When we brought him home, we brought with us a small arsenal of kitty necessities as well. Among the list was, of course, toys.
One of the simplest was the jingle ball. Simple, yet very useful when developing your stalking technique. Which means, in a kitty's mind, jingle ball=fun!
Leo and I developed this game early on:
I would get behind the ball, he would run over to a spot of his choosing and crouch down in pounce position. I would then kick the ball to him. He would pounce and leap on the thing, then quickly run and take cover in his next spot. I would kick the ball to him again, and etc., etc. Lots of fun for us both. In fact, we still play this game, though not always with balls. We will use other things that are handy, like a mousey toy, or pecans. Wait, what?
|Pecans > balls.|
Yep, he loves pecans. Not to eat, of course, but to play with just like he does with his other ball toys. What's so great about the pecan versus a normal ball? Well, it's noisy, for one thing, and it also slides around really well, even on carpeting.
After the first time my fella's grandma came out with a pecan to give him, Leo was all over it. These are a toy, however, that are more of a treat than an everyday toy. That makes them more special, and more fun. It also saves our eardrums from the constant noise of pecans rolling on the tiled floor.
Also one of his first ever toys was a simple stick toy. You know, the ones with the feathers and pom-pons on the end of a stick? Man, he loved that thing! Even after he ripped off all of the pom-pons and managed to snap the thing in half.
He still likes the stick toys, but we realized pretty quickly what his favorite part of them was: the pom-pons!
Ah yes, the pom-pons. It was no sooner that we realized that Leo loved pom-pons that my fella was coming home from the store with a two-dollar pack of multicolored pom-pons. We dropped one on the ground and whoa! Here comes the little kitty pouncing and batting and chasing and stalking. On the tile floor it was especially fun, and he figured out very quickly that that was prime pom-pon playing ground.
Then he developed a new game: grab the pom-pon in your mouth, leap up on the chair, drop said pom-pon, and POUNCE! Very fun, indeed. And quite destructive with those sharp, little claws on the furniture. But, it is hard to tell a kitty no and have him actually mind you. This game kept up until one day it migrated to the leather couch. Um, no. Sadly, he doesn't get to see much of his beloved pom-pons these days. However, just like the pecans, that makes them more of a treat and therefore just that much more fun.
Mousey Toys —
The mousey toy obsession is relatively new, only happening within the last couple of months. It all started with the grey mouse toy, as pictured to the left. I think I may have said this about every single toy, but he loves that thing!
He is a very lovey dude, no playing favorites for him.
After that, my fella's grandma happened to find an old Zhu Zhu Pet-esque wind-up mouse and gave it to Leo. It was hilarious to watch his first encounter with a moving object. It went right at him, and he leaped back in to the air away from the huge mouse. Too funny. Now he actually chases it, but if you catch him off guard he will still back off from it.
He has also received other mousey toys from us, his Auntie Jean, and even one from the Tooth Fairy herself.
He sure is a little hunter, so he thoroughly enjoys them all.
Last, but not least, I give you The Tent.
All little boys need a fort, right?
Well, The Tent is actually a cat privacy tent to be used to enclose the litter box. Currently, Leo has a pretty prime spot for his litter box, so he really doesn't it need it yet.
One day I decided to set it up in the bedroom to see if he would hang out in it. That way I could keep an eye on him while I worked on the computer. I put an old towel and some of his toys in there. Sure enough, in he came and started to investigate it.
Since then his little fort has turned into a cool spot to play in between naps.
Leo sure plays hard, and then naps hard to make up for it. I know he is still a kitten and that his playfulness may wear off. But, I am hopeful that if we stay active with him that he will stay a pretty fun guy.
I can't wait to see what other toys he'll take a shining to as he grows up to be a big boy.
— E & L