Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cats and Their Toys

Dash and Emma have a full basket full of cat-appropriate toys. They play with about four of them. Dash is an afficionado of feather or cord on a stick, while Emma prefers mouse on elastic. Why? We have no idea. It is not not the place of the human to question the wisdom of the cat; the human is there to put the toy of choice into play.

When Dash was a kitten, he would play fetch with the little mice (no, not live ones) that we bought at the pet store. He could play it for an hour at a time. A human threw the mouse, Dash recovered it and brought it back. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Emma, who always preferred play to any other activity, was a tart in her toy affections. She'd play with any toy, so long as a human was playing with her. She liked kitty racquet ball for a long time. To play this game: select a small round object, throw it against the window, watch the cat run and catch the object. The cat will then drop the item, so that the human can put it in play again.

But Emma has lost interest in racquet ball, just as Dash will no longer fetch. Now Dash wants to play either feather or cord on a stick, while Emma makes clear that no game other than mouse on an elastic will please. So I sit in the chair, holding the elastic end and flinging it back and forth. Emma chases, catches, attacks the mouse. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

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