Wednesday 5 August 2009

Sitting, lying, flying on the front line

Here's the dog, showing her Queen Anne front legs and her tummy, on Margery's knee. She can sit or lie in the most extraordinary positions, with no sign of discomfort.

Unlike us stiff, tense, ill-postured humans. Yesterday I went for the first Alexander Technique session that I've had in decades, hoping to deal with my almost-chronic neck, shoulder and jaw pain. An hour was spent being subtly positioned, adjusted, balanced, and tweaked until I found myself either sitting or lying, more amazingly comfortable than I could ever manage unaided. But there is much work ahead to unlearn my poor postural habits. Meantime, I shall grow accustomed to think about about my hips as hinges, not just as over-generous padding. Well-padded hinges.... so well-padded, in fact, that they could justify chintz loose covers, and perhaps an antimacassar.

My teacher is Anne, who also acts as the home visitor for PARRT, the animal rescue charity that provided me with Lottie and Millie (and looking at their website just now, I'm dismayed to see that poor Casper and Oscar are still un-rehomed). So the urge to talk cats and kittens with Anne during our lesson had to be resisted.

Meantime, back at the house of discord and cat supremacy wargaming, all goes on much as before. Occasional spats erupt, then everyone goes back to sleep for a few hours, until a major offensive occurs. Maybe on Christmas Day they will play football together, if they can identify a No Man's Land. It certainly isn't my bed.

Someone asked about the dog in all this unseemly cat fighting. Well, the dog is rather timid by nature, unless the postman appears, and has always known her place. She stays well out of the conflict zone, and scuttles away if voices are raised too loudly. Cat swearing can be very vulgar. But she isn't always quiet and humble. She knows that there are advantages, mostly of the dish-cleaning variety, to being agile and alert in a cat household, and that the softie human always doles out dog treats as well as cat titbits.

And there's always this: freedom to run around in the park, well away from the war zone. The cats never do this; they are far too image-conscious to muddy their paws or get grass in their fur. The dog cares little for dignity and clean paws, nor, I suspect, for power struggles and queenly crowns.


Linda said...


Susan said...

OK, we confess. We arrive here each day in search of more Millie - It's always Millie we're hoping for. That said we read today's post with great interest.

We both had to look up the word "antimacassar" ?? must be a British thing. Oliver had great hopes that the Alexander Technique might help him excel at his Parkour as soon as he read "freedom of movement" over at Wikepedia and we stopped by to have a visit with the animals looking for new homes over at PARTT.

We were thrilled to read more about "the dog" as she seems mainly to have a behind the scenes role here at Slow Lane but ...

nothing prepared us for that last photo.
Wow. All we can say is

Shut Up !! Pure Dog Joy !! LOVE it !!

That's "the" best photo we have seen in a very long time. Best Regards (and please say hello to Millie) Oliver & Susan

Marie said...

Goodness: neck, shoulder and jaw pain does not sound like fun! I seize up every now and then in the neck and go reluctantly to a chiropractor who looks like a bear. He does unspeakable things, and it helps hugely,as long as I take it easy afterwards.

The Alexander technique taught me some very helpful things - it was part of our opera school curriculum...

Are you, as Don Es might phrase it...s..t.r.e.s.s.e.d? Perhaps because of the exciting and much thought-about Move?

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