RolyFit Special: The Roly Twist!

♪ Let’s twist again, like we did last summer…♪

Oh, hello there!  Welcome back to RolyFit!!  We hope you have enjoyed stretching with me,  RolyFit Certified Instructor-Top Cat Level and Founder of RolyFit – Roly Poly himself!  As this is our last class, I wanted to share my favorite posture with you: The Roly Twist!

Similar to Twist & Kick,  Roly Twist is a supine posture. This is a great posture to do any time of day, whether it be before siesta, after siesta, or any time of day.  My all-time favorite time to do the Roly Twist was when Mommy and Daddy would come home from work, stressed out.  I simply rolled into Roly Twist and they would laugh- every time! Yes, it’s that much fun to do as well as to watch! Mommy always said it was her favorite stretch. In fact- Roly Twist was an incentive for her to look into a safe (and Christian) alternative to yoga, and she got certified  in WholyFit!  How awesome is THAT??

The basics: Roly Twist is a supine spinal twist with a kick and a change-up: It is, simply put- Roll & Twist!  (Aw, come on! You’ve got to love the word play there!)

Let’s get started!

As with all RolyFit stretches, start out slow!  First- choose your location; it can be the floor or on a softer surface like a bed or a couch- but keep in mind that you will need plenty of room to roll around. Slowly lay down and roll over on your back. Breathe deeply! Next, slowly twist your front legs to the left, simultaneously twisting your rear legs to the right.  Feel that stretch!  But that’s not it! There’s sooooo much more!  Leaving your front legs in position, slowly bring your rear legs to the center.  Keep that balance! Finally- the change-up:  Slowly twist your front legs to the right, and your rear legs to the left!  Don’t forget to BREATHE and SMILE! That’s it- the Roly Twist!

Wasn’t that fun? 

NOTE: Floors and beds will allow you more room to twist and roll from side-to-side; this is especially preferred for beginners.  Obviously, a bed is more comfy- but just make sure to get too close to the edge, or you will twist and roll right off! Safety first!  We only recommend doing Roly Twist on a couch if you are an experienced RolyFitter.  While having the security of a corner may be good for you- think about how much more you can stretch on a great big bed!

I cannot sign off without adding this from my kitty heart: It is so sad to see so many memes about cats and dogs on top of their humans while they are doing yoga. These poor humans just don’t get it.  We 4-legged friends are NOT joining in; we are trying to get them to STOP PRACTICING YOGA.  And don’t even get me started on goat yoga. Seriously? I mean, who doesn’t love a cute little goat – but… No. Just… NO!

The bottom line is that stretching is a necessity for felines and humans alike.  But let’s face it- felines have got the edge – and most of us felines instinctively know how to stretch safely.  I  loved it when Mommy started doing a much safer stretching program- WholyFit. you may recall that was why I started the kitty version, RolyFit.

Anyway- getting back on track here- I just want to thank you so much for joining me in my RolyFit over this past year. I hope it has been as fun for you as it has for me.  Now, it is up to you to stretch.  Do your homework. Adopt a cat!  Don’t forget to SMILE- it’s an important part of RolyFit! And by all means- keep on stretching safely!

Blessings to All and Many Meowy Thanks,

Roly Poly

RolyFit Certified Instructor-Top Cat Level

Founder of RolyFit

Don’t forget to SMILE! It’s an important part of RolyFit!!
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Our Simba Bimba: The Chubby Little Cat with the Cutest Profile

I had finally convinced my husband to adopt a kitten. As he grew up a dog lover and knew nothing about cats, it took a while to convince him. But he is an animal lover, and seeing kittens in the wild also tugged at his heart.  I even let him choose the name of our not-yet-chosen-kitten.  We named our furry baby-to-be after the main character in Daddy-to-be’s favorite film – Lion King.  We named our yet-unknown furry child Simba.

