The Cat Tree Workout

12 06 2009

Yesterday afternoon I received this seemingly harmless email from a friend on my kickball team:

“Hello there. I was wondering if anyone might be able to help me with something before the game tonight. I just got two little kittens last weekend (yes, they are very cute), and I recently ordered a climbing tree thing for them. It’s been delivered to a pet store in Friendship Heights, but it’s a little heavy and large to take on the metro.

Would anyone with a car be able to help me pick it up before the game tonight? It would probably take about half an hour in all. Please let me know asap.

Thank you!”

Well, I had time to spare before meeting up with some friends for dinner at 6 p.m., and while I don’t have a car, I figured that with an extra person’s help, we could take it on the Metro a little easier. It turned out that I was the only person who responded to this email, so I won what turned out to be an unforgettable experience…

After work, I rushed to the Metro where I was to meet my friend. A normally 20 minute walk was done in half the time, as I was running a little late and wanted to have time to get back downtown for dinner with my friends. When I got to the Metro, I was already pretty hot and tired, but ready for my future adventure. I met up with my friend and we took the Metro to Friendship Heights. (Boy, did I not know what I would be getting myself into!)

It turned out the pet store we were going to is on the same street (Fessenden St.) that I had looked at a group house at a few months ago, so that was neat. Once inside we got a look at the cat tree that we would soon learn was more than a handful. The climbing tree looked like something between these two:












The thing was the size of a fourth grade student and probably weighed roughly the same, too.

So the two of us somehow managed to lug the thing 5 D.C. (aka: very long) blocks uphill to the Tenleytown Metro.

Picture 1

Meanwhile, remember this is June and D.C. summers can get pretty gross and hot. Well, the weather yesterday was a balmy high 80’s. We kept getting beads of sweat in our eyes from our ridiculous climb. A few people walking (or biking in one instance) past us talked to us, hoping the cats would enjoy their new toy and that our work would pay off. We finally made it to the Metro after what seemed like the longest and most difficult trek ever. Our arms were aching from carrying the huge cat tree and we couldn’t wait to get inside the air conditioned Metro underground.

When we arrived at the Metro, we were planning on taking the elevator conveniently down to the turnstiles. But it was another block and on the other side of the street, and with most Metro elevators usually not working, we went ahead to the escalators. It was nice to put the cat tree down, if only briefly. People kept giving us odd looks as we took up the space on the escalator. I felt bad that nobody could get past us, but there was nothing we could do.

So we get down to the turnstiles, and head over to the extra-large one used normally for handicapped people. It became a difficult maneuver to not only get the huge climbing tree through this new obstacle, but also the both of us, as well. Those turnstiles don’t stay open for long after you’ve swiped your fare card, so we had to rush as quickly through it as we could. Then it was down another escalator to wait for our train. Two trains and a tiresome transfer later, we somehow made it to our final destination. [Let me tell you; getting a cat tree (and two people to go with it) off a crowded Metro train after you’ve been seated in the middle of the car, is one of the most difficult things to do on the Metro.]

Once we made it through another confusing turnstile and another escalator, we only had a mere three and a half blocks. That home stretch was maybe the hardest part of our journey. Our bodies were already achey, we were hot and sweaty, and to top it all off, it was well past 6 p.m., so my dinner plans had fallen through. Somehow, we miraculously made it up to my friend’s apartment and into her building’s elevator. Thank goodness her room is right by the elevators and we quickly brought the cat tree inside. 

It was quite tiresome, but all in all, a highly successful workout, adventure, and alternate when in lack of a car. Seriously folks, if you really want a good workout for your body, but especially your arms, I recommend this Cat Tree Workout. My arms are still aching the day after. They feel 10 pounds heavier. But I assume that was all just part of this newly discovered method of gaining muscle and losing weight.


This story ends with me and my friend rushing to the kickball field, via taxi. We got to the game as we had just scored what turned out to be the game-winning run. We made it in time for the last inning. I don’t think either of us got to have a turn up at the plate to kick, but we did get to be in the field. My friend even caught a great pop fly in the outfield, even after all that use of her arms, shortly beforehand. The game is note-worthy, because it became our very first win of not only this season, but the past 3-4 seasons!

It’s kind of unfortunate though, that our win came at the expense of me and my friend not really being there. It’s disconcerting that maybe the team could be better off without us? I hope not. It’s especially ironic, since I was named to the division’s All Star kickball team. I don’t know. I’m just glad we won a game for once!




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