Speak of the devil: Harris jumped on the kitchen counters, still covered in blue tape for Operation Stickum as I was writing. He didn't like it, but he hasn't given up on jumping there. Operation Stickum continues for the foreseeable, leaving us with about a square foot of usable counter surface.
I'm trying to keep them from being bored. I recently got them two more interactive toys from Cause to Paws in Brookline. They have a good selection of cat items despite being yet another dog-centric store, and they always know what's been a hit with their customers' cats.
I bought a Cat Charmer, a very long "ribbon" of striped fleece attached to a plastic pole. It's made by the company that makes the Cat Dancer, so I figured I couldn't go wrong. Here's Harris playing with the original Cat Dancer, a flexible, bouncy wire that has bits of rolled cardboard on one end and a relatively useless green plastic mouse on the other, which I use as a handle:
The colorful fleece Cat Charmer was also a big success: even Possum roused himself to play, and he usually affects boredom during the kittens' toy sessions. But I have proof that he likes it:
It's true that he didn't bother to leave his heated cat bed to actually chase it, but he played with it long enough for Toffee to get bored and leave.
The other new toy seems to be Harris's all-time favorite, the Cat Catcher. It's made by Go Cat, makers of the ever-popular Da Bird. It's a tough, tiny mouse with a rawhide tail attached to a pole with a spinner and strong, flexible wire:
This toy is more exhausting for me than the kittens. That mouse is so tiny that Little Harris can get the entire thing into his mouth. When he does this, he growls continuously and refuses to let go. He transforms into a vicious beastie, victorious and selfish over his prey. I pull, he growls; I cajole, he growls; I insist, and he fights my attempts to pry it out of his clamped jaws. We take turns dragging each other around the apartment. Our battles have gone on for as long as 20 minutes — I was on the phone listening to my dad and didn't have two free hands to extract the toy. (The growling on both ends of the line never stopped.)
Here's a bad photo, taken one-handed with my phone as I tried to keep him from dragging me into another room. I'm not sure if the toy is small enough for him to swallow and I plan never to find out. Of all our toys, this one needs the most secure storage spot.
So the real game, of course, is to keep the toy away from Harris's mouth and to give Toffee time to have fun with it, too. But Harris always wins.
go to war play.