We’ve always had cats. We claim them as ours. That’s because we paid the rent or the mortgage, bought the food, and paid the other bills. We thought we were in charge because we control the money. Yeah, we control the money, but they control us. Cats have us. Out of the most recent who lived with us (Sammy, Scheckter, Pogo, Smudge, Lady, Quinn, Tucker, Boo, and Papi), all came to us. They picked out our house, walked up, and meowed, “Hello. Feed me.” The exception is Lady. We took her in because the elderly man who took care of her and six other cats was moving into a home, and couldn’t care for her any longer.
The thing about cats is we love to entertain them, because it entertains us. We love watching them pretend to stalk and kill strings because they’re cute and funny. Plus, we need to entertain them. When they’re not sleeping or eating, they need entertained. Fortunately, they’re eating or sleeping twenty hours out of the day. But if you’re not entertaining them for the other four hours, you will become their entertainment. They’ll start playing head games, like the Door Game, or they’ll start walking around, meowing, the game they call Meow Polo. It’s like the Marco Polo game humans, but crueler, and sans water.
These circumstances drive us to hunt for cat toys. You’d think it’d be easy. Cats like chasing mice. Bugs. Spiders. Each other. Lights. Strings. Pieces of foil. M&Ms. Blueberries. Should be easy to find them a toy.
But no. One of the mind games cats like to play with people is to be indifferent to what we offer them. Food, snacks, treats, toys…cats like to look at them, sniff them, maybe give them a bat, and say, “No thanks,” and walk away. And we know this about cats, so we try to out-think them. But we can’t, because we’re using human logic, and they’re using cat logic, which is superior.
Yet, we still try.
That’s why we’ve been so happy with the sausage. Sixteen inches long, it looks like four sausage links. It’s stuffed with catnip. Every cat we’ve had will walk into the room, see the sausage, walk over to it, and go into some frenzied but gently violent feline foreplay with it. They’ll lick it, bite it, seize it with their front paws and kick it with their back paws, roll around on it, drool and dribble on it, and gently rub their faces against it. Then they’ll get up, step away like, “That’s enough,” wash, and generally pretend that what just happened, didn’t.
And we love it because we feel special for finding something that entertains the cats, so they can entertain us, and re-establish our balance about who is supposed to be in charge.