Wednesday, September 9, 2009 2:38 PM

Cat Napping

A short time ago, I read an article by Karen Kaplan of the Los Angeles Times on the subject of napping.  To be more precise, the article discussed the results of a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center on Social and Demographic Trends.  Now, I've never thought of napping as trendy, nor does it seem like a new and exciting subject to explore.  However, it was an interesting read.  For example, did you know that people in the earnings range of $75,000 to $99,000 per year nap the least?  If you tend to like snoozing, you'd be better off making a bit less or a bit more.  Who'd have guessed?

Anyway, while I was reading this article, I started thinking about cats (so unusual).  Now, there are the experts on napping!  Well, just look at the title of this post, for example.  Everyone knows cats excel at relaxing and sleeping.  Just think of all the English words that  describe rest (sometimes permanent), inertia, slowness, or quiet that use "cat" as a
prefix: catacomb, catatonic, caterpillar, catastrophe...oh, wait, scratch that last one.  Well, you get my drift.  Even silent, creeping burglars get the "cat" connotation!  And which yoga pose reminds you of a stretching, lithe, relaxing cat?  Why, the cat pose, of course.

Cats sleep a lot.  Adult cats sleep about 16 hours each day.  That seems excessive, doesn't it?  Kittens sleep even more than that and as cats age, they also spend more time asleep.  Think about how a cat sleeps, however.  Often, they take short naps (!) and, even when they are fast asleep, they almost literally have one eye open.  Cats are light sleepers, a trait inherited from their wild and not-so-distant relatives.  Always being on the alert for danger necessarily makes one's sleep less deep.

One note of interest from the above mentioned study was the fact that only 18% of respondents who had napped in the previous 24 hours described themselves as "happy".  The majority were only "pretty happy" or, more depressingly, "not too happy".  Well, I guess there is ONE aspect of napping that has nothing to do with cats!

Movie of the Week:  Hud, starring Paul Newman and directed by Martin Ritt.  Made in 1963, it's a story of dysfunctional family values that never seems dated.  An interesting bit is that all these family members are male.  I'd never seen this movie, which is strange because Paul Newman is (still) one of my all-time favorite actors. Mm-mm!  That guy was hot, right into old age, I must say.  Anyway, a great flick--check it out.
Chat later!

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Amanda has worked with animals for many years and has always had cats in her life. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and two excellent cats.
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