I ponder the brown, crinkly mass in my living room. My conclusion? It’s heavy-duty packing paper, about eight feet of it, turned on itself. But my cat sees a fort. A gigantic one. So he jumps into/onto/behind/under it. That doesn’t last. Seconds later, the fort defects, straight to the dark side. It’s now an evil nemesis whose sole desire is eating cats. Thomas won’t stand for this. He thrashes about, clawing, tearing, going all “airplane ears” on it. Wicked thing! You once were my friend.
No. Wait. It’s a fort again, a gentle protector. Thomas hides, peering at me from underneath/behind it with eyes dilated to the size of softballs. No one will ever find me!
Hold on. No. It’s transformed again, into that wicked nemesis creature. Ready, aim, butt-wiggle … THRASH!
On and on we go. Daphne (my wife twice over) and I provide the laugh track.
My point? This is the greatest cat toy in my house. I paid nothing for it. I pulled it from a mail-order box and immediately designated it for cat assignment.
I don’t oppose the idea of “real” cat toys. Thomas has several. Recently I signed up to get a sample of cat toys, treats, and other goodies through the mail. It’s a subscription service called KitNipBox. I’ll demonstrate:
When you sign up, you receive a box like this once a month. It’s $19 per month for a single cat, and $26 for a multi-cat box. It doesn’t contain eight feet of heavy-duty packing paper. Rather, it takes the gentle approach.
And stuff lurks inside. The little, light box contains more items than you’d think.
Thomas was immediately interested.
Contained in my box were five toys. One is a Dangly Door Bouncer that looks like the angry offspring of two pi├▒atas. Another is a Baguette catnip toy that I keep mistaking for an errant turd on the carpet — but Thomas loves it. A third is something called a Roller Friend from Petlinks, a little mutant chickadee on a cardboard cylinder with a feathery tail. The box also contained an ear-and-eye wipe from John Paul Pet (I had no idea the late pope was in the industry), which I haven’t yet used. Oh, the KitNipBox also contained a bag of crunchy cat treats. Smart ‘n’ Tasty brand. Thomas loves these things.
He commenced to crunching. This presented a bonus round — he usually gets treats only before bed and after ferocious play sessions. (And sometimes in the afternoon, but he has to ask for them 8,000 times before I give in.)
Then I tried out a couple of the toys. Below is the pi├▒ata offspring door-hangy thing, which I tried out before stationing it on a door.
Next was the mutant chickadee, which I placed in Thomas’ fort/nemesis packing paper amoeba. It transformed the paper into a third creature — a helper, making great noise and providing tactile support while he went after the little cardboard soda-can chicken thing.
Does your cat get toys and treats through the mail? Have you tried a subscription box? Would you? Do you consider packing paper friend or foe? Tell me in the comments.
Cat Dandy home-schools Thomas because the public schools wouldn’t take him:
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About Keith Bowers: This broad-shouldered, bald-headed, leather-clad motorcyclist also has passions for sharp clothing, silver accessories, great writing, the arts, and cats. This career journalist loves painting, sculpting, photographing, and getting on stage. He once was called “a high-powered mutant,” which also describes his cat, Thomas. He is senior editor at Catster.