As I sit here looking at my computer screen I hear a plop and become increasingly aware of two eyes staring at me with all the intensity that could possibly be contained in an 8 pound furry body. It is apparently play time and I should be devoting my attention to tossing a toy mouse. Nothing on the face of the planet comes between this cat and her toys.

Nyx is a 10-month-old kitten who has decided that play time runs on her schedule and will bring me her toy mouse to throw over and over. She’ll play fetch until one of two things happen; either I will become tired of a mouse being dropped on my lap or face and hide her toy from her or she will drop the toy just out of my reach in order to melt into a tired kitten blob.

Playtime with my cats is an important part of the day. If I sit still long enough I will find one or more toys littering the area around me and every night we play before bed. That said, I don’t think I’ve ever had a cat with such endless energy. She chases the dogs, jumps on the other cat, and races up and down the cat tree. By the way, this cat tree is an actual tree. I have 3 birch logs leaned up together with a small platform at the top for them to climb.

Unlike dogs it seems as though cats have to learn how to play with people. It took time, using toys that mimic small critters, and patience, but it is so worth it! This helps foster a relationship between a cat and his or her human. There is also the added benefit of having a tired kitten who is less likely to get into trouble.

My cats have lasers, toy mice, feathers, bits of fluff, and various other odds and ends that they’ll chase. Despite that fact they cannot resist a good box to hide in, or pen to steal.  It makes me smile every time I hear that plop. Even in the middle of the night when the toy lands on my face, followed by the gentle jabbing of claws as they paw me and I stick the toy under my pillow, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

Contributed by Nicole Ayers