My human spends all her time hunched over some big board instead of playing with me! She just sits there, holding these colorful sticks and rubbing them on paper. Isn’t that weird? Everyone knows that paper is for sitting on and sticks are meant to be batted around! So I am always jumping on the board trying to show her the right way to use these toys (after all, I have nothing better to do), but then she gets mad. She calls me things like “incorrigible” and “out of control.” She acts like there is something wrong with me when all I want to do is play — I mean, isn’t that typical for a young kitty like me, who’s barely a year old? Why is she trying to make me feel like some freak of nature?
NOT a Freak!
Dear Not a Freak,
The only freak here is your human, for thinking there is something wrong with a cat who likes to play. If she wanted a non-playful cat, she should have adopted one who was older, like over 10 years old… although, I have to say, all of us here are over 10 and we still enjoy playing and one of us who happens to be the oldest one here (cough, cough… Binga…) is legitimately a troublemaker, not just a fun-loving kitty like you.
Sadly, you are not alone. Many young, active cats are accused of being “crazy,” “psycho” and the like when nothing could be farther from the truth. The real problem here is that you, like many kitties in your position, are just bored and live with a human who doesn’t realize how important play is — for both cats and humans. Humans need to set aside time to play with their cats every day, especially cats like you, who are still basically kittens. In fact, at your age, they should be setting time aside two or three times a day for playtime! It does not have to be complicated. It is just a matter of throwing around a spring toy or a catnip mouse, or making a wand or stick toy like Da Bird fly around so you can leap after it. The key is for your human to play with you until you are worn out. Then maybe she can get some peace at her silly board, misusing the colored sticks and paper.
I would encourage you to instigate playtime with your human, since she seems to be too dense to think of it on her own. If there are no cat toys in the house (and it is very bad of your human if that is the case), find something that works as a toy that you won’t get yelled at over, like a milk jug ring, and bat it around a few times in your human’s presence, then pick it up and drop it on her hand! Depending on your human’s intelligence level (or lack thereof), you may have to do this several times before she gets the idea that she is supposed to play with you. But even if she does not get it right away, persist. Humans function better when they take breaks from whatever “serious” stuff they are doing to play and refresh their minds. So when you want to play, refuse to take no for an answer. Playtime is a win-win situation for you both.
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