Not long ago I decided it’s not fair that Ragnar steals all Angus’s toys for the sweet sweet catnip high he finds inside. Puppies: utterly certain everything within their sniff or pee range is THEIRS, and damn anyone* else’s prior claim.
Also puppies: unaffected by catnip yet rudely ensure the cat can’t get high out of sheer spite.
Anyway, since poor giant fAngus keeps getting his nip-stuffed-mouse-toys stolen, I decided to get him one of those feather-doodads-on-a-stick toys. Something that requires human intervention, and thusly a break from Ragnar pinning him down and stealing from him like a schoolyard bully. One hopes.
In practice, this has turned into an epic war that brings out a growly BattleCat.
Ragnar can hear that cat having fun from anywhere in my house. He can be dead asleep on the couch in the living room and hear fAngus start to run/jump after his featherless toy.
Featherless because, of course, it took all of 15 seconds for both sets of predatory teeth to rip off the bird-parts, leaving only the weird wiry springs behind. Bird parts have become extremely appealing to fAngus of late: there are winter birds (chickadees, mostly) who strut their cocky little selves back and forth across the step and patio on the other side of the glass. More than once I’ve come home to a cat-pancake staring intently though the glass, the end of his tail a frantic whip. If you’ve never served a cat before, you should know they don’t just meow: they also growl and make this fucked up chittering noise that’s almost a squirrel impression, particularly when they’re wound up for hunting and can’t make a kill. Domesticated my ass.
Anyway, fAngus chases and jumps and does all the normal cat things for this stupid elastic thingy on a stick, and Ragnar comes a-RUNNIN up the stairs. No one has any fun in this house without puppy involvement, dammit!
Well, nearly no one.
fAngus usually plays well with Ragnar: when the puppy gets too rough he holds his own and they both cry, and I consider that a draw. He often just sighs and lets the puppy steal toys from him, because it’s likely not worth the effort to get something back when it’s soaked in stinky dog drool anyway. But when makes his kill my tolerant little monster becomes the crabby big cat he’s sure he can be. He holds the brightly colored wiry elastic in his mouth like some sad dead fairy, lays his ears flat against his head, and growls at the dog. Ragnar, understandably taken aback (Well, the first time. Since then he provokes on purpose.), carefully puts his nose nearer the prize, and fAngus swipes claws out in a full “I WILL KILL YOU THIS IS MINE” snout attack. The resulting thwap/yelp probably shouldn’t be funny.
At this point it’s hard to keep hold of the stick while laughing so hard, and they continue to fight, so I let go. fAngus runs off dragging the stick behind him to hide his kill, and all is well for the afternoon, right? Sigh.
So…it turns out my cat is more devious than I’d given him credit for, and I’m sure I’ll pay for that. Today Ragnar is at daycare playing with others more appropriate for his 70lb bouncing. Angus brought the stick toy into the office and dropped it at my feet, sat down, looked up at me, and meowed very politely. “I would like to hunt, please.”
I ignored him.
He moved closer and meowed again, with a question mark at the end. “Please will you play?”
He waited another two seconds and MEOWED. “Let me rephrase. YOU WILL FUCKING BE PREY NOW.”
He chased a stupid elastic doohickey on a stick until he was happily panting, but when he caught it, he looked at me and growled. REALLY growled. “LET. GO.” So I did, because I was fascinated at this turn of events.He dragged his kill out to another room and I went back to work.
Fifteen minutes later, no longer panting like the fat boy he is, he happily trots into the room, tail high in pride and still holding the toy in his teeth, and drops the stick at my feet. And sits down. And meows. Rinse, wash, repeat until he was finally ready to nap, but you know, he growls every time he catches that thing now and drags it away to wherever he thinks his stash belongs. I can’t find it: the stick is currently missing. I suppose he’ll bring it back when he’s ready. Goddess help me if he actually finds a mouse, bird, or fairy in my house. I suppose the smell would help me find his cache.
I don’t THINK he can drag Ragnar around if he manages to pull an alien facehugger move that causes real damage…honestly I’m not sure of that.
fAngus proved to me today he knows full well this is a game, he knows exactly how to get me to play prey with him, and goddammit if he can’t go outside and hunt real creatures he’s GOING to get to hunt and kill things in the house at his leisure, thank you very much.
I’ve made peace with the likelihood that fAngus will eat me if I die home alone.