Sunday, July 9, 2017

The Ferocious Pretender



There are certain things I do with each of my cats. Each beast is different, with a personality all his own, so what I do with each is different. Tucker and I have our own game.

We usually play it while he is sitting in his favourite chair at the dining table. I will feign an attack upon him, and grab his head. He is ready for this manoeuvre, however, and in turn seizes one of my fingers or a thumb with his paw. (Since he has no thumb of his own, his action is not very definitive; I go along with it nonetheless.) My digit he then puts into his mouth, securing it by clamping his teeth upon it. But he doesn’t want to hurt me, so, while I pretend that he can capture a finger, he pretends that he is biting down on it. I cry out in false pain, and he lets me go.


The roly poly one likes this game, happily rubbing his fuzzy moon-face against the spindles of the back of the chair, a sure sign that he is enjoying himself. Sometimes he even purrs as he is tearing the metaphoric flesh from my bones, the ferocious beast.

While cats’ ability at pretence is demonstrated by hunting fake mice and the like, this imaginary battle and its equally imaginary consequences show, I think, a slightly higher capacity for seeing in their minds’ eyes what isn’t really present, for feeling what doesn’t exist. It proves that we don’t need toys to entertain our cats. And we just need them to entertain ourselves.

8 comments:

  1. Ha that looks like a great game. Miss Pops used to sit on my knee and I would raise my hand up with a temptation. She would then raise her paw to lower my hand so I could put it in her mouth, and she would be gentle with her teeth so as not to bite me.

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  2. It's a sweet game that you share. It's a very good thing he doesn't really bite down on your finger! :-)

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    1. Once in a while, I miss my aim and don't put my finger exactly between his fangs. Then it hurts. But it's no one's fault.

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  3. An apt and true observation I feel. My girl never wants to hurt me either. She will sometimes be super annoyed at me for continuing to pet her or brush her when she is finished and she will dart and place her teeth on my hand or finger. She never mashes down on it...it's like "Oh! Did I do that? Excuse me." And opens her mouth. Never ever pressing down.

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  4. It is so interesting that they understand the concept of going just far enough to NOT cause any discomfort.

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  5. sweet boy....mom does something similar with Ivy - only Ivy grabs the hand in question and gives it a good licking

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  6. dood....we think sum timez dad forgetz him iz mezzin with de catfather !! ☺☺♥♥

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    1. Yes, I play close to the edge, eh, guys?

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