A friend on Facebook posted a photo of her cats today with the caption: “Is this really all we do now? We can’t leave?! When is the next cat show?! We’re tired of sitting home!!!!”
Dude…I so know that feel.
Because we weren’t able to go to our favourite show in Örebro this year, we haven’t been to a show since November, when we went with Lorelai and Izaak to Turku. It’s the one thing I really miss since the pandemic started.
So, I went back in my backlog of photos and found this set of Zak at the Turku show, after our collection of show wand toys fell over.
He was so cute, playing with the toys. We mainly only ever play with wand toys at shows, so this was a treat.
I even made a short video of it (click on the image to view it on another tab in Flickr).
The last time I took the cats outside, one of the neighbour boys was fixing a toy car for his little brother out on the lawn.
He asked me if I had a 13mm socket wrench. I don’t use those, but I know Björn has them, so I told him to wait until he got home, which was only in a few minutes.
At that point, everyone else had gone inside, and only Alfred was still outside. When the boy went to chase after his little brother, I got an idea. It took a few tries to get Freddy to pose properly (again, I was really missing Jacoby)…
A few weeks ago, one of the machines was filled with Fuzzy Tongue Flickers (which, amazingly enough, is actually a safe set of words to Google). Little fuzzy balls with googly eyes and a red tongue that sticks out when you squeeze them. Yup, looks like a cat toy to me.
So, when I got home, I showed it to Izaak.
He definitely found it interesting.
Okay, get a room.
Then the batting commenced.
Apparently, the Fuzzy Tongue Flicker is an excellent toy for batting.
…And was the last time I saw Fuzzy Tongue Flicker. I think he’s somewhere under the sofa. I think I need to go and find him.
Warning…this post contains spoilers for the film Captain Marvel. However, if you have read the comics, it’s not really that much of a spoiler.
I am not a huge fan of superhero comics (I’m more of an Archie’s Gang kind of girl) or the “Marvel Universe.” I enjoy Deadpool (because he’s funny) and I love Big Hero 6 (because Disney animation and because San Fransokyo is awesome). And it’s kind of cool for me that I used to work with Chris Evans’ mother’s sister (she lived in Somerville) and now he’s Captain America…but by and large the who Avengers/X-Men/Spiderman movie monopoly just leaves me feeling…meh.
Until I discovered Captain Marvel. Of course, I had heard of her, but didn’t know much about the comic. Then I discovered that she’s a Red Sox fan and she has a cat. So of course I had to see this movie, right? Well…in the movie, she’s in LA and the desert and someplace in the South, and there is no mention of baseball or the Red Sox, so it was a bit of a let-down on that front. But the cat…oh, the cat more than made up for it!
And now, I have Goose the cat and Goose the Flerken figures.
Aren’t they cute?
But wait, there’s more! The Flerken version is swallowing a blue glowing cube called the “Tesseract”…which glows in the dark! There’s also a third version I like to call “The Slurp” with Goose retracting her tentacles. I haven’t gotten that one yet…but I will.
One last thing…movies like this almost always have a special extra scene after all the credits have rolled (and which most people miss because they leave to early). About halfway through the film, I knew what the bonus scene would be…and if I was wrong, Marvel would have missed the best opportunity for a joke ever. I was not wrong, and I was not disappointed. Here it is if you would like to see it (yes, it’s sideways, but it’s apparently the only one on YouTube):
I have been asked how the other cats are dealing with the loss of Jacoby. They definitely know he’s not there…but they don’t seem to miss him. He was sort of a loner, although he would sleep with the others, especially Alfred and Izaak. Jake of course was mainly bonded with me, and Zak has kind of decided that I’m his, too.
As you can see, Zak decided it was okay for Jake to let him share me with him (this was how I woke up on St. Patrick’s Day).
But since Jake’s been gone, Zak (who as we know loves playing with furry plush toys) has started playing with one of my Pusheen dolls. I found she had been dragged into the living room. And there was no question who had done it…He looked too proud of himself!
Zak has a very specific way of playing with Pusheen, too. First, he pretends to ignore her…
…and then he whips around and SMACKS her!
And after that…
…it’s pretty much on like an early video game involving gorillas and barrels.
After a brief spar, the opponents retreat into their neutral corners, eyeing each other cautiously.
And then bite,
Uh oh, looks like Pusheen may be winning…
…Oh, no, Zak’s got this.
It’s so funny to watch Zak drag Pusheen around. She’s almost as big as he is!
Well…Zak wasn’t wrong. It did help cheer me up a bit.
About a year and a half ago, Skövde got a Flying Tiger store. If you haven’t gotten one of these near you (there are something like 900 stores in the world and counting), you have missed a treat. Flying Tiger stores are filled with awesome things you never knew you needed. It doesn’t help that everything costs 10kr/$1/€1 – 40kr/$4/€4…
So, of course, I had to buy one. I stashed it away and ended up putting it in Jacoby’s Christmas stocking. Today, I brought it out.
It was a thing full of dry cat food. What’s not to like?
Of course, it attracted an audience.
Including Izaak, who doesn’t eat dry food and only eats raw.
