. You can include animals in everything you do with the right mindset.
Too many cats just lay around the house and do nothing. They need fun and enrichment. Why not include them in more of your every day activities? Better yet, your life goals? You and your kitty will learn to appreciate each other even more, which will ultimately strengthen your emotional bond and make the two of you even more fabulous.