My search for the perfect toy started as soon as I got B. I was looking for the magic toy that would keep the cats entertained for hours, especially while I was gone. The feather toy and laser pointer were a big hit, but they only lasted as long as I was interested. I tried the rolling balls that you fill with food, but B didn’t care enough to give it more than the cursory glance. I tried the toy that was a ring with a ball (turbo scratcher) that could be batted around in endless circles. B didn’t get it and I gave it away before Hank came around. I’ve tried the randomized mouse toy (pounce) that quickly became predictable and was never turned on again after the automatic shutoff kicked in. Hank loves string, so I thought it was the perfect solution to create a contraption that hung the string just out of reach. Hank was very interested until he figured out that it went nowhere once he managed to grab it. I finally found one toy that Hank loved (peek a prize) and would stick with for an hour as long as I kept finding the balls under the couch and putting them back in the box. In reality, I shouldn’t have been worried about them getting bored while I was gone. They don’t care about being entertained. Also, having a toy that requires no work on my part is missing the point. Now I try to make time to play with them at least a couple of times per day, even if it’s only for a minute. During those few minutes, any toy will do.
Since it’s the official start of football season, Hank is wondering why the game isn’t on TV. You see, he loves all sports, especially football and hockey. He also likes golf, but the action is a bit slow for his taste. If he had his pick, he would rather play than watch, but his teammates (read: family) aren’t nearly as dedicated. He often has to settle for making up his own games. He will drop a toy on the floor then pretend he doesn’t see it while casually walking past it. When his back leg is positioned just right, he’ll “accidentally” kick it away while looking the other direction. Then he’ll chase after the toy and start all over. Sometimes, he drops the toy in a shoe or bats it under a piece of furniture. Then he’ll take a few steps back to do the pre-pounce wiggle before attacking the toy again. Having the game on TV is especially nice because there is usually something interesting to watch and it can be interactive. “What about the scratches to the TV?”, you say? I do cringe a little when he swipes his paw at the puck or tries to tackle the players, but if it means my little guy is entertained for a few minutes with no effort required on my part, then I say, “Isn’t that what a TV is for?”