How about another thatched animal? Carrying on with the recent theme of cats, here is another picture of a thatched cat. Unfortunately I can’t remember where this thatched cat was; one thing is for sure he certainly is having a good stretch on that chimney.
So why do cats stretch so much? If there were an Olympic event for stretching, cats would win gold. They’re constantly stretching their muscles, likely for many of the same reasons that people do. What are the main reasons for this? Andrew Cuff, a postdoctoral researcher of anatomy at the Royal Veterinary College in London reports that “basically, it feels good and increases blood flow”.
Cats sleep between 12 and 16 hours a day, about twice as much as people do, according to Rubin Naiman, a clinical psychologist at the University of Arizona; when humans sleep, the brain paralyzes most of the body’s muscles to prevent people from acting out their dreams. The same thing happens to cats during catnaps, which prevents the cat from sleepwalking off the sofa or wherever it’s snoozing. Once the cat wakes up, the stretching begins.
Cuff went on to suggest that, “Cats stretch to get their muscles moving again after periods of inactivity, whether they’ve been sitting still or sleeping. When a cat is sleeping or relaxed, its blood pressure drops, the same is true for people, he added. Stretching can help to reverse that. “As you stretch, it activates all of your muscles and increases your blood pressure, which increases the amount of blood flowing to the muscles and also to the brain. “This helps wake you up and make you more alert.”
As the muscles start moving with each stretch, they also flush out the toxins and waste by-products that build up during periods of inactivity. For instance, carbon dioxide and lactic acid can accumulate in a cat’s body, but stretching can increase blood and lymph circulation, which helps to remove the toxins. What’s more, stretching readies the muscles for activity. If a mouse scurries by or, let’s be honest, a spider if we’re talking about house cats, the cat will be prepared to pounce if he or she has already stretched its muscles. “It’s good for them to be ready to go at any instant,” Cuff said. “Whether it’s a snake, a feather or something on TV, as the case may be with cats.”
I found this rather apt cat Poem on the web, called Catalog by Rosalie Moore
Cats sleep fat and walk thin.
Cats, when they sleep, slump;
When they wake, pull in–
And where the plump’s been
Cats walk thin.
Cats wait in a lump,
Jump in a streak.
Cats, when they jump, are sleek
As a grape slipping its skin–
They have technique.
Oh, cats don’t creak.
Cats sleep fat.
They spread out comfort underneath them
Like a good mat,
As if they picked the place
And then sat.
You walk around one
As if he were the City Hall
A cat is apt to sing on a major scale;
This concert is for everybody, this
For a baton, he wields a tail.
(He is also found,
When happy, to resound
With an enclosed and private sound.)
A cat condenses.
He pulls in his tail to go under bridges,
And himself to go under fences.
In any size box or kit;
And if a large pumpkin grew under one,
He could arch over it.
When everyone else is just ready
To go out,
The cat is just ready to come in.
He’s not where he’s been.
Cats sleep fat and walk thin.