Do you buy toys for your cats? When you see something in a pet store you think he might like, do you pick it up for him? Do you save random pieces of plastic and things that bounce or roll from packaging for him to play with? If your cat’s like most, he will claim his own toys and sometimes it’s not what you’d expect—one of your earrings, a yarn ball, your favorite pen, a paper clip, a hair barrette, a ponytail tie, or even a wad of paper.
The day after Halloween, I found a life-size stuffed baby fox in our yard with a lollipop stuck to its fur. I tossed it in the washer and dryer and brought it in to join my other stuffed animals—an owl, teddy bears, and of course, cats.
If you’ve read this blog, you know that our tabby, Lily, loves small stuffed animals. She carries them around, decorates the house with them, sleeps with them, plays with them. Her collection actually started with a tiny bear of mine and some small stuffed animals in the grandchildren’s toy box. Then I started picking up little toy critters for her when I traveled or toured—a little stuffed cat from a wildcat preserve, an owl from the open house at the raptor center, a grizzly bear from Alaska, a hedgehog from a local event in the park, and so forth.
What I didn’t expect is that Lily would cozy up to the rather large baby fox. But she did. Once she got over the shock of seeing this dog-like creature in the house and realized he wasn’t a threat, she sort of adopted him. In fact, twice, she has drug that thing, which is about her size, across the living room and into the hallway to be with several of her other toys—a stuffed bunny, her kitty-cat, a tiny lamb toy and others. I’d like to get a picture of her dragging that big along, but she’s quite private in this activity. Yesterday, she dragged it into my office, but I wasn’t quick enough to get a shot of her with it in her mouth. I’ll keep trying.