I’ve shared my life with many cats over the years, and each one has shown an affinity toward a particular type of toy. Some have gone nutso over anything stuffed with catnip, others preferred feather-based toys — especially when attached to wands — and still others got their jollies batting around jingle balls of all kinds.
Because I write about cats for a living, companies sometimes send me toys to review. Well, my cats review them. The point is, my cats have unique opportunities to get up close and personal with a wide variety of playthings.
Let’s talk about Cosmo for a moment. So far, he’s been my only cat who loses his mind over those crinkly little mylar balls. You know the ones.
He recognizes their sound, and his eyes light up when I present him with one of the colored balls. He can’t wait to see what I’ll do with it. I’m sure his head is swimming with all kinds of possibilities: Will she throw it down the hall so I can chase it? Will she toss it above my head so I can jump for it? Will she place it on top of me and take a photo? He can hardly wait to see what becomes of the shiny mylar toy.
The play always starts with my crinkling the ball in my hand, signaling the beginning of good times for one certain tuxedo cat. He’ll awake from a dead sleep when he hears that sound. It’s not unlike the sound of opening a bag of chips. Perhaps that’s why he goes bananas when I’m hungry for some Sun Chips. He’s obsessed with the crinkle.
If he’s freshly awake from slumber, he may take a few minutes to get in full ball-chasing mode. I’ll toss the ball a few times and he’ll simply stare at it. Then, when he’s finally collected himself, he’s a man on a mission. I have concrete floors, so he slides all over the place while going after his beloved toy. Rugs go askew, cat dishes slam against the wall, and — more than a few times — crinkle balls go missing.
My apartment is not that big — like less than 700 square feet. I don’t have rooms crammed with furniture, either. The cat has no less that eight of these toy balls, and I can never find any more than three or four. Where are they? I swear they’re worse than those disappearing socks.
Guess what? Cosmo can do tricks. He’s mastered catching a crinkle ball in midair. Of course, I can’t seem to capture it on video, so you’ll have to believe me. I don’t tend to make up wild tales about my cat’s tricks. Let me impress you today! For real, though — the cat can catch a ball. I’m thinking he should try out for the major leagues. He’d make a fine outfielder, but they’d have to somehow figure out a way to make a baseball crinkle. I’m sure they could handle that. Wouldn’t Cosmo look adorable in those little baseball pants and some cleats? I know, right?
Aside from playtime with the mylar ball, Cosmo’s favorite hobby is staring at me. He does it nearly all day long. When it becomes unsettling, I decide it’s crinkle-ball time. I look him square in the eyes and ask, “Where are your balls? Cosmo! Where are your balls? Where’d your balls go?” Then I stop and laugh at myself, asking my cat about his balls … which are long gone.
When I’m at the pet supply store, I sometimes peruse the toy aisle. I can’t help myself. Cosmo has more playthings than he can ever enjoy in all of his nine lives. But still I feel like maybe there’s this cool new toy that I haven’t seen yet that he’ll completely fall in love with. Then I picture him leaping through the air, poised to catch his favorite crinkle ball, and I put my money back in my wallet.
What’s your cat’s favorite toy? Tell us in the comments!