The night before last the back of my right leg – just above the knee – warned me that it was about to cramp, big time. It was about 1:30 in the morning and I had to get up and walk around the room, thoroughly confusing my cats who didn't know if it was breakfast time or if we were still supposed to be sleeping. Normally when I stand up it calms the leg cramp down, but that's usually on the calf; this one was on the back of my thigh and it wouldn't be assuaged. It felt like if the cramp ever really took hold it was going to be hard, and I might never stand again. I went outside and walked on the patio, which just threw Anastasia into a complete meltdown. She sat in the window crying for me, but I had to keep walking. I went into the kitchen to drink water and take two Advil. After about 20 minutes of stretching, walking and standing on my feet I felt like I could trust the muscles to sleep through the rest of the night.
Since then, I still have a bit of a sore spot there, particularly bad this morning. So, this being Saturday morning I decided to do some serious stretching. I stood on the floor, feet apart and tried to keep my back straight, or arched as if standing, and bend at the hip. I put my palms on the floor. The cat, Butterbean, mistook my activity as meaning that I wanted to give her attention, so she came over and flopped on her side in front of me.
I decided to take my stretching outside into the back yard, in the shade of the live oak tree. Again, I stood still, breathing slowly. With my feet apart and keeping my back arched as if standing, I bent at the hips. This time I put my palms onto the soft grass. It's February, but we are also in Central Texas, so there is a mixture of dead grass and live grass along with the assorted other plants that make their home in our back yard. Our Calico, Mozart, came up with her demanding meow, accompanied by one of her sons, Magritte. Still bending at the hips, I pet them both as they arched their backs and their tails stood up straight. Soon, Matisse also showed up to get in on the action. I put my palms on the grass, then wrapped my hands/arms around the outsides of my legs and held onto the back of my calves, stretching the muscles in the backs of my legs, trying to reach that place on my thigh near the knee.
I put my palms back on the grass and Matisse bumped foreheads with me while Mozart demanded attention and Magritte lay in the shade under the cement table a few feet away. I pet the two at my feet and then put my hands back into the grass, this time walking myself with my hands forward in the soft grass until I was in a position resembling a downward dog. Matiss walked under my head and rubbed his body against my arm, then turned around and walked back. Mozart sat off to the side cleaning herself. Matisse walked to my hands again and tentatively licked my fingers, then gently nibbled. He looked at my with half-closed eyes.
I slowly walked my hands back to my feet, tried to bend the left knee while stretching the right leg out, then switching sides. Finally, I stood up and walked back inside to find Cleo enjoying the last of the waning morning sunlight.
I don't know if I ever stretched the muscle that was bothering me, but the cats seemed to have appreciated the exercise.