Shiny Sparkler Toys On My Desk

Today finishes our third week with Wintermuse. We’ve learned a lot about her so far – her obsession with food, her odd sleeping habits, her chirping, and her insatiable desire to play.

I wanted a cat that plays. I love to play, and I love to play with cats. I work them pretty hard. It’s full-on aerobic activity. I work that string or ball or feather with lightning speed. They’re shortly worked into a frenzy, breathing hard, pupils dilated, desperate to nom.

Judy, our parents’ Norwegian Forest Cat, is a champion player. She has extremely fast reflexes, and she’ll sit on the toy when she catches it so that she ‘wins’. I usually have one toy in either hand, and I can get her to play with both – she’ll catch one, and I’ll tap her with the other, and she’ll bat at it while trying to maintain her grip on the first one.

It’s serious business.

Judy was the smartest, quickest cat I had seen when I met her 2 years ago. Judy has nothing on Wintermuse.

Wintermuse, at 4 months old, can jump to the top of her 2 ft scratching post from rest, and balance there, on a coffee cup-sized platform, and then rear up on her back legs, still on the post, and bat at a toy. She can jump over the scratching post like a hurdle. As for her speed, Egyptian Maus are the fastest domestic cat, with a top speed of 30 mph and a body modified for sprinting. They have a skin flap above their back legs so they extend farther. Her back legs are even longer than her front ones. She is so fast my f/1.8 prime lens and speedlite flash can’t always capture her.

And the little gymnast loves to play, so in three weeks, we have dozens of toys. Our breeder Evelyn gave us a toy when we brought the cat home – a little wand with a lot of sparkling tinsel tendrils. They’re all over our living room because she rips them out when we dangle it at her. It used to be thick like a horse’s tail, but now it’s more like a robe-tie.

Here are some photos of me entertaining her.

Egyptian Mau kitten playing with a sparkly toy

Studying her prey

Egyptian Mau kitten playing with a sparkly toy

Pulling it towards her

Egyptian Mau kitten playing with a sparkly toy

Hugging the toy

“It’s my favorite toy ever. I’m going to hug it and kiss it and call it George.”

Egyptian Mau kitten playing with a sparkly toy

Hugging from a different angle

(Yes, I drink a lot of Diet Cherry Pepsi.)

Egyptian Mau nomming the sparkler

Nomming the sparkler

She’s so excited she caught the toy that she went bug-eyed! Check out those unsheathed claws.

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