The Weasel ball

Now and then The Mistress is wont to introduce a new toy to the feline denizens of the House of Chaos. It keeps them on their toes and happily occupied. It rouses their interest and curiosity. But most important of all, it keeps them moving.

Cats need physical exercise. They need to burn off all those calories their usual food intake consists of, and since the typical run-of-the-mill feline is wont to spend 20 hours a day sleeping, napping, slumbering or otherwise occupied in the regions of Morpheus, it is imperative that they spend most of the remaining 4 hours as engrossed as possible in cheerful activity.

Now, good toys must attract a cat. He must feel his natural inquisitiveness tickled and raising to the occasion. His natural instincts to hunt anything that moves must be activated. And for that the toy should be challenging. But not too challenging, lest he be spooked and will spurn the offending toy for eternity. On the other side, one wants this toy to be used with the least simian involvement needed, since this will tire the simian to no end and that is not the purpose of this exercise ! No, the toy must be fully capable of completely captivating the cat’s interest without simian intervention at all. A self-propelling toy.

Our furry friends, by nature, will easily engage in play with nothing but a toy and themselves. They are notorious for batting at anything that even remotely has the chance of moving, hence the regular occurrence of countless of broken knick-knacks in many a household, and will seek out all by themselves what fun can be had with anything they encounter. Ever the playful hunter, our feline friends will certainly explore the playability of every toy to the hilt. And so it matters not really what toy you offer for their frolics, but simply how interesting the toy may move.

Enter the Weasel Ball. It’s a plastic ball with a weasel doll attached to it (by the nose) and with a machine in it that will make the ball roll all over the place and hence the weasel doll moving all over the place. And unexpectedly too. A most cunning little thing just right for the gentle tickling of feline curiosity, and the not-so-gentle being swapped about by feline paws. Although devised for the amusement of simian youngsters, The Mistress suspected that at least one of her furry babies would be interested in this unusual toy. And right she turned out to be too !

It shouldn’t surprise you that the hulkster-kitty would be interested. Oh yes, after the initial worried stare-down the valiant Bean Sidhe would pounce the beastie and victoriously conquer the unknown quantity, i.e. one fake weasel. He immediately found out how to best beat this strange contraption and was soon found happily munching on fake fur whilst keeping still that pesky ball. Even though it was way too hot (28° Celcius in da House) he cheerfully attacked the weasel ball and had fun all around.

Not so Hrimnir. Poor little Hrimmikins got scared out of his fur when I first put this thing on the floor. He can be found eyeing the moving ball & weasel from afar, his huge orbs eyeballing its every move. Whenever the danger posed itself of that weasel-thing coming too close to his august little form Hrimnir evacuated swiftly to safer environs. He does NOT like this toy. Even when I turned it off and presented it to my darling Peacemaker he refused to have anything whatsoever to do with it and ran away. Weasel is not his friend.

The Weasel Ball also managed -and not a great feat that is actually- to anger Zorro. From the first moment when I turned it on and let it loose on the floor did he jump down the Cupboard of Many Treasures and proceeded towards the offending item with murder in his eyes and claws out. Zorro does not like to be startled, certainly not by an animated inanimate thing and he somehow conveyed the message to me that he would rather prefer the real thing, i.e. a live weasel. Sadly these critters won’t come cheap and it’s difficult to wash the blood off the wallpaper so I had to respectfully decline his request. At which point he vented his anger on the Weasel Ball and I had to take it away lest it be destroyed.

It shouldn’t surprise you that both Loup-Garou and Frankette refuse to remain in the same House with that… that… thing. I didn’t even see them leaving the premises, they were just gone the moment I activated the toy. Clearly the oldster and the youngster are not delighted by this new plaything and have voted with their paws. And no doubt they would have been in the Garden of Chaos, morosely commiserating with each other on how the standards of the House have been sinking so low lately and what has happened with the Mistress’ sanity.

So, the only feline denizen of the House of Chaos happy with the Weasel Ball is Bean Sidhe. And it just so happens that he is the kitty most in need of physical exercise, so I can judge this outcome a resounding success.
Resounding as in Bannikins’ paws thudding all over the place when he pounces his new friend.

Picture below: CHOMP

Chomp !

Yay ! It’s weekend again and this means many Tunatinis and lots of stinky goodness to be had with the friends over at the Friday Ark, Carnival of the Cats hosted by Samatha Black and Mr. Tigger, Weekend Cat Blogging hosted by Katie and Puddy and Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos hosted by Miz Mog and Kittens.

Wordless Wednesday

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

Nature

Orange Opulence


Cats

Hrimnir pounces Bean Sidhe

Tummy Tuesday

Frankette grabs the attention again.

Frankette grabs attention

But hey, she’s so cute, she gets away with it.

