This is an important part of your life. Get enough sleep in the daytime so you are fresh for your nocturnal games. Below are listed several favourite cat games that you can play. It is important though to maintain one's Dignity at all times. If you should have an accident during play, such as falling off a chair, immediately wash a part of your body as if to say "I MEANT to do that!" It fools those humans every time.
a) "Catch Mouse". The humans would have you believe that those lumps under the covers are their feet and hands. They are lying. They are actually Bed Mice, rumoured to be the most delicious of all the mice in the world, though no cat has ever been able to catch one. Rumour also has it that only the most ferocious attack can stun them long enough for you to dive under the covers to get them. Maybe YOU can be the first to taste the Bed Mouse!
b) "King of the Hill": This game must be played with at least one other cat. The more, the merrier! One or both of the sleeping humans is Hill 303 which must be defended at all costs from the other cat(s). Anything goes. This game allows for the development of unusual tactics as one must take the unstable playing theatre into account.
Warning: Playing games (a) and (b) to excess will result in expulsion from the bed and possibly from the bedroom. Should the humans grow restless, immediately begin purring and cuddle up to them. This should buy you some time until they fall asleep again. If one happens to be on a human when this occurs, this cat wins the round of King of the Hill.
c) "Tag" (Also known by humans as "Charge of the Light Brigade"): Obviously this game also requires two or more cats, and may include a dog as well. One cat is "it". The other(s) chase him around the apartment until they catch up to him. Then follows the "Scrum", after which the cat who caught the other becomes "it" and is chased around. Great fun, but has the greatest potential for loss of Dignity from maneuvers such as the Throw Rug Wipeout and the Non-Carpeted Floor Skid. Whenever such a situation occurs, all feline participants must immediately wash themselves. Dogs are generally too stupid to do this and may continue to play. In this case, the dog automatically becomes "it" and should be subjected to the Pileup.
d) "Tube Mouse": This is a game played in the bathroom. Next to the Big White Drinking Bowl is a roll of soft white paper which is artfully attached to the wall so that it can spin. Inside this roll is the Tube Mouse. When you grab the paper, the Tube Mouse will spin frantically as it tries to escape from you. When the Mouse is exposed, it dies of fright and stops spinning. But that's OK because you now have a great new toy to pounce on, play with, and shred! Part two of the game is to make the angry human believe that the other cat did it. This is related to another fun game, "Snowstorm", in which you try to make it look like a blizzard has occurred in the room. You can track shreds all over the house for greater enjoyment. Be warned that this variant often results in the coming of the Vacuum Monster.
e) "Fetch": Only dogs will run after a ball or stick that humans throw, take it back to them, and continue doing this until they drop. As established earlier, dogs are not bright. A dignified cat MAY fetch a ball for its human, but if the human persists in continually throwing the ball away, assume that the human truly does not want it, and leave it.
f) "Kibble Soccer": Any number of cats can play. The game begins when the referees go to bed. The player runs to the bowl where the dry cat food is kept, and executes a "place-kick." The player does this by attempting to kick one kibble from the bowl with a paw. Using the nose and tongue ("heading") is allowed, but this is considered bad form. Often the bowl must be tipped, rocked or rattled. Once the kibble is out of the bowl and in play, the player proceeds to bat it around the room as quickly as possible. This is accomplished with short alternating swipes with the front paws, running behind it as it moves (this is also known as the "kibble dribble"). If the kibble gets stuck at the intersection of two walls, the player must attempt to put it back into play with a "corner kick."
If the kibble is still on the playing field after 30 seconds, the player is awarded a point. She is then allowed to eat the kibble, after which she returns to the bowl to put the next one into play. No points are awarded for kibbles that are kicked out of the playing area (under the stove, behind the refrigerator, etc.). These are left for the cockroaches, and other spectators. The player must put a new kibble into play.
For equipment, any dry kibble will work, although Science Diet round kibbles roll particularly well. The referees control the pace of the game by waking up (usually after the first few points have been scored) and imposing obstacles between the player and the kibbles. The referees do this by placing covers on top of the bowl, placing the bowl on a counter top or shelf, or otherwise hiding it. An advanced player is measured by the degree of ingenuity displayed in overcoming the obstacles between herself and the kibbles and resuming the game.
The game ends when all the kibbles are eaten or out of the playing field, or when a referee puts the player in the penalty box.
g) "Rumpus Raising"
Step 1: Warm up by tearing through the hallways and over furniture at high speeds. Be sure to drag your claws and make zzzzzrt noises on the rugs. Furniture that is off limits during the daytime makes great springboards. (Even more fun with two or more participants.) Important style points are gained during this step. 2 extra points if you get a yell from a judge.
Step 2: Find objects that make noise and activate them. Door stoppers that go SPROOOOOOOONGONGONGONG when you run by them, wind chimes and blinds that rattle when disturbed, and loose objects that go thud when they hit the carpet are best. Technical points are awarded in this step. The more complex the device the better. 5 points for knocking over the phone so it goes BEEP BEEP BEEP *Please hang up* BEEP BEEP...
Step 3: Make the loudest possible noise. Glassware and remote controls are useful here. It might be beneficial to slightly open the judges' door before this step. Final creativity points are awarded now.
Step 4: Look innocently at the dog and fish when the judges storm into room and turn on the lights. Pretending to be asleep is good form. 5 bonus points if another pet gets blamed, and 7 points for style if the judges stub, trip or completely fall over the objects knocked over!
This game is played when your human has the newspaper lying on the floor for reading. Run down a hallway toward the newspapers at full speed, leap onto the paper and see how far you can slide. The slippery advertisements are best for this. This game is even more fun if your human is unaware that you are going to play. It can be followed by a good round of "Catch Mouse" (newspaper variant). It can also be played on throw rugs.
