Sunday, September 7, 2014

If You Give a Kitten a Feather...

... he'll probably wear himself out chasing it. I realize this story isn't new, inventive, or nearly as long as the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie or If You Give a Moose a Muffin books, but it's probably just as amusing.

(Disclaimer: I am not married. I'm using in-laws just to describe their relationship to me and my cat. It's much easier than typing "my boyfriend's mother" every time.)

I have a 4 1/2 month old kitten. He moved in to our new place about 20 minutes after we did. We didn't plan on getting a kitten so fast, but events lined up and now he's here.

Fawkes McBitey on a bookshelf

Fawkes is a 4 1/2 month old semi-professional parkour kitten. He wants to jump, play, and bite everything in existence until he suddenly falls asleep like a narcoleptic. So, essentially, he's a perfect specimen of kittenhood.

My mother-in-law made a cat toy for her old cats and has kept it around even after their deaths.
She gave it to us a week ago. We enjoy it, but there are a few things that could be improved upon.

The biggest issue is that the dowel she used is fairly thin. Fawkes is particularly strong, so the dowel is already bending quite a bit.
The duck tape is actually fine for attaching everything together. The cord is three pieces of yarn braided together. I wager the feathers are real feathers (my father-in-law is a hunter, plus they live out in the middle of nowhere).

I used a bigger dowel, shoestrings (which he loves) for the cord, craft feathers, and suede cording. The kitten's collar came with a bell, which he adamantly demanded we remove last week. I included that on the toy because it seems to irritate him (in a good way).

Most of it is just knotted together. I used hot glue to put together three bunches of three feathers, wrapped the outside of the big bunch with double-sided tape, then tied the suede around it. I threaded the bell on a small bit of string and tied that around the outside as a final (unplanned) addition. I don't know how well the craft feathers will hold up, but I think it'll work out for a while. The suede I left pretty long because I figured it would be okay for him to chew on it, and I'd rather plan on him chewing on it and providing for it than him just finding it later and tearing the toy apart trying to get to the suede.

We had to lock him out of the room when I was making it because he wouldn't let me tie anything or glue anything without trying to attack. We also have craft feathers scattered all over the house. I'll have to secure them.

These are about the only pictures I could get before the kitten started attacking the toy. He absolutely loves this thing.

Cue the multiple pictures of kitten playing.

 We took about 30 pictures of him playing, but these are the only pictures that turned out. He was a big blur in all the rest (and he's blurry enough in several of these).
 He played so long he ended up panting. About ten minutes after that, he was asleep on the couch. We may have to hide this toy while we're at work since he has little self-control and might tire himself out too much.

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