Jake cottoned onto the system pretty quickly. Instead of chasing the pellets being shot from the gun, he sent straight to the source.
He basically went up to the crunchy gun, licked it, and tried to open it. That’s my boy.
Lorelai especially loves to hunt and catch the dry pellets. We have played “chase the dry food” many times, but it’s way more fun to use the gun.
Apparently, this is the best place to play with them.
It’s tempting to call his mousies his “friends,” but he doesn’t see them that way. When he picks them up, he tends to go for the backs of their necks. And then he shakes them. So…probably not friends.
Whatever they are, he loves to carry them around the house.
What’s funny is, we had a load of mice and one rat that lay around the house for over a year, because nobody ever played with them. The best they could hope for was to end up helping to bury the food bowls when Alfred was done eating. So now, whenever we go to IKEA, we of course have to get Zak some new mousies.
The last time we went, we got one of each colour mice, plus a black and a grey rat. And a lion, because why not?
Zak immediately decided he liked the big grey rat the best.
He picked it right up and carried it off.
He had a bit of a struggle with it on the balcony floor…
…and then he carried it into the living room.
His ultimate goal was this little tent we have set up in the living room.
There was a little bit of distraction involving a brown mouse from an earlier IKEA trip.
I think we are in a golden age of cat toys right now. There is a lot more attention paid to the unique needs of cat toys vs dog toys these days, and toys are designed with an increased focus towards cats’ specific needs. But do the things we think are fun for cats to play with the same sorts of things that cats actually think are fun to play with?
Back in the States a few years back, Petco came out with a collection of Star War toys and accessories. They have just arrived in Sweden, apparently, because I have seen them in several shops here. Most of the cat toys are along the lines of mice dressed like Luke and Leia or C-3PO and R2-D2, but this one really caught my eye: Han Solo mousie in carbonite crinkly cat toy! It’s basically a crinkle toy, with a mousie. Dressed as Han Solo.
Mousie Han also can come out of the carbonite.
Oh, she tried to make it be fun…
But it kind of just wasn’t.
So then I showed Rory the Grumpy Cat toy. This one is basically a furry rattle ball with a tail.
Now, that’s what I’m talking about! says Rory.
Rory freaking loves this toy!
Awww…look at poor Mousie Han Solo over there. Does Rory feel bad about snubbing him?
It’s definitely one of the prettiest cat toys I’ve seen. The tail feathers are lovely, and the fur used for the body looks feathery. When moved, it makes a variety of different, very realistic birdsong sounds.
Alfred actually checked the bird out first, while Rory was still busy with Grumpy Cat.
Finding that it wasn’t food, Freddy soon lost interest.
Finally I got Rory’s attention and she came to investigate the bird.
I think at first she was a little afraid of it.
She played with it for a while…but eventually went back to her bestie, Grumpy Cat. Out of the three, that seems to be the favourite. The bird is great, too – it’s my favourite (as if that counts for something). As for Mousie Han Solo…yeah, I think that toy was made to appeal to the owners, not the cats.
Mere photos could not capture the hilarity of Rory playing with the bird, though. Here is a video of her playing with it that I dare you not to laugh at.
Then we saw this ad for a contest in Kattliv where the prize was this set. Well, I needed that shiny device! So we found one in a toy store.
Alfred was eager to help me build it.
It’s actually a pretty cool set.
Hauspanther would be proud of all the catification going on up in here. And the detail is fun, too. There are stickers to put on little cans of cat food as labels and a sticker for the litter box that looks like (clean, unused) litter!
Only one problem: not enough kitties! So I added all the random Playmobil cats I had collected and added them in.
Like this small cat tree (with carpet stickers for the shelves).
And these two iterations of Strollercats. The little grey one is, of course, Lorelai.
This one is my absolute favourite, though. Somewhere along the line I picked up a veterinary set which included this patient, complete with Cone of Shame.
But the best part is, she even has stitches! I’m not sure which set this goes with; I must have gotten it as a random cat piece on eBay. I can find the cat with stitches as a part of this set, but she hasn’t got the cone or the bed.
Here’s the house again with the extra cats added in. Much better.
Oh, wait! Here, let’s add two more cats…
Suddenly, the poor cat boarding house was attacked by Roryzilla!
She’s already using her grabby Aby hands to pick things up, as you can see.
It’s one of those typical cool Japanese toys with tons of special touches. The cat comes with a litter box (I think…it might be a bed), a typical Japanese wand cat toy, and a belled collar. I added a Schleich cat tower and some food and water bowls I had from another set, and it seems that the scale on all of them is roughly the same.
The amount of detail on this little thing is incredible. The collar has stitching marks and a leather look, and the bell has a seam and the hole at the bottom to let the sound out.
Of course, when he heard the camera, Jacoby had to come see what I was taking photos of…and why I wasn’t taking photos of him.
Jake was very curious about the little cat skeleton and tried to pick it up.
He only succeeded in knocking over the cat tree. Then he wandered off.
Thanks a lot, Jake!
It’s really a tiny figure (as you can see compared to Jake’s paw), but it has eight points of articulation (tail, both hips, mid-spine, both shoulders, neck and jaw)! I really adore this little thing.