The cats I sit are often a little older. It makes the job a relaxed affair: they’re mostly contented with food, drink and a warm spot to sit. This wasn’t enough for Rumela; she was one of the few cats the least interested in food. What she wanted, was to play, very often and then a bit more! It quite fits the picture of a eight months old kitten, but not long after the start of the sit I noticed it was also in my own interest. Born on the street, she was an inside cat due to circumstances. She still had tons of energy and the playing was also necessary to make sure I’d get a good night sleep!
Her owner warned me upfront this was part of Rumela’s evening program and during the first night I understood why. In the dead of night, the rummaging started: she balanced on the head board, inspected everything I put on the cabinet whilst pushing random items on the floor, jumped on the bed with her full weight and a few times she went as far as to flick my face with her paw. Her favourite toy, a rod with a little fish attached to it – according to her owner it was filled with cat nip – had been subtly put next to me on the bed.
From that moment on, the evenings were dedicated to playing with Rumela, who clearly enjoyed the attention. In all honesty, so did I. Swinging back and forth of the little fish on the rod led to the highest jumps I ever saw a cat make. She would fetch a simple hair tie thrown across the room for me. Sometimes I wondered if she was a puppy in a kitten’s body!
After a couple of days, I started to feel a little bit bored: that rod again! So, I took it upon me to read about playing with cats, an easy job with all the information to be found on the internet. All the more because I regularly look after cats that don’t seem to be keen to play at all. I quickly learned that play for cats is a matter of habit: a little bit of action at the same time every day is a first step.
It caused for me to look at playing with cats from a different perspective and to put a bit more fantasy into it. Rumela sure did appreciate; it turned out she found hide-and-seek games fantastic. After I put her beloved rod under the carpet, it didn’t take her long to find out something was hidden there. But what was it? And how to get it from underneath? It led to a game full of exploration and catching. After getting her prey she came to me with the little fish in her mouth and offered it to me.
Subsequently, the game would start again.