Yesterday’s article about playing did not include news about the cats’ latest toy. Over the weekend, I bought a track-ball (or whatever brand name this particular version is called). I had one in the house before, but only the foster-cats played with it, so when one of them - I believe it was Kola - was adopted, it went with him.
But recently, seeing that the beasts often looked bored (they probably just want to be left alone to sleep), I thought I would introduce something that would bring hours of action-packed enjoyment. Instead, I bought a track-ball.
Many cats like the track-ball. Many spend a long time trying to catch that elusive sphere as it spins about the circular groove. Many cats love pushing the ball about as fast as it will go. Many cats don’t live with me.
This is not to write that the track-ball doesn’t get used. I may be in the washroom brushing my teeth, or sitting on the couch reading, and hear the ball make an orbit in its course. The ball moves leisurely, deliberately, as if it were on holiday, thinking of where to go, what destination is best value for its hard-earned vacation. My cats will lie beside the toy and gently prod the ball (which comes with a blinking light for greater fast-paced excitement). The ball may complete the circuit, or it may putter to a halt half-way around. It is all the same to the cats.
Yes, they play with it, in the same way a person may sit down, turn on the television set, flip through the channels hoping for something to pique their interest, then turn off the machine and go and eat a meal because there was nothing good on the one hundred and fifty eight channels now available.
The beasts will use the scratch pad in the centre, but normally simply lie on it; well, partially on it, and partially off. Cammie, like Tungsten before her, is small enough to crouch on the whole pad. Frankly, I think $19.99 is a bit steep for a circle of corrugated cardboard. But if that’s what it takes to give my pets another spot on which to sit and wait while I prepare their soft-food meals, I am happy to pay that kind of money. Really.
With a sigh, therefore, I will leave you with these pictures of two of my cats being thrilled by the slam-bang non-stop action of their latest diversion. I hope the blur of their speed doesn’t give you a headache.