let the games begin

The cat has never been a real big fan of cat toys.  Many people said we should get the laser pointer, because all cats will find it an irresistible magnet.  Kitty was interested for a minute or so, and then she looked at the light source and said, “Oh. OK. It’s a laser pointer.”  From past experience, I knew that she liked one of the cat toys we had; it’s a 2 ft. long acrylic wand with a length of rainbow colored yarn attached.  But it seemed like she would pretty quickly go down on her side and hold firm to the yarn, ending the game.  Still, it was the only thing she had shown any interest in, so I busted it out the other night for some cat sport.  I discovered that some techniques would trigger more enthusiasm in the animal. If you can drop the yarn near the top of kitty’s head, that will initiate a good deal of furious paw action.  Placing the yarn just out of reach of the paw is also very action oriented.  We’ve been playing with the colorful string every night (it happened once, so now must happen forever after).  And I’m getting weirdly good at working the yarn.  Like a lasso artist in a rodeo, or an expert fly fisherman, except with the colorful yarn.  To kitty’s credit, she is bringing some serious game.  She has a bunch of moves down now; the Whirligig – when the yarn circles around her just out of reach.  Then we have the Center of the Universe, which is like the Whirligig, except the yarn is closer to the ground.  If you can get the yarn right below her chin, she will wildly try to gather it all in – it looks like she’s trying to tie a necktie, so we call that move the Windsor Knot.  If she’s pulled most of the yarn in, I can usually get her to let it loose by rolling waves of yarn right up at her face in rapid succession.  That move is called Friendly Fire.  The most amazing move so far is one where she grabs the yarn from behind her head without even looking at it.  That’s the Vic Wertz move.  Longtime baseball fans, or people with access to Google, will know what we’re talking about.  We usually go for about ten minutes or so, and then she begins to show signs of disinterest.  Without fail, as I’m rolling the yarn up and around the acrylic wand, thinking that the action is over, she will launch off the floor at the last minute and grab the yarn’s tail for another minute or two of sport.  This same plot device has been used in many of the Die Hard movies.

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