Suspensory movement, hanging cats

During my first semester as an undergraduate physical education major, a required course was entitled, “Basic Body Movement and Rhythms,” or “Basic Bod” as we called it. My father, the doctor, sneered at the content of my courses. It was a wonderful course that included Newton’s three laws of motion allowing me to understand how my field hockey cleats helped me, and a principle called the angle of rebound and spin, which forever improved my pool game.
One lesson was about suspensory motion. It applies to gymnasts, ballet dancers, or anyone or object which is lofted into outer space. In between the upward motion and the downward motion (both related to Sir Isaac Newton, may he rest in peace,) when one gets to the height of the movement, there is a moment in time where the body/object is suspended in the air. That is, for a nanosecond or so, it hangs motionless in air until gravity overcomes the upward force of the movement to pull it back down to earth. In football terms, a punt is supposed to have a long hang time. I always thought that was really cool.
When I play with the boys and their kitty tease, Franklin, who is a very large cat as is his brother Cowboy Joe, is monstrously strong. He has the ability to get his body so high in his maniacal jumps, that when suspended in air somewhat like a furry football, it seems like forever for gravity to overtake his jump. Frank has a long hang time. Joe does too, and both of them do some marvelous gymnastic moves that I never achieved as a gymnast way back when. Matthew just powers through his jumps.
Earl always commented on Frank’s forelimbs, about how buff they were. Frank does work out his guns. His personal workout is repetitiously pawing on closed doors, which are white, thanks, dude, and pulling the full water dish around the cat room.
Matthew goes ape sh*& by running around the house, eventually focusing on one of the twins to beat up. In the former home, he would ask me to go to his room when he was overstimulated, and I would put him in the cat room with the door closed. It worked out well, unless I forgot about him and went about my day. Then I’d have to hear all about it at great length and with much authority.
Cowboy’s personal regime is chasing kitty toy balls, pens and pencils around the house. He runs after the little balls I got the other day as if he can actually catch them, not knowing when he bats the balls, they careen in another direction. The angle of rebound and spin.
Cats and Newtonian physics: the ultimate corollary for the science-nerd vet.

One thought on “Suspensory movement, hanging cats”

  1. So, what happened to nontradlaw?

    How is school going? I don’t envy you having to go through the whole 1L ordeal.

    I just started a new job — back what I like doing most — elder abuse/nursing home neglect. Fun people to work with, good cases where you feel you’re making a difference, 6 miles to work & on the Long Beach marina — life is good.


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