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Friday, October 14, 2016

Cat toys ... think before you buy

All too often people buy things on the spur of the moment. They mean well but later come to the conclusion that this or that wasn't the best choice.

The most classical example is the parent who buys his child a drum set. How many folks have come to regret that decision when those little hands grab the drumsticks and start banging away at all hours of the day.

Pet lovers are no better. They see something Fluffy or Fido might like and they bring it home. Most of the time, those store bought toys are ignored, while something free – like the box the toy came in, a scrunched up tissue or an aluminum foil ball – provide hours of entertainment.

I have made my fair share of booboos too where cat toys are concerned.

Take the undercover mouse for instance. I saw this toy online. It’s basically a yellow plastic sheet with a wire attached underneath. As the wire moves, the cat thinks there’s something underneath the sheet and tries to grab it. I thought this was something my cats would like.

I was right, they did like it, but the undercover mouse drained battery power like crazy. Considering the toy requires four big rectangular batteries, keeping the cats entertained was just too expensive.

My next purchase was a mouse. Mickey, Charlotte and Holly didn’t give it a second look, but Gabriel was interested. So interested in fact, that he attacked the mouse every chance he got. Within 24 hours the new mouse was no more than a ripped up corpse. See for yourself …


On to something else.

A few months ago Dieter brought home a ball for the cats. The ball is about five or six inches in diameter and has a small bird inside. When the ball rolls it makes a sound like … tweet-tweet-twit-twit-twit-tweet, tweet-tweet-twit-twit-twit-tweet.

During the day the cats ignore this ball, but at night is a different story. One or several of the cats start to slap the ball around. Not only does it clatter over the floor, the clattering is accompanied by ... tweet-tweet-twit-twit-twit-tweet, tweet-tweet-twit-twit-twit-tweet. This results in me having to get out of bed to take the ball away from them or I wouldn’t get a wink of sleep.

Then again, sometimes we buy something that isn’t meant to be a toy at all, but is used by our pets as such. Take these two runners and rug for instance. They are meant to look like this


Gabriel has taken a fancy to these runners and uses them as a surfboard. He runs, at full gallop, either from the living room to the bedroom or from the bedroom to the living room, jumps on the runner and goes sliding.

As a result, these runners and the rug end up like this

I can’t tell you how many times a day I have to put these runners back into place. If I were to get a dollar for each time I straighten them out I could pay a good chunk off my mortgage. Then Gabriel sits there, waiting for the opportunity to mess them up all over again.

As a cat or dog owner, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Where it comes to kid and pet toys ... think before you buy.

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