Sunday, January 29, 2006

Games We Played

For Cowboy

This photo is from before Fergus got his "license" to run around the yard on his own without a harness. I was keeping the harness on him while I watched him because it was easier to grab this little bolt of lightning with it on then without.

Fergus was the most playful and inventive cat I have ever known. Though it is also possible that I have become more playful and inventive and more aware of my cat's playfulness. Fergus would get bored and look to me to find something to do so between the two of us and Silas, these are some of the things we came up with.

bath tub Ping Pong. Throw one or two ping pong balls in a tub with one or two small kittens and stand back. This was a riot and I have some shaky video of it I have not been up to looking at yet.

Ping Pong down the stairs and across the floor. Fergus could run full speed down our wooden floors passing a ping pong ball from paw to paw and never miss a pass. I wish I had this on tape.

The Bizzzy Kitty Box, you know, a cardboard box with holes cut in it for little paws. The description read "almost impossible to get toys out" Ferg just took a look at it, stuck his paw in and wapped all the toys out one after the other. You could hear them playing with this all night. Or at least, until it was emptied. I'd stuff it before going to bed.

The Ball in a Ring toy. This was a big hit too and we would hear the balls getting wapped in the middle of the night.

Bags and Tents and Tunnels. I would make tents out of chairs and footstools and tables downstairs and both kittens would run in and out and try to grab toys on a rope. We also have one of those bright fabric tunnels which Ferg loved to get in, we would pick it up with him in it and swing it back and forth. We would also tap a stick on the outside and he would grab it from inside.

My bathrobe tie. I wish I had video of this, I always meant to get some. I would whip the soft fabric (now shredded) bathrobe tie along the floor and Ferg would get a good hold of it and then I would swirl him in circles while he lay on the floor on his back clutching it. He loved this.

Tissue Paper Slide. This was great when he was very little. I would gather up a handful of tissue paper ( I let him shreadly deadly it first). He would hide behind a plant while I held the paper ball and whirled it around. Then the tiger would attack and at the last second I took my hand away. Ferg would hit the paper and slide across the floor. Then he would run back for another turn.

Crazy Eight, another very small kitten exercise. I would sit on the floor with my knees up and run a stick around my legs and Ferg would run in patterns under my knees and around my legs.

Paw Over Paw, even Brendan loves this. I collected some long thin fresh branches from out apple trees and whip them around the floor or outside in the yard. These can go over head too and up small trees. In the photo, Fergus is running for a branch. Brendan would watch the wild action and look longingly for a turn so I would whip it for him too, at a slower pace and nearer him. Fergus would run down the yard after it.

And of course, kitty climbing trees. Ferg taught Silas how to climb. One of the first times we were all out in the yard together last spring Silas got up a small hemlock tree and got scared. Fergus went up it and talked his buddy down. I doubt Silas would be much of a climber without those lessons. Though Ferg also scared himself a few times when he was little and he would peep for me to lift him down.

And he did all this with a heart condition. With joy and excitement every day. If cats have mottos, Fergus's would be "And what are we doing Now?"


Cape Cat said...

What a good life you give little Fergus!!!

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful, loving Mom you were. He could not possibly have had a better life. Very sweet stories (and we'll be getting some ping pong balls soon!)

Eponine's Cowboy said...

Got a teary eyed reading these. Made me miss the simple games my Eppy and I would play. Nothing as elaborate as any of these, but fun times shared nonetheless.

These are fantastic stories. You are a wonderful person who has been very blessed.

Eponine's Cowboy said...

Sorry for the second post ... I think we all could learn a little by following the philosophy of "what are we going to do now." Then we have to go make it happen. Just like our cats do/did!