I’m sure I’ve spent hundreds of Pounds on cat toys.
I’m sure the cats are taking the piss out of me.
Not that I’m paranoid or anything.
But over the almost a whole Earth year that my home has been shared by two lady cats we picked at a cat rescue centre, I may have spent many an hour walking up and down the isles of pet supply shops. I have purchased scratching posts, pretend mice, bouncing toys, cords and strings, and fake birds hanging from sticks. All of which are bloody expensive.
Generally speaking most of the toys are greeted with disdain. After a grudging token play with them, they are consigned to gathering dust forever unused.
The same is true of the cosy little cat cots, the special sleeping baskets, the cat mats, and the hammocks that hang on radiators. All of them used once and then ignored.
When the cats were originally found by the rescue centre they had been living rough after their owner had died. She was an old lady who’d had them since forever, although she’d obviously had quite strict rules about what they were allowed to sit on and rooms they were allowed to be in. After her death, a neighbour fed them but was worried because the local children were trying to kill them by throwing bricks at them.
So, the rescue centre came and collected them. Then we went and looked for a cat. That’s ‘A’ cat, not ‘some’ cats. We were shown the various moggies being looked after, and noticed how strikingly pretty one of the two lady cats was. Both were tortoiseshell, one very long haired, with a head and face that looked like a fox, and the other very short haired. The woman in charge, who suffered with constant and unceasing verbal diarrhoea, told us that they’d be found as a pair although it was fine to separate them. Short of a DNA test nobody knew if they were related. Maybe sisters. Maybe mother and daughter. But, they stuck close to each other and it seemed a crime to separate them.
This particular rescue centre insists that they deliver the cats to your home, which they did in two cat transporter cages. So, one January afternoon two very frightened cats were let out of their cages in our living room and ran with all their might to take up residence under a bath. Of all the places to find to hide, they found a small hole that gave them access to the underneath of the bath, and that’s where they stayed for the first week, venturing out only to use a litter tray we placed next to it, and grab food from a bowl too.
|The foot of doom grabs the shoelace of temptation|
A month later they’d ventured out and were behaving fairly normally, coming and going, checking out the grounds and asserting themselves with the other neighbourhood cats. The only odditiy was that they didn’t like being downstairs much. The landing upstairs was where they ‘lived’, and slept. They’d visit the humans downstairs to worry them for food, or whenever they were cooking or eating, or for a quick play before chasing each other up and down the stairs until finally coming to rest upstairs.
Currently they’re far more normal. Well, apart from one being terrified of spiders and climbing over furniture to avoid them. Despite the expensive array of toys, it is still the carpet on the stairs that is the favourite scratching post, the clothes and other contents of a wardrobe that are the favoured sleeping place, a couple of tied together dressing-gown belts or a very long shoelace that are the favourite things to run after, and a cardboard box that is a favourite part of playing.
A cardboard box with holes in it. A cardboard box that cost absolutely nothing and came originally full of 20 freshly made cupcakes. They both enjoy sitting inside it and suddenly swiping at a passing sister/mother/daughter or a human pulling an old shoelace.
All that money spent on toys for them, and they much prefer playing with a tatty cardboard box. Typical! Just like children. So, no toys for Christmas for them! Just excessive amounts of catnip.