In the abandoned jungle area next to a friend’s house, a somewhat stray cat had kittens (“somewhat stray” as she had adopted the friend’s house); we were to adopt one after it was weaned. One of the four kittens was an adorable gray and white one, with the most adorable face that melted our hearts. Her coloring was quite simple and not very unique; gray and white cats are fairly common.  What made this one different was her profile- her perfectly painted nose gave the illusion of a different shape. That, combined with her big eyes, gave her a profile we could not resist. We chose that kitten to be our Simba.  I don’t know why I was convinced our precious kitten would be a male; she was not. We never bothered to peek before we chose, and it didn’t matter.  Simba was meant to be ours.

It was that adorable face that melted our hearts when she did something she wasn’t supposed to be doing- which was fairly often.  “Simba No” became – like when she accidentally knocked something down, or jumped on the couch.  Stealing Roly’s food.  Begging for food. Trying to steal Roly’s tuna when he wasn’t looking.  Trying to terrorize our friend Pat’s fat cat that we cat sat. Bringing home a bat, and refusing to catch a mouse. Knocking on our door at 3:00am.  Yes- knocking.  The little booger!

That little face melted the heart of Daddy, from the time Simba was a kitten.   One look at that sweet little face, and all was forgiven for waking him up early. Wherever Daddy was, Simba just looked at him with those big pleading eyes, and jumped on his belly– her favorite place.  She loved her daddy, and Daddy loved his Little Girl.

And then came my mom- Simba’s Weeta. Mom sat on the couch to relax- fully aware that we didn’t allow our furry children up there- especially our fuzzy wuzzy Simba. But…Those big, pleading Simba eyes… Weeta fell for that sweet little face. Simba jumped on the couch, gave her Weeta those big eyes, and Weeta’s heart melted.  Simba won; she knew I wouldn’t say no to my mom! And so, Simba procured a spot on the couch next to her Weeta-  the Weeta Corner.

That precious profile! That sweet little chubby face, with a nose painted not quite symmetrically, but without a doubt to perfection. Combined with her chubby little belly- Simba was impossible to resist.

Simba’s final story here is that her story isn’t final. During those last weeks spent with my precious little Simba, trying to memorize every little detail of that sweet little face, I made her a promise. When I made that promise, she looked at me with those big, sweet, loving eyes and reminded me of the importance of keeping memories alive with the written word. Of continuing to express love through sharing their stories – hers, Guerita’s and Roly’s. That in the process, we each find joy and healing.

Fuzzy Wuzzy was a cat with the cutest profile you ever did see. She was our precious little “Simba No”.

Our Simba Bimba.

The Chubby One.

Nosy Rosie.

Little Stinker Binker.

My Little Booger.

Daddy’s Little Girl.

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

Roly Poly, the Overcomer: Livin’ on a Prayer or Two… or Twenty!

When my little boy rolled into this world, he rolled right into my heart and stole it.  As much as I loved Simba and Guerita, it was not until that moment that I understood what being imprinted on felt like. Probably because I saw him when he was born, as he rolled into this world, still in his sac. As he rolled out of that sac, as Simba gently removed it.  That moment, I lifted up prayers of thanks for the lives of the newborn kittens.  That moment when Roly Poly was born.  That moment when he rolled into my life and my heart, and naturally only one name could fit him: Roly Poly.

Those initial prayers were to be just the first of countless over Roly’s 14 years of life.

Countless prayers when he was young and discovering his independence, sometimes not coming home until the middle of the night.

Countless prayers when he went through various health issues.

Countless prayers when he was hospitalized due to his urinary tract disease, near death.

Countless prayers when he was lost.

Countless prayers when he went blind.

Countless prayers for that first surgery to remove a tumor.

Countless prayers for that surgical sore that wouldn’t heal.

Countless prayers when he was diagnosed with cancer, and having to take various pills- including homeopathic– to combat it.

Countless prayers to strengthen his body when he went through chemo and prepared for surgery.

God had answered every one of our prayers in the way we had wanted.  So we expected Roly to pull through that last surgery without a problem. He pulled through the surgery early that day, but didn’t make it through the night. God had called him home to be fully healed. Then it was our turn: Countless prayers for us when Roly was called to Heaven.

