Sleeping. They take it seriously. Both the dogs and the cats.
It’s no wonder; they’re in training, hoping to make the U.S. sleeping team and compete in Rio in 2016.
As team photographer, I have unlimited access to Tucker, Calvin and Elsa Clair, so I can capture photos of them in action inaction. I consider myself lucky to witness their dedication. Their focus. Their energy (or lack thereof).
Getting in Shape for Rio 2016: Competitive Sleeping
Like gymnastics or diving, the more difficult the maneuver or position, the more points it is possible to earn.
Here are some of the positions my dogs and cats are working on.
Calvin’s standby is the Curled Comfy Kitty in the Tucked Position. Notice the cat’s tail and paws curled tightly, with just an eartip and a bit of paw sticking out. He’ll have to work on that.
Our dog Tucker’s favorite is the Half Twisting Upside Down Double Paw Flop. This is a great position for him. Both front and back paws are nicely curled, and the curve of his tail just about touches his nose. The flopped ear is Tucker’s signature element here, his earmark.
One position that has served Calvin well in previous sleeping competitions is the Upside Down Quadruple Cute Paw with a Half Twist. Not many cats can successfully perform the quad, but Calvin pulls it off nicely, with front paws in the cute “hug” position, and his back paws in the more traditional but equally adorable curly toe position.
Tucker likes to mix things up a bit. One variation that he came up with himself is the Upside Down Stretchy Paw / Flopped Paw Combination with a Half Twist. In this complicated maneuver, the dog bends his upper body 90 degrees, with one leg straight and the other flopped. Nose and tail are almost touching, while feet and forelegs are pointing in opposite directions. This position can earn him extra points for difficulty.
Elsa Clair, the most flexible of the animals, is the only one who can successfully pull off the Upside Down Bunny Feel with a Full Twist. Her body forms a complete circle while upside down; the cat’s technique is nearly unbeatable, as her tail touches her head with inches to spare, and her bunny feet rate very high on the Adorability Scale.
The most difficult position Tucker performs is the Parallel Double Stretchy Paw with Bunched Feet. This position is a challenge to pull off and therefore has a high degree of difficulty, but Tucker is near perfection with matching front and back paws — and head and tail parallel to each other. A “feet” very few can replicate.
New Event for Rio: Synchronized Sleeping
While Tucker, Calvin and Elsa hope to make the U.S. Sleeping Team in singles competition, we also may have the talent to participate in a new event this year: Synchronized Sleeping. Athena and Calvin are practicing in hopes they’re good enough to make it to Brazil in 2016.
Would your pets be able to compete in Competitive Sleeping? Or are there other events in which they might excel?
You may also like:
- My Cats Love the Olympics
- Calvin, Team USA Women’s World Cup Soccer Fancat
- Welcome to the Winter Games
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