Other cute tummies can be ooh-ed over at LisaViolet’s Dairy.

Sweet temper

She’s little, she’s lovely, she’s sweet. She’s the only female feline denizen of the House of Choas and she lets us others know it, oh she does. Practically rubs our faces in it. Reminds us of it every day again. Really can’t start her day without showing off the fact that she is a lovely little girl, with cuteness in mega-store. Tons of exquisite grace all crammed into one tiny furry body.
Yeah, we’re talking about Frankette.

It’s difficult not to talk about her. She manages to insinuate her lithe little person in just about every conversation she can get her lovely little paws on. And just in case you might have entertained the very thought of ignoring that ultra-cute little missy, she’ll prowl around and pounce on your attention anyway, grabbing it with all fours, but being oh-so cute about it so that you can’t complain. Not really no. You’ll just sputter with indignation, bereft of the right words to chastise that little furry minx, and she’ll purr you into submission next. There’s no resisting the über-cute.

But how else can she -that tiny feline lady- cope with a household full of big macho he-cats ? I mean, she must make a respectful detour every time that lumbering big hulk called Bean Sidhe thrundles past, or when that mobile menace that listens to the name of Zorro threatens by. Never mind the ever present problem of a frolicky Hrimnir who never stops trying to play with anything that moves – and that includes little kitties yes. The only other feline denizen who will not try to over-macho poor little Frankette is Loup-Garou, who would rather win the sleeping contest. Being macho is just too tiresome to our dark hedonist.

Hrimnir, however, is by far the most friendly and cordial of our furry friends towards Frankette. His sweet chirrups and gentle nose-rubs are legendary and he never fails to practice them upon his tiny foster-sister. But after the friendly greetings come the swapping paws, the playful swipes, and the brotherly body-slams. Frankette does not want to play all day long, she wants to be left alone in peace, grooming her pelt into perfection, and spending the day in that semi-conscious zen-state that cats are so famous for. In short, she wants to vegetate peacefully, and with that feisty Hrimnir around peaceful is not an option.

And so our Peacemaker may suddenly find himself facing a most irked Frankette. Sweet, little and cute as she may be, when her wrath is aroused you do well to take cover. For she has a mighty hiss, a thunderous snarl, and lightning-swift claws who deftly slice you into perfectly spaced ribbons. Everything this little female does is executed with the utmost grace and elegance, even the fighting. Speed is not rendered less by gracefulness, lethality is not made obsolete by daintiness. Aggression is still on the table, and trying to save your very hide must be paramount in your thoughts whenever you encounter an angry Frankette. Hrimnir, thus, knows very well to take a step back and show proper admiration for such a grand display of righteous feline fury.

He’s also trying not to collapse in helpless laughter, because even as formidable as Frankette’s ire may be, her display lacks a certain je-ne-sais-quoi… which the macho he-cats possess in abundance. Maybe it’s the stature, maybe our chunky Norwegian Forest Cat mix isn’t that terribly impressed by 1 kilo of hissing wrath. Maybe her tail lacks the sheer volume that Hrimnir is wont to display whenever he is angry, because he has a lot more fur than Frankette does. But in the end it matters not, what is important however is the sheer undeniable fact that Hrimnir does take a step back and lets his snarling foster-sister be. For hers is the triumph of having hissed a bigger he-cat into meek submission, for hers is the victory lap: the immediate and straight dash towards The Mistress in order to beg for a well-deserved treat.

Her tactics versus the resident simians are indeed wrapped around getting as much tasty morsels out of them as possible. And if the devastating force of her pathetic “mew” doesn’t crash your stern resolve not to feed her, it must be her imploring little velvety paws, which are placed oh-so delicately upon your knee with such enormous emotional impact. And which imply with sheer intrinsic menace that sharp questions might arise soon if demands are not met now. You hurriedly oblige.

I must confess, though, that most of the time she does not need to threaten the hapless simians into giving her what she wants. She usually gets away with simply jumping upon your lap, or with weaving her soft furry body around your feet whilst emitting pitiful shrieks of utter despair and imminent starvation. When the can is opened and a feline chorus erupts around the opener, her voice can be heard best of all above the din, as penetrating as these high pitched kitty voices can be. You may not believe the downright massive sound that his tiny kitty can produce, but your ears will swiftly tell you otherwise that there walks a mighty little furry tweeter.

Fortunately this does not happen often. Most of the time you can find our sweet cute Frankette softly snoring on the windowsill, or in the clean laundry in the bedroom. Grumpy Man often leaves his underwear drawer open. And then complains about tiny black and white hairs in his underpants and socks.
So tiny. So potentially devastating.