Roly Poly’s story is not a sad one.  On the contrary – his story was always and ever a very happy one.  His body certainly had its fair shares of issues, but Roly simply rolled with the punches.  He had prayer warriors on his side his entire life; I believe he was the most prayed-over cat who ever lived. And that is exactly what Roly did- he LIVED!  He was in name and deed- SuperKitty!

Roly rolled into this world a happy kitten.  He lived a full life loving others. Strangers, even. Kids loved him; he was was our little social butterfly.  He took care of us. He made us laugh every day with his antics- such as being one of the guys, trying to paint, scratching Daddy’s chanclas with joy, wearing Daddy’s shoes or giving Mommy the morning news. Or pretending to be an alarm clock, a dog or even a rug. Even the day he came home pink how could we not laugh?  And his stretches. Oh, those Roly Poly/RolyFit stretches!  He taught us how delicious it felt to stretch, and to do it well.  Feeling down?  Do a silly stretch!  The list goes on and on.  For each and every prayer that went up for Roly, there were so many more reasons to praise, laugh, and smile- sevenfold.

As I write this- so many, many more things pop into my head of moments when Roly made us laugh. Our house was filled with so much joy, so much laughter with him.  So, how do I end this final Roly Poly post? I will just close by saying that Roly truly had “Joie de vivre” – and in turn, he gave that to us.  Every. Day. He taught us that love and laughter were far better things to focus on than the pitfalls of illnesses. He taught us it was possible always to be an Overcomer. He reminded us to pray daily and read the Bible. He knew that the miracles happened, prayers were answered, and to give it all to God by enjoying the life he was given while he was with us. And enjoy life, he certainly did. And I hear his silly song in my heart that I sang to him, and I can picture him doing his favorite, rolling into his most silly RolyFit stretch:

 ♪ He’s a roly poly! He’s just a roly poly. He rolls and he rolls and he rolls and he rolls… and when you think he stops, he rolls some more!  He’s my he’s my he’s my little boy! ♪

My Little Boy- you will always be in my heart…

Because you have made the LORD your dwelling—my refuge, the Most High— no evil will befall you, no plague will approach your tent. For He will command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:9-11

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.  John 16:33

Roly had his special rugs when he was sick.

Roly Poly LOVED to roll! These photos were taken seconds apart.  Roly loved to make us laugh with his stretches!

My Guerita: Adopted and Grateful

When we first decided to get a cat, it was only supposed to be one- and that was to be Simba. It understandably took quite a bit of convincing my dog-loving husband to even do that. We had to wait until she was weaned, and my friend had found homes for all the other kittens.  Or so we thought. When it was time to pick up Simba, we learned that there was still one unadopted kitten. A tiny white one with touches of gray, and Simba seemed to be quite attached to her.  Understand- we had no intentions of adopting more than one kitten. Zero. Zilch. Zip. Even I, the cat lover, had not entertained the thought of multiple cats.  But there that scrawny little white kitten was, and my Kitty Mama heart cried out… Daddy’s didn’t take long to be won over, even if he wasn’t a cat lover – yet! And so, we adopted Guerita.

With animal adoption stories taking over the internet, it is easy to find posts about older pets showing their appreciation for being adopted. Surely they had lived through at least a few years of abandonment, and understood when love rescued them.  But how on earth could a kitten understand that?  Guerita was just a kitten, just weaned, when we took her and her sister Simba away from her birth mommy to live in a strange place. Indoors, at that! We hadn’t even given that scrawny little white sibling kitten a name yet. How could she possibly understand we would love her?  But she did. How a six-week kitten could know that indoor life would be better than life the streets is beyond me. but she knew she was being adopted- and she was thrilled.

Guerita adapted to us much more quickly than Simba did. While certainly their different personalities had a lot to do with that, I believe there was more to it than that.  In her 16.5 years of life, we learned just how perceptive she was.  How intelligent she was. How deeply she felt betrayal.  During her Prodigal Years, Guerita certainly showed us she could hold a grudge– but throughout that era, she still always showed me that she loved me with her kitty kisses.  She showed us how deeply she forgave.  How deeply she loved. And by adopting others, she showed us how grateful she was to be adopted.

