Last night I heard a strange sound… a hard plastic ball being batted around on a tile floor. Oscar had discovered one of the balls and had a good 5-minute session of kitty tennis all on his own. Hurray!
Just drawing the McD’s straw across the floor drew out the kitten in Oscar today. He was happily swatting it and so happy to have interactive play (maybe my absence brought this out in him). So after a purry petting session and some swats at the straw (my what big claws you have Mr Oscar!), I decided to pull out the bug toy.
Oscar has been interested in the bug toy (aka catnip dancer) for well over two months. At first he watched it. Then he ducked when it went by. Later he began swatting at it. He won’t chase it, but he will lunge at it and chew it. So today, I spent quite a while in creative play with the bug – it swooped down from above, it flew past his ear, it hid behind me, it ran along the carpet. It was irresistible for Oscar and he had a long session of swatting, biting, pawing and some pretty impressive lunges at it.
Oscar has the most serious eyes. Bug swatting is serious stuff. Rolling on his side to be petted is serious. Getting up to chase a treat is serious. Everything is looked at with a level of consternation.
Before bed, I sat petting Oscar and I spied the Senses Circuit toy. Oscar has ignored it since it was introduced. I started batting the ball… and suddenly serious eyes were interested. He watched me as I sent the ball around and let it slow and stop. Then again. And again. Suddenly a little buff paw swatted at the ball! I could actually see him think – he was puzzling out how to swat at the ball, how the ball worked, where it was going. He was fascinated and clawed at the ball again and again. We played for about 20 minutes – he was so engaged! I was happier than I can describe – a blissful giddiness – and grinning like an idiot.
I was still smiling as I snuggled into my pillow.
In case you are wondering about these toys – I don’t buy expensive toys for the kitties. It’s not in my budget and I’m a believer that cats can be engaged with and play using the simplest of things. My kitties share their toys, and some things go into rotation so they don’t get bored. This link is to the toys Nuala and I suggested at Christmas