Harris has me wrapped around his fluffy tail. He has trained me to give him whatever he wants.
He knows I spend way too much time on my laptop, so I often find this on my desk chair when I try to sit down:
This is just one of Harris's techniques for getting attention. I pick him up, and he purrs and snuggles. Then we play, or he and the others get fed. We usually play with the laser pointer or with toys on strings. Toffee will join in but he also likes to watch, staring at me as much as the toy. It's clear from his expression that he is trying to exert psychic mind control over me, repeating: "Get distracted. Drop the toy. Go away. Leave the toy to me."
He would much rather eat a string toy and take a trip to the emergency room than play with it. And, after all, his mind control attempts have been effective at least once.
Note the damage to the seat, which someone likes to scratch. There will be no fine or punishment
imposed for Destruction of Property, of course. I'll fire up the hot-glue gun one of these days.
Harris loves to chase the laser pointer dot a few times a day. If I've been neglecting him, he'll jump on my desk, making room for himself by knocking stuff on the floor. I keep the pointer inside an old Schrafft's candy tin, with other things I don't want on the floor, like keys and sunglasses. Harris tries to nudge the lid open with his nose. He knows I will immediately respond to his fine display of intelligence by "galloping" him. Then we'll play with another toy he can actually catch.
Toffee still likes the pointer and Da Bird, but he is lazier about it. When he does choose to exert himself, his leaps, flips, and other gymnastic maneuvers are more spectacular than anything Harris does. But, in general, Harris still acts like a Kitten while Toffee is more of a Cat. There'll probably come a time soon when Harris doesn't want to play several times a day. Until then, I'm all his.
Possum ignores Da Bird, which drives Harris and Toffee wild.
Speaking of Cats, Possum and Wendy are often interested in playing with the laser pointer and string toys, too, but they restrain themselves and try to act blasé around the youngsters. Possum will only chase the dot if the others aren't nearby. I have to admit he does look silly charging around after nothing, when he is such a dedicated scholar most of the time — and I think he's aware of it (although I haven't said a word). He must have read somewhere that short bursts of aerobic activity are good for the heart. But he knows the kittens need hunting practice more than he does, so he usually leaves them to it.