Cat Games

- Posted on Sep 3, 2009

As a new cat owner—a “cat convert” who started as a dog person and only recently realized the joys of life with cats—I am constantly amazed by how creative cats can be with their games. That is, when they're not sleeping. Or eating. Or gazing out the window.

Fly catching has to be my kitties' number-one pastime, especially in summer, when flies wander in every time the screen door slams.

Pearl, my oldest kitty at age 4, is the Flymaster of the house. She'll swipe a fly out of the air with a paw, lift the paw to check the fly's vital signs, slap the paw down again, lift it, and repeat until the fly's (eventual) death. Then she leaves the body lying there until her little brother Harley comes along and eats it. Inefficient as fly control, but highly entertaining from the cats' perspective.

Then we've got Catillac, who is, ahem, a big girl. Though it hasn't yet helped her slim down, she loves a vigorous game of Laser Pointer Tag. No matter how many times that little red dot gets away, she will still chase it intensely, pupils enlarged till her eyes are pools of blackness, tail swishing furiously.

Harley, the youngest, invented a game called Attack the Evil Bare Human Feet. While this is cute (albeit a bit painful) when you're walking through the house on the way to the kitchen, it becomes terrifying when you wake from a dead sleep at 2 a.m. because a cat has sunk his claws into your ankle and his teeth into your big toe.

Oh, they have many other games. Hide Around the Corner and Ambush the Next Creature That Walks By (a perennial favorite). Paper Bag Kingdom. Chase Your Neighbor's Tail. Cat-in-the-Box. And of course, Mouse Hunt, a game the humans gave their stamp of approval last winter, when Catillac  caught an actual mouse that had terrorized the pantry for weeks.

So...what games do your cats play?

                                                                                —Allison M. Ruffing

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