Picture below: battle of the cutest…

Frankette en Bean Sidhe

Sigh, how time flies… weekend again and that means more feasting on tunatini and tasty stinky goodness. Of course, it all happens on the Friday Ark, also at Catsynth for the Carnival of the Cats, with Kashim and Othello doing Weekend Cat Blogging, and of course Pet’s Garden BLog featuring the Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos. Woohoo !! Partyyyyyy !!!!

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Scratching post envy

The Mistress is fond of flea markets. During Summertime there’s a flea market every Sunday in the town where the House of Chaos can be found and whenever she has time (and the pecunia needed for the fun) she will scrounge to her heart’s content and come home with all kinds of cheaply-bought lovely stuff for enjoyable adornment of the house. Or, in Grumpy Man’s words: “She’s found some new junk to clutter the place with”.

This time however he had to grudgingly agree that 4 interesting books are indeed a good find and he didn’t even complain about the scratching post. The virtually new scratching post with hardly any wear and tear, coming from an old lady whose feline companion sadly didn’t manage to celebrate its 18th birthday. But as the saying goes: “one person’s loss is another person’s bargain”. We now are the proud owners of 1 (one) blue-furred and sisal-wrapped scratching post. With a platform on top. Neat !

“Neat” was exactly what Zorro must have been thinking when he first set eager and approving eyes upon the unfamiliar contraption. After I finished reconstructing it (when I bought the post it had to be disassembled for easier carrying) he, together with a bold Hrimnir and a timid Frankette, immediately set to carefully checking it out. After a few tentative sniffs, and some not-so-tentative cheek-rubs, Zorro planted his furry behind -and his implicit approval- upon the platform and stayed put. He even remained perched on it when I took out the food bags and filled the bowls.

Later on, though, Zorro retreated to his recently chosen spot on top of the Cupboard of Many Treasures and presumably went to sleep there. He wasn’t however. The moment one other of the feline denizens of the House of Chaos came over in order to carefully sniff at the new scratching post a vengeful streak of black-&-white anger careened down from the cupboard and onto the hapless kitty. Repeat three times. Even Frankette, usually Zorro’s darling (which means he hasn’t tried to kill her yet and usually tolerates her passing close-by), had to make a fearful dash to safety, her lithe back raked by angry claws. Nobody was to approach the new scratching post. It was all his and his alone. HISSS !!

Now, I knew Zorro could be territorial. The cat-nip in the Garden of Chaos has perished, completely stripped bare and soaked with scent-of-Zorro, nobody else tries to reside on the top of the Cupboard of Many Treasures, and when Zorro is sleeping in the Nest even the simians hesitate to occupy it. But this hogging of the new scratching post has set new standards of obsessive possessiveness. He all but wrote his name on it and he clearly intends it to be the sole user of it.

Even when he is not occupying the platform, or lying on the cupboard in ambush, his promise of dire wrath somehow lingers in the air and the other feline denizens can sometimes be observed staring forlornly at the empty and unused scratching post. They would so love a rub, or a rake, or even a quick sit-on… but they don’t dare. There’s always the quiet menace of an angry Zorro exploding into righteous anger and they all respect his merciless punishments. He doth rule by terror.

So now we’ve placed the scratching post elsewhere, next to the mill (don’t ask why we have a lathe and a mill in the living room, it’s just one of the many reason why ours is called the “House of Chaos”) and The Mistress’ computer. Zorro still occupies the platform from time to time, but since he can no longer dive-bomb the unwary user it seems to have lost some of its appeal and currently the other feline denizens are tolerated near it. A tolerance they have relished and celebrated with tentative face-rubs and scratches. They swiftly grew bolder when they noticed that Zorro would indeed not keep watch all the time and now Hrimnir and Frankette can sometimes been seen frolicking around it. Loup-Garou and Bean -Sidhe, older and wiser, have abstained from using the scratching post however. The fear doth lingers.

Yet with two frolicky kittens (they’re still one year old…) ravaging the scratching post I fear that Zorro’s enjoyment of the scratching post will be short-lived. They tend to wreck things thoroughly, and even though these scratching posts have been designed to withstand intensive kitty-use this one already sports the slightly haggard look of a scratching post well-used.

Picture below: The Lord and Master of All He Beholds on His Throne.

Zorro on his throne

Meh, it’s weekend again and that means… Friday Ark ! The Carnival of the Cats (Artsy Catsy) ! Weekend Cat Blogging (CatSynth)! Bad Kitty Cats Festival of Chaos (Samantha and Mr. Tigger) ! Ahhh… so many parties… so little time.

Wordless Wednesday

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY

Nature

rose

Cats

Frankemie eating

Robots

Obsidian flying

Tummy Tuesday

Frankette trying to show some tummy whilst hiding from too much sun under a board.

How does she do it ? The poise, the sensual move, the promise of soft cuddles ? And all under that board…

Frankette under a board

More tummies can be admired at LisaViolet’s Dairy, as usual.