Guerita was quite the musical kitty; she often sang to us. Maybe because I sang her song to her from her early years, all the way to her final moments.  I feel it appropriate for my final Guerita story to give her a musical finale.  I can still hear and feel her in my arms… How she purred when I sang her song…  ♪ My Guerita, my Guerita, how I love you- my Guerita! ♪  And how she sang for us as well.

Oh, my Guerita. How I miss you!!!


A Meow for Every Feeling, by Guerita   (to the tune of “Turn, Turn, Turn”)

To everything, meow meow meow,

There’s a meowing season, meow meow meow,

And a meow for every purpose under Heaven.

A stern meow when there’s no food in my plate,

A series of meows to express what I might hate.

A time to sing vowels – but not I or U;

and to sing “Mow Mow Mo”  to sa-ay  ” I. Love. You”!


And whoever welcomes a little child like this in My name welcomes Me. Matthew 18:5

To every thing there is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven. Ecclesiastes 3:1

 

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My Guerita – Contentedly napping while dreaming of her next song.  I imagine it’s something like this: “My family, my house, my couch… my blessings!”

 

Mommy- I Need You, I Knead You! – Roly the Master Meowsseuse

Writing the last installments of our kitty chronicles has take a lot out of me. Reliving Simba’s last days was hard enough; this coming week will be the final stories for each of them.  Basically I am saying goodbye all over again.  I need a massage!  So, I am throwing in one more Roly Poly story for kicks. Or at least- for kneads!

From the time he went blind, Roly used to sleep with us. He’d scratch at the door to let us know when he was ready for bed. If we decided to retire early, we’d let Roly know it was time for bed.  He was a good listener!  As he was a Mommy’s boy, he cuddled up by my feet.  If he wasn’t feeling well, he would snuggle up tightly next to me, under my armpit. My little boy needed his mommy… I’d give his neck a little massage.

Who doesn’t like a massage? My first cat, Paul McCartney, used to give me neck massages every morning to wake me up.  A massage from a kitty feels so good! It feels like you are bread dough, and your kitty is alternating front paws, kneading you. It’s wonderful!

I wonder if I had mentioned that to Roly at some point. Roly also went through a massage phase during his last couple of years.  Not to be outdone by his predecessor, Roly took his massage job seriously.  He was by far the better kitty masseuse.  Make that “Meowsseuse”!

Like a good Meowsseuse, Roly waited for me to get all tucked in before he jumped up on the bed.  He started with my legs, alternating them: Monday, Wednesday- & Friday = left leg; Sunday, Tuesday, & Thursday = right leg.  Saturday was his sabbath day; no meowsaages!  There were times when his claws dug in slightly, but he was always very careful, and it was never painful or deep. Basically, he was very proffesional!

Roly the Master Meowsseuse started on my leg, kneading his way up my butt to my back. At that point, he stood on my back- although he knew not to stand directly on my spine, and worked all the way up my back.  The meowssages were always wonderful and made me feel happy.  Sometimes he would hit my ticklish spots- which I always felt were on purpose.  After all- Roly dearly loved to make us laugh!

Fact:  A kitty will only knead you if he loves you and he needs you.

Oh, how I miss my little boy!  What joy it is to be kneaded, needed but more than anything- to be loved.

Give, and you will receive. Your gift will return to you in full—pressed down, shaken together to make room for more, running over, and poured into your lap. The amount you give will determine the amount you get back.    Luke 6:38

Roly Poly’s jelly bean paws gave the best meowssages!!

 

3 Short Stories for the Kitties, by Paola

Our cats were beloved by many- especially by our nieces of all ages.  Our great-niece Paola met Guerita and Simba when they were kittens.  When Roly was only 2 years old, Paola wrote stories for each of our furry children. She even illustrated them herself.  Short but sweet, and written with so much love!