Any small item is a potential toy. If a human tries to confiscate it, this means that it is a Good Toy. Run with it under the bed. Look suitably outraged when the human grabs you and takes it away anyway. Watch where it is put so you can steal it later. Two reliable sources of toys are dresser tops and wastebaskets. Below are listed several types of cat toys.
a) Bright shiny things like keys, brooches or coins should be hidden so that the other cat(s) or humans can't play with them. They are generally good for playing hockey with on uncarpeted floors.
b) Dangly and/or stringlike things such as shoelaces, cords, gold chains and dental floss also make excellent toys. They are favourites of humans who like to drag them across the floor for us to pounce on. When a string is dragged under a newspaper or throw rug, it magically becomes the Paper/Rug Mouse and should be killed at all costs. Take care, though. Humans are sneaky and will try to make you lose your Dignity. Note that playing with shoelaces when the human is trying to tie them is another form of Hampering.
c) Within paper bags dwell the Bag Mice. They are small and camouflaged to be the same colour as the bag, so they are hard to see, but you can easily hear the crinkling noises they make as they scurry around the bag. Anything, up to and including shredding the bag, can be done to kill them. Note: any other cat you may find in a bag hunting for Bag Mice is fair game for a Sneak Attack, which will usually result in a great Tag match.
d) Ignore anything that appears to be a store-bought cat toy. After all, in the old days, cats had to fashion their own toys. Store-bought toys are an affront to a "real" cat.
6. Supervising (a.k.a. Hampering)
It is well known that humans are incapable of performing even the simplest of tasks without feline supervision and/or assistance. This supervision is absurdly known by the humans as "hampering". If one of your humans is engaged in some close activity and any others are idle, stay with the busy one. It would take a large book to describe all of the activities which need to be supervised, so only a condensed list is presented below.
a) When supervising cooking, sit just behind the left heel of the cook. You cannot be seen and thereby stand a better chance of being stepped on and then picked up and comforted.
b) For book readers, get in close under the chin, between eyes and book, unless you can lie across the book itself.
c) For knitting projects or paperwork, lie on the work in the most appropriate manner so as to obscure the maximum amount, or at least the most important part. Pretend to doze, but every so often reach out and slap the pencil or knitting needles. The worker may try to distract you; ignore it. Remember, the aim is to hamper work. Embroidery and needlepoint projects make great hammocks in spite of what the humans may tell you.
d) For people paying bills (monthly activity) or working on income taxes or Christmas cards (annual activity), keep in mind the aim: to hamper! First, sit on the paper being worked on. When dislodged, watch sadly from the side of the table. When activity proceeds nicely, roll around on the papers, scattering them to the best of your ability. After being removed for the second time, push pens, pencils, and erasers off the table, one at a time.
e) When a human is holding the newspaper in front of him/her, be sure to jump at the back of the paper. They love surprises.
f) As often as possible, dart quickly and as close as possible in front of the human, especially: on stairs; when they have something in their arms; in the dark; and when they first get up in the morning. This will help their coordination skills.
g) Always sleep on the human at night so s/he cannot move around.
h) When a human is attempting to "make the bed", hop on it and curl up in the middle, or pounce on the sheet the human is trying to rearrange. If the human tries to ignore you by covering you with the sheets, move around and try to mess things up. Protest loudly when you're evicted.
i) Laundry presents many opportunities to hamper (hence the other name for the laundry basket, the laundry hamper). Laundry fresh from the dryer is a perfect bed, since it is warm and soft. As soon as it is put on the bed for sorting, arrange yourself for a nap. If the human removes you, keep returning until the laundry isn't warm anymore. Now it's play time. Pounce on anything the human tries to move around for folding, especially socks and nylons. For added fun, grab a sock and hide under the bed.
j) When a human is working at a computer, s/he isn't paying attention to you. Fortunately, this problem is easy to remedy. You can easily obstruct the human's view of the screen with your beautiful tail, or if it's low enough, with your even more beautiful body. Trampling on the keyboard is always good for some attention as well. Pay special attention to the keys marked "Esc", "Del", and "Brk". If you need to nap while supervising your human, good places are the keyboard, on top of the plastic thing with the cord that the humans laughably call a "mouse", or on the human's arms. If the human insists on removing you from these choice locations, there's always the lap. If possible, while in the lap try to drape yourself on one of the human's arms.
k) Guidelines for where to sit or lie down.
1) It is considered bad form to lie on the bare floor, couch, or bed. An exception is made for the human's favourite chair, which you are allowed to sit on no matter what (or who) is there.
2) On a bed, there will often be laundry or clothes lying there. It is your duty to lie on them to get your beautiful fur on them. If there is a choice, choose either the cleanest item or the item which contrasts most strongly with your fur. If your human protests, act cute.
3) It is also your duty to lie in an area that makes your human contort to the greatest extent if s/he wishes to share the bed/couch with you.
4) Even resting on a book or a newspaper on the floor is preferable to just lying on the floor. Newspapers are particularly important to sleep on if your human has them on the floor for his/her reading convenience.
5) Select a chair to sleep on that hampers your human the most. For example, if your human is doing a craft on the kitchen table to prevent your interference, it is your duty to take a nap on the chair your human would like to be sitting in. No other chair at the kitchen table will do.
6) If kicked off any preferred seating, it is of critical importance that you not immediately go about your business. You must either sit still for a time, washing yourself to save face, or lie on the floor to make your human feel guilty. If the human cheats by moving your resting chair and/or sitting in a different one (in a situation such as the kitchen table example above), you may be able to continue hampering by jumping into the human's lap. If the human has to get up to get something and dumps you off, immediately occupy the chair and look smug. Of course, the human will just switch chairs or remove you again. This game can be played for hours.
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