Dogs and Cats Make the U.S. Sleep Team for Competitive Sleeping

Sleeping. My pets take it seriously. Both the dogs and the cats.

It’s no wonder; they trained hard to make the U.S. sleeping team, and are thrilled to compete in Rio.

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 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 expecting to perform.

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.

Calvin Cat Sleeping Olympics tucked position

Competitive sleeping hopeful Calvin: Curled Comfy Kitty in the Tucked Position.

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.

Tucker Demonstrates the Half Twisting Double Paw Flop

Tucker Demonstrates the Half Twisting Upside Down Double Paw Flop.

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.

Calvin Cat Sleeping Olympics: Double Cute Paw

Calvin’s tail is in a perfect tucked and curled position as he trains for Olympic Sleeping,

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.

Tucker Demonstrates the Half Twisting Double Paw Flop

The Upside Down Stretchy Paw / Flopped Paw Combination with a Half Twist, one of the positions Tucker hopes will earn him a spot on the U.S. Sleeping Team and earn him a trip to Rio in 2016.

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.

Elsa Clair cat practices for Olympic cat sleeping

Elsa Clair is nearly unbeatable in competitive sleeping with her Upside Down Bunny Feet with a Full Twist. She hopes to make the U.S. Sleeping Team with this unusual and very difficult position.

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.

Tucker practices Olympic sleeping

A unbeatable “feet:” Tucker’s Parallel Double Stretchy Paw Bunched Feet

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.

Athena and Calvin practice synchronized sleeping in preparation for the Cat Sleeping Olympics.

Athena and Calvin still need some practice if they hope to compete in Synchronized Sleeping.

Would your pets be able to compete in Competitive Sleeping? Or are there other events in which they might excel?

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12 Comments on "Dogs and Cats Make the U.S. Sleep Team for Competitive Sleeping"

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  1. meowmeowmans says:

    You sleepy cuties are poised to sweep the podium!

  2. Emma says:

    My fur siblings and I train hard for this event every single day of the week!

  3. Peyton says:

    I look at those poses and even with my own cats and I have to wonder. How in the world can that be comfortable?

  4. Daisy says:

    Oh that last picture of Calvin and Athena is just TOO cute!!! Your family does excel in the Sleep Olympics, but Daisy would give them a run for their money – she makes it her life’s work to practice on a variety of surfaces in a variety of poses. :)

  5. Those are some gold medal purrformances!

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