Years ago, when we first acquired our two calico cats, Cassie and Callie, my wife, Becky, purchased a cat toy for them to share as their first Christmas present. If memory serves me correctly, the toy was a kind of feather on the end of a long elastic string, which was attached to a plastic arm that you affixed to a sliding glass door with a suction cup. The idea was that the feather represented a bird, which the cats would swat at or try to catch. The cleverly worded copy on the package of this particular toy advertised that it would provide “hours of fun.” In reality, the total time the two of them spent engaged with their new toy was more in the area of several minutes . . . precisely the time it took for them to separate the feather from the elastic. End of toy. End of fun.
Ever since that day, whenever we see a TV commercial for a similar product, our collective outcry is “Oh, great! Hours of fun!” or even “seconds of fun!” It’s become an inside joke. This morning, just for the hell of it, I did a Google search for cat toys to see if there were any new contenders on the market. Here is a sample of what I found:
FroliCat Flik Interactive Teaser Pet Toy
FLIK is an automatic teaser that throws then hides a string to entice your cat to play. Simply turn it on and watch your curious cat stalk FLIK and try to capture the string before it pops back into the toy. Cats can’t resist trying to grab the “tail” flicking back and forth, just like a wild cat stalking hidden prey. No cat has ever had this much fun with an ordinary string before!
- Automatic teaser throws and hides a string
- Automatic hands-free play
- Perfect for playtime on a table, shelf, or floor
- Requires 3 AA batteries (not included)
Pioneer Pet Tiger Mobile Cat Toy
The Tiger Mobile is a motorized mobile that attaches to any door knob or pole. The motor runs for 20 seconds to spin the mobile and then stops for 20, which creates randomized movement. The weighted balls on each end of the toy will swing in different directions when the cat attacks it. It comes with two AA batteries.
SmartCat Peek & Play Toy Box
Life’s pretty great when even your toybox is a toy! The SmartCat Peek & Play Toy Box requires cats to paw, pad, and pull their halfway hidden toys out to play. Since cats love cracks and crevices, the fun starts before they even get the toy! The SmartCat Peek & Play Toy Box comes with two toys but can be used with any appropriately sized cat toy or treat.
- Durable wood construction
- Satisfies cats’ desire to stalk and hunt
- Keeps indoor cats mentally stimulated
- Includes two toys
Can you see the pattern emerging here? All of these toys are designed to do one thing: get you to buy them! Anyone familiar with cats knows that the more one tries to entice them into doing something, the less likely they are to cooperate. They’re cats! That’s what makes them special. So the next time you’re watching TV at three in the morning, and an ad comes on for that “new” cat toy. Just remember what you learned here and repeat after me . . . “HOURS OF FUN!”
Got a cat story you’d like to share. We’d love to hear about it.
NOTE – Joe Perrone Jr is the author of the Matt Davis Mystery Series: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day (a 2012 Indie B.R.A.G. medallion winner), Twice Bitten, and Broken Promises. All four are available in paperback and E-book from Amazon.com. As the Twig is Bent and Opening Day are also in audiobook from Audible.com, with Twice Bitten and Broken Promises currently in production. If humor is your cup of tea, consider Joe’s rip-roaring, coming-of-age novel, Escaping Innocence: A Story of Awakening, set in the tumultuous Sixties, or A “Real” Man’s Guide to Divorce (First, you bend over and . . . ). Both are available in print, E-book, and audio book editions.
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