My cats are not big players. I try to interest them in different toys and, though they respond to varying degrees at different times, they usually find their own amusements as often as they respond to my attempts to entertain them.
Now and then, however, a certain activity appeals to one or another of the beasts. Cammie likes the string-toy, and will chase the red-dot. But - and I’m not sure how we arrived at it - she appears to like fighting with a stick. Basic, unadorned, the princess likes hitting a stick with her paw.
This always occurs when she is in a cat-tree. Periodically, it is the saddle-tree in the bedroom; more frequently, it is the tall tree in the sitting room. What I use is the handle-end of the string-toy. Sometimes, Cammie sees it coming. On these occasions, she may give a short, sharp bark of defiance: “Ra!” Other times, the stick taps the parapet of the platform on which the princess is lying. This causes her to lunge at the stick. If it can manage it, the stick sneaks up on her, and prods her gently on the thigh. This causes the fighter no end of annoyance and brings fitting retribution.
The strength Cammie has in her forepaw, usually her right, is considerable. Her aim is less definite. One moment, she will wait for the stick to approach, another she will consider offence to be the best defence, and launch a strike before the stick is ready. Whatever her tactic, she seems to enjoy it. I write ‘seems’ because her expression remains the same dead-pan throughout; it is, in fact, the same countenance which I see her wear almost all the time. But there is no hissing, no growling; she is, er, happy. I think.
So, until I can come up with another game, or until she tires of this one, the princess will protect her august person from the stick with brute force. And why not? She seems to enjoy it.