This article is sponsored by The J.M. Smucker Company. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author, Kari Herrera, and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of The J.M. Smucker Company.
Zara is special. She’ll lay on your shoulder if you’re feeling blue, forgives quickly if accidentally kicked, and freely offers warm cuddles, especially during wintertime. When I first found her at Oak Park’s Animal Care League, she was a grey ball of fur with bright green eyes in a corner fighting her tail while the other kittens fought each other. She flooded my vintage apartment with new joy and life. She jumped through the hallway, onto the furniture, into glass doors, and onto laps. She jumped in her dreams, her toes continually wiggling through the night. She’d stare at bathers, as if incredulous that anyone would purposely stand under or sit in water. In fact, the functions of the bathroom were altogether fascinating. She insisted on accompanying guests to the toilet. If the door were closed, she would scratch at the post before settling herself to peeking under the door until the entire business was over. She ate with beast-like ravenousness. Each meal seemed to be both her first and last. She loved chasing birds as much as houseflies. She was optimism in pet form.
Four years later, she jumps less often, eats politely, and her toes are still when she sleeps. She’s also made amends with her tail and proudly now holds it above her head or beats the floor with it when irritated. It is not uncommon for her to take naps before bed or yawn more than she speaks. She’s not a jumper. She’s a strutter. I tried getting her outside with no success. It seems Netflix has replaced the birds in her life. She is no longer optimism. She is languorousness. At least, that is who she was a month ago.
Zara, of course, is not far from whom many of us become, especially during the cold months. It is easy to lose motivation for the gym while slipping into a warm couch and some greasy GrubHub. A few weeks pass, and we’ve grown into lazier, less jumpy, versions of ourselves. However, it doesn’t have to be this way, for Zara or us. Nowadays, #ZarathePerfectKitten is cheery and energetic thanks to a new routine and a few irresistible treats by Meow Mix®. Here’s some simple advice she’s followed for getting back to the kitten within:
Step One: Get Moving
This step is probably the hardest but now’s the time to get off the couch and into the world (cold of a world as it may be). Divide 100 repetitions of pushups, squats, and lunges throughout your day. This routine will likely not be enough to get you swimsuit ready but may help you be sharper and productive. Talk to your gym about your goal to be more active. They may offer a free personal training session or class.
Zara now gets outside at least twice a week. She’s an indoor cat, so I supervise these excursions, but she’s growing more comfortable with the snow and is happy to escape the apartment that has become her entire world.
Step Two: Reward Your Efforts
How much time did you spend working last quarter? Is it time for a vacation? If an extended trip is implausible, try a quick staycation. A warm bath and a good wine go a long way. Allow nothing to interrupt your time. It is important.
Zara needs no getaway since home is her favorite place to be, but she follows a pattern of refreshing naps and cat baths. Try disturbing either, and you’re asking for trouble. She also enjoys Meow Mix Original Choice Dry Cat Food. It has the delicious flavors of chicken, turkey, salmon, and ocean fish in each colorful bowl. Antioxidants from each serving support a long, healthy cat life. Which brings us to step three…
Step Three: Eat Real Food
It’s true; some food is fake food. Don’t eat fake food. It will only weigh you down. Instead, eat what makes you feel good. If you’re not about real veggies and protein, try a meal kit delivery service that forces you to enjoy new foods. You may find something you’ll love!
Zara enjoys the fresh taste of Meow Mix®, especially Irrestistibles™, treats for cats, made with real chicken. When she’s bored, she’ll mix things up by snacking on a soft treat. The Meow Mix cat food line offers a variety of real foods. Shop their collection at Meijer where you can save 30% on any 2 Meow Mix cat food or treat products through 1/27 with an mPerks digital coupon.