Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Amber & Strengths vs. Weaknesses

I've been doing a more structured play time with the kitties every evening before their dinner time.  Not only is group play supposed to help with kitty relations (since Woody came back from the hospital he has no patience for his little brothers, and inexplicably, Tiggy has even less than he does), but more diversion is supposed to help with Pickles's anxiety which is a prime suspect in his pee problemsEnergy spent on PLAY EMOTION means less energy spent on FEAR.  (Illustration of FEAR provided by Pickles's eyes.)

On Monday, I wrapped a few treats in four little strips of brown paper bag and gave one to each kitty.  There was some initial sniffing, but, even though they had seen me put the treats inside, no one seemed to understand that the treats were still in there.  I tried partially unwrapping each treat pack, but only Woody really did any digging.  Ginger did mostly eat one corner of his paper pouch, but then didn't seem to notice that he had exposed the treats.  Sigh.

So, today, I bought one of these things.

See how the cat in the illustration is poking at the toy?  Well, Tiggy, Pickles and Ginger all did that.  They even worked together to knock it about and knock out the treats.  But Pickles?  He took a couple of sniffs, tried to eat treats the others knocked out, and then retreated to the blue donut with the cardboard it came with.

So, let's just say his weakness is Problem Solving and leave the hidden treat games to the other cats.  And then think up another game that somehow uses his strengths: Curliness and Babyness.

And in the meantime, I'll be playing the game where he and I chase each other up and down the length of the apartment until he decides it is dinner time.  (Sorry downstairs neighbor.)


Alison said...

I may get one of those for Zoe, although she'll probably knock it under my desk the minute I leave in the morning and then yell at me when I get home.

Alison said...

(To clarify, my desk has a lower shelf area that is just a couple inches off the floor. It is not a normal "desk" but one under which many things can and do become lost to short kitty front legs.)

ALH said...

They do actually suggest that you offer these kinds of investigative play when you leave for work so the kitty comes to associate being alone with pleasant things. Maybe getting it out from under the desk would be part of the challenge? Especially if you are not there to retrieve it for her? I have been doing these experiments in the evening because that is when Pickles normally mews (from 8 to 10 pm, daily) for the Chase Game. And? I am kind of pooped from chasing.

Alison said...

Hm, I could try to block the front of the desk so she can't knock it underneath, too. Because if she hits it back there far enough, she wouldn't be able to get it. But she could still have fun batting it around the floor.

I would be tired from chasing too. So would my own downstairs neighbor.

ALH said...

I wish we could play chase on my bedroom wall. You know, so my loud neighbor could get some of his own obnoxious sounds medicine.