Heading for Rio 2016: My Cats and Dogs Train for Competitive Sleeping

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.

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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Posted in: Cat Funny, Dog Funny, Funny

31 Comments on "Heading for Rio 2016: My Cats and Dogs Train for Competitive Sleeping"

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  1. zooperson says:

    Those three are contenders! Not coulda been contenders, but real contenders! And the team photographer is no slouch either. Go USA Sleep Team!

  2. Ellen Pilch says:

    I would give Athena and Calvin silver medals and gold to everyone else.

  3. Earl Lover says:

    Sleeping is fun. On Mondays. BOL.

  4. suzanprincess says:

    My three cats join in the Nap With Mom team effort. Mom provides the base by laying on her back, then Zoe backs her butt against Mom’s right shoulder; next, WiDget curls up against Mom’s left side, exposing a long expanse of fur to invite petting before sleeping. Waiting for the first two cats to fall asleep, Katja then creeps into position centered on Mom’s legs. Soft purring from one or more assists in keeping the team motionless for many, many minutes. Though we don’t plan to travel for competitive performances, we do practice often.

  5. Wow, the competition sure is going to be fierce in Rio! You all have some seriously great moves. Keep up the great work!!!

  6. Emma says:

    Our whole family is in constant training. It is hard work sleeping so hard!

  7. Lookin’ good. Yous all oughtta win fur sure.

    Luv ya’

    Dezi and Lexi

  8. Sleeping is a serious sport that requires dedication! Your pets look like they’re on the right track, haha! 🙂

  9. That’s a sport Mr. N would like to compete in! He takes his naps very seriously.

  10. We probably should start training too…our sychronize snoozing skills are a bit rusty.

  11. Wow that’s some serious competition for a gold in sleeping! I think it goes to Elsa Clair but Tucker gives some serious treat. But, mom has a sore spot when you mention Rio 2016, she feels the Olympics should have gone to Chicago, she was there live when the announcement was made, bad day for her. Love Dolly

  12. meowmeowmans says:

    Wow. Elsa Clair, Tucker and Calvin are SERIOUS. We think they are ready to go for the gold!

  13. Kitties Blue says:

    We give Elsa Clair a 32 paws up purrfect score. Misty May, Lily and Calista Jo could probably compete. But we do believe all of you would be hard to beat! XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

  14. Looks like the team will soon be unbeatable!

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