Need to tone up? Is your cat bored? Then does cat fitness trainer Stephanie Jackson ever have the plan for you! Catflexing: A Catlover’s Guide to Weight Training, Aerobics & Stretching (Ten Speed Press, 1997) is the only program I’ve seen that provides essential bodily maintenance for the human while simultaneously inventing a whole new brand of “quality time” with the cat.
Kudos to Stephanie Jackson for this pioneering effort that shows how even something as painful and counterintuitive as stretching and exercise can be improved upon if you just manage to involve a cat. Girl is onto something here, and you can see she’s enjoying herself. When was the last time the gal in the tights was smiling wide doing her crunches? Well, do a crunch with a cat on your abdomen and just try NOT to smile, okay?
In fact, the whole book made me feel good, and I didn’t even try one of these exercises yet. I smiled just reading it and looking at the wonderful pictures of Stephanie doing lunges with her cat on her shoulders, Stephanie doing pushups with the cat lying on her back, Stephanie using the cat as a dumbbell.
Yes, this is truly a classic in the cat-human canon. Stephanie and her co-authors, Bad and Masi, can count themselves among the spiritual midwives of the Self Help for Cats movement. If anyone knows how to contact Stephanie Jackson, I would be thrilled to interview her here on Self Help for Cats, to learn more about how her spark for synergy originally ignited, and to update us on her latest good works.