Effie’s mouses stray and are difficult to locate. Calls to the Inter-Dimensional Space Cat Toy Unit go unanswered. Effie is given to high-frequency, high-volume vocal expression of her frustration. I keep a mouse stash in a desk drawer. Happily, Effie is fickle, and accepts new ones with alacrity.
While on a shopping errand yesterday, I saw some feather-wand cat toys with catnip-filled mouses tethered from the feather cluster. The mouses make an electronic squeak upon contact with anything, like the floor, or a pouncing, kill-bent cat. They looked great, and I liked their being cat-and-human interactive, so I bought one for Effie and me, and one to send Jane and Murphy. (J–you might want to eviscerate the mouse and remove the squeak unit and stitch it back up.) So far, it’s been as enjoyable for Effie as the laser pen, and more enjoyable for me. It does appear to be addictive, but fortunately, with Effie, things put out of sight can usually stay out of mind.
Ever the child of nature, Effie’s favorite things in the whole world remain fresh-caught grasshoppers and fresh-plucked catnip leaves. She catches her own grasshoppers; I pluck her catnip from a planter on a high platform that my husband built in the garden that remains successfully cat-proof.
Effie is not deploying her claws as she gently accepts her catnip from my fingers; they are merely ready in case it should ever enter my mind to withdraw the offer.
Effie studies the multiple components of her new toy before deciding on a proper strategy of engagement.