The three stories below are copies of the originals, with English translation. For Simba- The Story of the Lost Cat; for Roly Poly- The Story of the Newborn Cat; for Guerita- The Story of the Cat with a Flower.  At the bottom is a hand-painted coaster I recently found. Although the mustache makes it a male cat- it made me smile as I thought of Paola’s story for Guerita.

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Author Paola with Simba, happy to see her again!

Story #1:                                                                                                                                          The Story of the Lost Cat / El Cuento del Gatito Perdido  – for Simba, by PaolaCUENTAS DE PAOLA_0001

One day, the lost cat said, “How can I have a house?”                                                (Mama cat) said, “I know! We will make a house for you!” CUENTAS DE PAOLA_0002

 

(Mama cat said) “I am going to make you a house of bricks!”                                                                                                                                               The lost cat said, “Very well”.  CUENTAS DE PAOLA_0003

 

So, the lost cat’s parents came (with the house)                                                                                                                                                And the lost cat said, “My parents are here!”CUENTAS DE PAOLA_0004

 

And the lost cat was happy.                     The EndCUENTAS DE PAOLA_0005

 

ButterflyPaola and Roly0001

Sweet cousin Paola, happy to see Roly is finally six years old. She loved Roly so much, she had written a story about him when he was a kitten a story about him!

Story #2:                                                                                                                                              The Newborn Cat  / El Gato Recien Nacido         – for Roly, by Paola  CUENTAS DE PAOLA_0006

 

One day, a pregnant cat had a baby.                       And the baby grew a little. CUENTAS DE PAOLA_0007

 

And the baby grew, but it wasn’t 6 years old yet, it was only 4 years old and it was sad.                                                                                                                                                                           And it celebrated its 5th birthday and it said, “I am almost 6 years old!”.CUENTAS DE PAOLA_0008

 

And then it turned 6 years old, and it was happy.                               The EndCUENTAS DE PAOLA_0009

 

Story #3:                                                                                                                                              The Cat with a Flower / La Gata con Flor – for Guerita, by PaolaCUENTAS DE PAOLA_0010

 

One day, the cat said, “I know, I will buy a flower!                                                                                                                                                                          I will take this flower”.CUENTAS DE PAOLA_0011

 

“What a pretty flower!”.                                                                                                                                                                           The next day, the cat said, “My flower needs water.”CUENTAS DE PAOLA_0012

 

The cat said, “My flower needs dirt.”                                                                                                                                                     And the flower grew, and the cat said, “How pretty!”CUENTAS DE PAOLA_0013

 

The EndCUENTAS DE PAOLA_0014

ButterflyPaola and Roly0001

Sweet cousin Paola loved Roly so much, she wrote a story about him!

 

Mommy, It’s Time to Read to Me!

Sigh. My blog posts of the last two days took a lot out of me emotionally; I am exhausted. This memory below is exactly what I need…

It is our faith that gets us through the roughest times. Our little Roly Poly has been gone for 4 years now, and yet I still think of him daily when I walk up the stairs to our house- expecting him to make sure I am following him, or when I look across our balcony at the the red-tiled roof next door, from which he once protected our territory.  And when I hear or read Psalm 91, my immediate thoughts go to my precious little boy.

There was one particular summer when Roly was ill and Daddy was working away from home.  Roly was recuperating from an illness; he rarely left my side and slept with me at night (little boys need their mommies).  As is my custom to read the Bible before going to sleep, I decided that summer to read Psalm 91 to Roly every night.  Psalm 91 is a favorite of many in need of comfort.  It became our bedtime ritual; he would cuddle up to me, I would grab my Bible and read to him.

That being said, my timing was not always what Roly wanted it to be.  Sometimes  I got caught up in reading another book- but Roly always reminded me of what was more important.  He would put his paw on the Bible as a reminder of what was more important to be reading. A couple of nights, he even pushed it toward me. It wouldn’t matter if there were any other books around me- he knew which book was the most important one.

Roly has been in the shelter of the Most High now for over four years.  Only now am I able to begin reading our favorite scripture again- without having to wipe away silent tears for my beloved little boy.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1

He will cover you with His feathers; under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and rampart. Psalm 91:4