Sun exposure is the #1 cause of premature skin aging. Hard to hear but: TANNED SKIN IS DAMAGED SKIN. Cover up. SPF, always.

Counterclockwise Cat

August 6th, 2014

sonnyEverything I know about living counterclockwise I learned from my cat.

I could make a bundle publishing a book with that title, right? It appeals to that most lucrative, literate and thus far untapped demographic (you know who you are) of counterclockwise cat-lovers.

Alas, no book. Instead, I will give away all my insights for free right here. This is your lucky day. My cat is pretty excited too.

My cat, Sonny, is 15 years old. That’s 76 in people years. (fyi: A cat reaches the approximate human age of 15 during its first year, then 24 at age 2. Each year thereafter, it ages approximately four “cat years” for every calendar year.) He is alert, frisky, fighting-weight, clear-eyed, and soft-furred. From your typical sitting-on-haunches cat position, he can leap 3 feet in the air and nail a landing on the 4-inch wide porch railing. He sleeps soundly. He is happy (as evidenced by incessant purring).

What’s his secret? What does Sonny do right? As cats are said to have 9 lives, here are Sonny’s 9 counterclockwise strategies:

1. He grazes on high-quality, no-garbage food all day, eating a mouthful of food at a time, never a big meal.
2. He stays hydrated.
3. He gets ample physical activity that is integrated into his daily life.
4. He plays.
5. He pals around with someone much much younger than himself (my other cat, Simon, who is a human twentysomething).
6. He continues to challenge himself cognitively and physically by hunting (note semi-revolting pic of Sonny chewing bunny guts)

sonny guts7. He is surrounded by a loving and supportive family.
8. He has a useful place in that family (well, as useful as cats get).
9. He is treated as ageless.



Now, here’s your reward for reading about my cat.

Counterclockwise was just published as an audio book on  I am offering a FREE download to the first three of you who send me a good (new) idea for a future column for the blog. Just send as a “comment” to this post. The audio book is wonderful, btw, voiced by the very talented actor Hollis McCarthy.

10 Responses to “Counterclockwise Cat”

  1. Colleen on August 6, 2014 11:25 pm

    How about a column on self-forgiveness. Or perhaps just giving oneself permission to stray on occasion – whether it be from the food plan or the activity plan or the social networking plan (NOT Facebook or twitter, real social networking as in smiling and playing nice) for just an hour or day or some other realistic time frame. It is so darn difficult to be perfect. Sometimes I just want to eat bacon, nitrates be damned. Or I am in the mood for milk chocolate because it is so nice and melty in my mouth. Or I want to skip my workout routine today. All things in moderation…including perfection. Huh? How about it? Do I have your permission to give myself permission to eat that Hershey’s Symphony Bar instead of the 1 oz of dark chocolate? Just today. I promise, tomorrow I’ll go back to the dark side.

  2. Lauren Kessler on August 9, 2014 12:21 am

    Excellent idea, Colleen. Will serve as a great reminder for me, too.

  3. Beth on August 7, 2014 1:26 am

    Counterclockwise Dog of course. Kira is available for editorial assistance.

  4. Lauren Kessler on August 9, 2014 12:23 am

    But Kira is still a youngster!!

  5. Kristi on August 7, 2014 3:34 am

    Here are a few ideas:
    1. What is your optimal weight to stay young?
    2. Sodium in your food: how much is too much? (high blood pressure risk, hemorrhagic stroke, etc.)
    3. Strategies for preventing osteoporosis.

    Love your writing and love the blog.
    I wonder what Pancho Barnes would suggest…

  6. Lauren Kessler on August 9, 2014 12:26 am

    Thank you for these ideas, Kristi. I’m not sure there IS an answer to #1, but I promise to delve into #2 and #3.

  7. Carolyn Kay on August 10, 2014 1:50 pm
  8. Lauren Kessler on August 10, 2014 6:25 pm

    Thanks for this, Carolyn. Pet owners rule! (Oh, well really our pets rule…)

  9. Carolyn Kay on August 17, 2014 3:26 pm

    Yes, but they are kind enough to let us live with them!

  10. Lauren Kessler on August 17, 2014 9:21 pm

    It is a privilege, isn’t it?

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