Teaching my kitty to play Fetch.


OK, I’ve been around cats long enough to know that you never really teach them anything. They have an innate (or is it “inborn”?) ability to use a potty box, and if you douse them enough times with water from the squirt bottle, you can almost teach them NOT to do certain things.

Still, for the most part, it’s pretty much always about the cat … and what he or she WANTS to do, at any given moment.

However, I am quite pleased that Kiddle has shown a willingness to retrieve her chew toy and also her new mouse* when I toss them.

When I was a kid, we had a psychotic Siamese cat named Simon who would fetch a wadded-up piece of paper from one of my Uncle Merlyn’s note pads. (Uncle Merlyn was an insurance agent; that’s why he had his own pads of paper, and he and Aunt Toots would give them to us — along with an assortment of pens and balloons and tops [the kind you spin!] — every year for Christmas.) Simon would also play Keep Away (a.k.a. Monkey in the Middle) with Debra and me, serving as the “monkey” as we’d toss the paper wad back and forth. He’d leap and contort himself, trying to bat away the paper; occasionally, he’d even catch it between his paws, and one time, he jumped up, twisted himself about three feet into the air, landed right in his water bowl and then shot out of the room!

My beloved Mitty would fetch a small ball made out of gauze tape. I’d throw it down the stairs and she’d run down after it, then bring it back upstairs to me, dozens of times, until she basically was too tired to run anymore. She also would occasionally “roll over” at my command — but, again, this was something that was mostly up to her. (I can recall any time Jenn would come over, I’d “command” Mitty to “Roll over!” and Mitty would usually just lie there, purring, looking up at me as if I were crazy for thinking she’d do anything that wasn’t her own idea … and, of course, Jenn would just giggle!)

New Mouse

* — I went over to Diane’s the other night and she held up a small red stocking with white trim and said, “Guess who got a stocking?” And I said, “Who? You?” And she said, “No.” And I said, “Me?” And she said, “No. Kiddle!” The sock was filled with five stuffed mice in varying colors. Needless to say, Kiddle adores them!