Gymnasts of the floor and couch

NICK BARNETT
Last updated 08:00 07/12/2012

You do not need horizontal bars or a beam to be a gymnast. You do not need rings, a pommel horse or a sprung floor. All you need is a horizontal surface and an imagination.

Imagine that today's pets are arching through the air, flipping and twisting in defiance of gravity. Imagine that the cushion, couch or carpet that they're lying on is not, you know, actually there. Because when you do, then surely your cat or dog is the world's finest gymnast.

Take our cover-dog, the athletic Sir Frank Wadham. Have you ever seen such form? And surely the balancing paw on the skirting should incur no more than a quarter-point penalty.

Sir Frank Wadham

Selma's routine is simple but elegant.

Selma

This is Darwin's static kick.

Darwin

Nash is curvaceous.

Nash

Polly is calm and confident.

Polly

Flicka gives a geometry lesson - the perfect right angle.

Flicka

Molly executes a tuck.

Molly

Indy is a yoga cat.

Indy

Stacie air-swims.

Stacie

A suppleness tester calling for a tight bend and a full stretch - mastered by Junior.

Junior

...and here's Jypsy's variation.

Jypsy

...and here's Boris's, which involves extra attitude.

Boris

Now for some couch-fliers, beginning with Brian (left) and Milo.

Brian

Milo

Sammy is a study in concentration, or something similar.

Sammy

Banjo is all grace and decorum.

Banjo

Perfect conformation from Charlie - note the tucked and tufted tail.

Charlie

This is the lithe figure of Bella, also known as Adorabelle Dearheart. She has a knack of getting tangled in people's feet, shoes and clothes.

Bella

Now for some artistes of the bed. This is Adam, presenting that most irresistible of wonders, a kitten's tummy.

Adam

Mole-Mole seems destined to travel, considering her ability to head towards all four compass points at the same time. I'm told that Mole-Mole (birth name Molly) likes to be spun round on swivelling bar stools.

Mole Mole

The very relaxed Mila...

Mila

Rosa the Basenji goes through some horizontal dressage moves.

Rosa

Take away the floor, and puppy Jess is a heroic vaulter.

Jess

The gentle curve of Miss Skye.

Miss Skye

The curly Gangnam stylings of George.

George

Kit is the cat of steel.

Kit

Cancer survivor Kylie puts all three paws to the fore.

Kylie

Meg dreams of flight.

Meg

Floor gymnast Ozzy finds that a cabinet helps with form.

Ozzy

If human beings were as supple as Violet and could stretch like this twice a day, then I reckon the world's human stress levels would immediately drop by a third. But time spent grooming might grow...

Violet

Sitting down sideways: Wally is well poised.

Wally

Next, the balletic Fergie.

Fergie

And finally, the well-named but very charming Scruffy, in full horizontal flight.

Scruffy

Thanks to all for posting your photos. Please email me your own photos, or go to the Four Legs Good Facebook page and use the Upload Photo button. While you're there, browse through the 2000 photos that readers have posted by clicking the Photos link.

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