It dawned on me, as I was having one of my days when motivation is in short supply and excuses against productivity and movement are overflowing, the mind has incredible ability to overpower any physical assets or need for assertion. No matter the desire to get done “the things,” it seems that the brain can come up with a plethora of suggestions that undermine any willpower with whispered hints of anything more pleasant than the task at hand. As if by magic, hands will of their own accord shut off alarms, and eyelids will remain firmly in place drawn over the windows of the soul to bar any of the outside world and intrusive reminders of “the things” that must be done.
While I am fully aware of the physical needs of the body for nourishment and rest, I am also sadly not a woman of means that can afford to ignore “the things” and so the occasional force and will must be utilized to push aside the wee devil upon my shoulder that says “You don’t really need to do that now… it can wait. Sure you can sleep until your second alarm. No one will know you didn’t go to the gym…” The insidious influence is even more powerful after a month long death march of quarterly analysis and audits during which travel was a constant and sleep was a distant memory. Seasonal allergies do not help either. In any case, it seems that my body and willpower need little coaxing to leave the tracks of my normal healthy routines and productive lifestyle to transform me into a slug… or a furniture tuber… whatever your choice of moniker, slovenly inactivity become way too attractive.
One of the most devious of the paralyzing agents in my life is the creature who decided to make our home his own about four years ago. The feline (dare I even call him this, because I still feel that he is not quite of this realm) appears to be a normal 10 pound gray tabby. However, looks can be deceptive. After literally letting himself into our home and staunchly refusing to depart, he has become known to most as Gray. Sometimes Gray Kitty or Gray Cat. His full name (finally revealed after a few years) is The Gray Wanderer Dragonsbane, Demonspawn of the Forge… aka The Mighty Toehunter. He has grown quite fond of social media and occasionally shares his thoughts (#TOTTH). He has also mastered the “art” of taking selfies (something I have never managed to do with any skill… see The Unfathomable Idea of the Selfie). I bring up the Gray one as an illustration because every once in while he has this astounding ability to immobilize my body and mind to the extent that I feel powerless.
The beast rarely takes the role of the lap cat, but when he does… It has the magical ability of removing all desire to move, stand, or engage in productive activity. I’ve witnessed this phenomenon a multitude of times. The presence of the mighty master of the domain has rendered me helpless and powerless to respond to instant messages, the need to shower and get ready for various events, or even to respond to the demands of my bladder.
I can bench press the weight of a small adult, but I cannot seem to lift or otherwise remove a 10-pound demonic cat from my lap, enabling my further progress on daily tasks and responsibilities. I would be more baffled by this, but I did read, a good many years ago, a short explanation of this almost magical power of felines. It was called The Theory of Cat Gravity and it was by an artist/author named Robin Wood.
The explanation was so remarkably thorough and yet simple. It was possibly the greatest cat-physics-theoretical contemplation I had encountered since the Buttered Cat Array. The Theory of Cat Gravity states that cats convert energy into gravity and mass and transfer that same force into any particular individual on which they elect to take their rest, thereby increasing their own mass and gravitational pull of the earth upon their physical form, overriding their normal physical abilities to move and more importantly… get up. Thus, any individual who has a cat curled in their lap has a perfectly reasonable explanation for why they sat on the couch for an hour longer than they were supposed to… and that is why I was late to my appointment. My apologies.