Friday, November 2, 2012

We have a live one! ...

I had forgotten just how active kittens can be. Thomas is obviously enjoying our house and this is most obvious when he gets into one of his zany moods where he is running here, there and everywhere. There are two and a half sets of stairs in our house and Thomas has taken to running from one level to the other. He will stop for a second in mid-run to examine something that has caught his attention, sniff at it for a fews second and then take off like a shot down the stairs. All of this energy is great as it results in Thomas being tuckered sufficiently that he sleeps through the night, but it is causing Maggie to be a bit agitated when she sees Thomas wizzing by at top speed.

On one of my recent trips to the pet supply store, I was looking at cats toys. I must say that I wasn't all that impressed with what was available. Oh there are numerous items for sure, such as catnip mice, balls, feather wands, and various scratching products. I already have some balls which Thomas has found and will play with for about 10 minutes. What I was looking for was something a little more involved, and then it hit me. I should just make something! Who needs fancy pet store cat toys! What I ended up with has been nothing short of brilliant as Thomas absolutely LOVES playing with my invention. I call it Tether Ball for Cats. Here it is ...

I had a bag of elastics of different lengths and widths and some cat balls of different colors. I took enough elastics and joined them together to make a long line which I then hang from a jordan anchor hook in the ceiling of our dining room. At the end of this elastic line, I attached one of the colored balls.
From the moment I hung up this toy, Thomas has become just a jumping fool. He jumps so much and so frequently, that he almost does backflips in trying to catch the ball in mid-swing. Below is a video of Thomas playing with his tether ball.

I noticed soon after that there was one glitch in my invention that I hadn't planned for and that is when Thomas' claw gets stuck in one of the slits in the plastic ball when he captures it. I am always 'supervising' his sessions in case he goes crashing into the table or plants nearby. When he gets caught up, I go over and unhook him and off he goes again. When I can't be watching him, I take the end of the line with the ball and hang it up high enough so he can't reach it, or so I thought! ...

Thomas is quite a little guy for his age but this definitely does not slow him down one bit if there is something he is after. I came back into the dining room one morning after having hung up the line, and what I saw next was absolutely amazing. Thomas discovered a way to get to the elastic to unravel it by either jumping to it from the floor or getting to it from on top of the table.

I have since tweaked the tether ball in wrapping both the ball and the first 2-3 inches of elastic with some strong see-through packing tape. Problem solved as this will ensure that Thomas doesn't get his claws hung up in the ball or elastic.

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