Toys and Interaction
As CEF (Chief Executive Feline) of Art Motion and Sound, I
initiated the policy of sending out a free toy with every scratcher. I insisted
on a toy that requires a human to play with the cat: an interactive toy. There
is a story behind the choice of interactive toy that I would like you to hear……
Eric bought me an expensive catnip filled mouse to play with, really to keep me
from being underfoot in the shop. I refused to play with it. Instead, I kept
attacking the sisal rope Eric was winding onto a new cat scratcher because I
wanted him to interact with me. So Eric tied a knot in a bit of rope, glued a
feather in and threw it around for me. It is now my favorite toy, not because I
like the toy better, but because Eric interacted with me.
Humans don't always see things from the cat perspective. Humans drive cars, go places, have television to watch, etc. Cats get to stare at the same walls, play with the same toys, all day, every day. Our lives can get boring. Yes we like attention, being petted and talked to. But what we really love is when we feel like we are a part of things, cats like to interact. Interaction stimulates our brain because unpredictable new situations make cats think. Sure, a cat can bat a toy and then chase it, but the cat knows where and when the toy will go. When a human dangles a toy or throws it for the cat, the cat has to make quick decisions. Even simple things like sitting with your cat and watching out the window together gives the cat a "shared" experience.
Many behavioral problems stem from bored cats. A bored,
lonely cat may begin scratching in inappropriate places, spraying, meowing, etc.
The stimulation of interacting with a human is healthy for a cat. People often mistakenly
believe that cats are solitary creatures requiring little social interaction. While
cats are often solitary when they hunt, remember that lions live in groups and
look at how large some feral cat colonies become. Not to be preachy, but I have
to add that many humans lead lives that are overly busy, taking time out to
play with a cat can help humans too.
A crumbled bit of paper is more fun if you throw it for me!
I dearly hope you take a few minutes to play with your feline companion every day and if not, I hope you make the time.
CEF (Chief Executive Feline)
The Cobbler's Kids Go Without Shoes….
You would think the cat owned by the guy who runs Art Motion and Sound would have the coolest cat scratchers and toys of any cat in the world. Nope. I get the stuff they can't sell: a prototype that looked ugly, or the scratcher with the special new oil finish that never really dried, or one with sisal rope that smelled funny. It really is true, the Cobblers kids go without shoes and the carpenter's house is never finished! I will be sitting out in the workshop, dying to scratch on a new scratcher and instead I get "no Makena, that one is for Mittens in Chicago, your scratcher is over there." Mine is the dusty one in the corner with the funny colored sisal rope and the cracked sidepiece.
My Flat Scratcher - an early concept/prototype
On the other hand, I get to test new stuff, which can be kinda fun. Ever wonder how they figure out how wide to make the legs on a vertical scratcher? Well, the shorter legs looked better but the scratcher fell over on the cat (ask me how I know.) The little toy they have with the feather and the piece of rope? I liked that one best out of several tries. I had a LOT of fun chasing those test toys!
I have a nice selection of toys in the house, but out in the shop I usually find something discarded on the floor to play with. Small bits of wood zip along good if you whack them hard enough and cut off bits of sisal rope are fun to tear up.
So, I wind up with cast off/defective/broken/bad idea
scratchers. But don’t worry, I got Eric back for all the sub-par scratchers: I will not go near any scratcher when they try
to get a video of me scratching! As a cat, I know how to be catty.
Give your cat my very best regards!
I am Makena
I am Makena, CEF of Art Motion and Sound, (Chief Executive Feline) As part of my job as CEF of Art Motion and Sound, I write a blog about cats and cat related things.
Eric and Deb got me from a woman who was not home enough to keep me company. Before her, I lived outside until taken in by someone unable to keep me. I do not know any more details, nor do I know where I originally came from. Moving from place to place made for a tough life and I misbehaved a lot. I received a lot of love and support for a long time before I became happy and secure. Now I lead an amazing life. I learned to walk with a leash (I am a hybrid – part wild and part domestic, I would get into too much trouble out by myself) and I go for walks and hikes almost every day. I get go to parks, on boat rides, to animal expos, visiting friends, etc. I am naturally bold and outgoing and this lets me explore new places and see new things. I am an adventurer at heart.
Out in our boat
I am not cuddly during the day. I prefer to be independent, I will listen to commands when out hiking and enjoy a quick pat on the head, but I do not want to be picked up or fussed over. At bedtime my personality changes: I love to cuddle at night! When I am cold I get right under the covers and ask to be held. Speaking of getting cold, I have only a thin coat. Most fur has a nice thick insulating layer under a top layer of colored hair; all I have is the colored hair. In cold weather, I wear a fleece when I am out hiking. I even have one with a wind and waterproof nylon cover for really cold weather and rain.
I have a sister named Lilia who is a rescue too. Like me, she is a Bengal, but she is very timid and shy. She is much smaller than me and I am careful not to hurt or scare her when we play.
Oh, I am supposed to try to sell things here too. Uhhh, buy some stuff from Art Motion and Sound because the more orders they get, the more I get to hang around in the workshop which is one of my favorite places!
In future blogs I will discuss: training humans to walk cats
(humans are dumb, but they can be taught if you have patience,) why my nose is
way better than yours, how to select the perfect cat toy, why I don't have a
nice cat scratcher at home, how sensitive cats are and lots of other topics
Give your cat my very best regards!