Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Fetch, Rover!

I think we gave the cat the wrong name. He is named Gus, after the roly poly mouse in Disney's Cinderella. Only he's not roly poly and he isn't mousy. He is a bit cheeky like Gus and the same color, but after that the similarity ends.

If anything, I think we should have named him Rover or Fido. Why? Because this cat has taught himself to fetch.

Yes, fetch.

I have owned many cats through the years and I have never had one that fetched. Even the one who was raised with a dog would sit up to beg for food, but he never fetched. This is a new one for me. You see, it all started with pipe cleaners. I bought a package for Sweet Girl last year and she quickly went through the fun colors. The pink, purple, teal and yellow pipe cleaners are long gone. There are these orange stragglers, however, that have just hung on. I don't even remember who or how it started, but we started using the orange pipe cleaners as kitten toys. They are purrrfect cat toys! You can bend them into any shape and, when stretched out long, make a wonderful wand for the cat to bat at while leaving your hand out of the reach of unbelievably sharp little kitten talons.

Well, one day I got tired of playing with the pipe cleaner, so I tossed it on the floor. About 15 minutes or so later, the cat had carried it back to me for another play session. I gave him about 3 minutes of half-hearted playtime then threw it away again. This time he was back about 5 minutes later. I threw it to the floor right away and he went after it. The rest, as they say, is history.

Now he expects to play fetch all the time and initiates the game daily. Gus brings the pipecleaner to me, then crouches expectantly, waiting. When I throw it, he bounds off my lap, jumping as high and far as he can. I've seen him soar 5 feet in a single leap off the coffee table in pursuit of his orange obsession. He brings it back, drops it in my laps and waits - then bounds off with joyful energy at my next throw.

Gus' favorite time to play is first thing in the morning. Or just before bed. If I refuse to play, he meows at me in the that voice that can only mean "hey lady, what's your problem? I know you're planning to lop off my pro-recreational equipment next week. Can't you at least take a moment to play with me? Huh?"

And so I play fetch.




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