Back in October I got a laser pen, one of those things bright young lieutenants use to point out strategic spots on enemy-territory wall maps to the four-star generals they’re briefing. Presumably, they used a laser pen like mine to point out Tora Bora just before the president butted in and changed the mission so the bad guys got away.
Laser pens. Cool technology. Reminds me of The Jetsons. Weren’t they fun? I loved the flying cars and the robot housekeeper. Astro was a hoot…
Right. Laser pen. Mine is just for the cats. They chase the little, bright red dot it makes like it’s a yummy mouse.
At least, that was the idea. When I tried it, Kitty and Emma gave half-hearted chase a few times, then stopped. The disdainful looks they gave me just before they stalked off clearly said “what, you think we’re stupid?”
So I put the laser pen down on the table next to the recliner and went on with my life.
Fast-forward to a week ago. It was one of those days when my hips were so sore that walking was the kind of challenge that requires careful planning beforehand. I was flopped in the recliner, bored, trying not to think about my achy parts when my gaze fell on the laser pen. Hmmm. Maybe Mouse would like to chase the Light. Maybe she wouldn’t be insulted like those little snobs. Maybe she’d enjoy it for what it was: an excuse to play like a kitten.
Mouse loved it. Pretty soon she was tearing around, chasing the Light for all she was worth, obviously having a ball. Kitty and Emma watched, interested, their heads turning as the Light went this way then that, Mouse hot on the trail.
Suddenly Kitty–black, tail-less, lithe as a panther–leapt into the fray. Mouse backed off (Kitty is the alpha cat) and let her take over. It was beautiful, the way she stalked and pounced, turning on a hair, never taking her eyes off the Light. Emma joined in, far less competent but game (since Kitty was). Mouse, who’s in the omega spot, being the newest member of the little pack, backed off and tended to her grooming, content.
We played Chase the Light for about 20 minutes, until pressing the tiny button on the pen made my fingers and hand hurt too much. (Sheesh, ya know??) And since then we’ve played the game frequently. Kitty, in particular, seems to have forgotten that she thought it was Stupid at first.
In fact, as I write this, Kitty is meatloafed, facing me on the floor a couple of feet away. She’s perfectly still and staring at me, willing me to pick up the laser pen and make The Light appear so she can hunt. Understand: Kitty is and always has been standoffish. She prefers not to be petted. She feels lap-curling-up-in is for the rabble. She makes demands: “You! Open that door! I wish to explore The Porch.” To amuse herself, she opens kitchen cabinets and dresser drawers and doesn’t bother closing them. If she had opposable thumbs she’d be terrifying.
Until the lowly Mouse showed her the benefits of Catch the Light, I might as well not have existed in Kitty’s world.
Heh. Now I am the Holder of the Pen and Maker of the Light. She’s always within a couple of feet of me when I’m in the recliner. Sometimes she hops up onto the table, sits up tall like one of those Egyptian cat statues, and gazes at me with her dangerous amber eyes. She transmits urgency. “The Light. Pick up the Light. Make it Appear! Do it now, servant! Don’t forget I have claws like tiny curved scimitars …”
I’ve created a monster.
Oh Wren … I’m sitting here at work sniggering and trying not to laugh out loud as I don’t want to flag up the fact I’m not actually working … OK, so I’m the boss, but still … in fact, shouldn’t I be setting a good example? Oops.
Anyway, really sorry you’ve had so much pain lately but THANK YOU for making me laugh! 🙂 (Kitty looks just like our little one, except for the lack of tail and a third too much ear!)
Thank you for the chuckle! I so liked this post as I can relate having a house run by those four legged creatures…errr..rather princesses 🙂 I haven’t bought that laser light yet but might. I use a clothes line for fun and this feathered thing at the end of a long plastic holder. But the laser light is surely easier for ra hands. I am always the one trowing in the towel…um…er…toy and calling it quits. And yes, one can just see that mind ticking behind their eyes. Such different personalities, it is truly amazing that each has their own way with us.
I’m a lurker…de-lurking…
Your Kitty sounds like our Mew who glares at us as if to say, “My people were GODS once, and you are mere mortals.”
Thanks for the great story. You made me think of the laser I bought for my dogs. They wouldn’t play with it but maybe I will take it out again and see if they like it now. So sorry you are not feeling well. Sending good thoughts your way.
Thanks for the smile today, Wren. 🙂 Cats have so much personality!
Heh. My parents’ corgi mix is the same way – he LOVES him the laser. He always has, though. If you move something on the kitchen table that sounds like it might be the laser, he leaps to attention, and then grumbles if it isn’t the laser.
I wish I could introduce Hudson to it, but it’s something our service dog school very strongly recommended against, as they don’t want the dogs learning to chase and pounce at flashes of light – too much of that in the outside world, y’know? It’s hard enough to get the prey drive dialed back in service dogs, so they don’t want us adding to it.
Such fun! Happy you’ve found such a diversion for yourself and the cats — and one that resulted in such an amusing story for us!