“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn no other way.” Mark Twain
The fur ball climbed like Spider Man. Fearless. Purposeful. No inhibitions. The kitten gripped, clawed and scampered up the stucco. I’ve seen cats work their way onto roofs, mostly by jumping from fences or climbing vines, but I’d never seen a cat climb a house. His eyes focused on the prize, a leaf fluttering beneath a rain gutter. Several of us circled around and watched the animal concentrate. “You know,” said the guy giving away free kittens, “This one has the most personality. Do you have stucco siding?”
“Nope,” I answered. “Wood.”
“It should go home with you.”
“Do you know what sex it is?”
“Nope,” he said, “Maybe a female…cuz it’s climbing the walls. Take it.”
I loaded the feline inside the kennel for a 25 mile drive, nary a whimper. I poked my fingers through the cage door. The kitten swiped.
“You’re feisty,” I told the beast. “And you climb houses. Your name is Stucco.”
I haven’t owned a kitten for over 15 years. My former pet pal, Velcro the tomcat, died four months ago. I forgot how busy young critters get. I needed a cat toy to keep it entertained while I was at work and had the perfect materials on hand: a pill bottle, bottle cap and shoe lace.
Pill bottle – Any medication bottle works. I swallowed my last Flo-max® and peeled off the label. The bottle is clear enough so Stucco knows something is inside.
Bottle cap – This step requires beer drinking. After downing a Coors Light I kept the cap, squished it, and put it inside the pill bottle.
Then screw on the lid, tie a shoelace to the bottle, and hang it on a door knob.
The toy amuses for hours. And the cat will like it too.
After two weeks of watching Stucco terrorize the doorknob, I got the kitten into the vet. Half my friends guessed the cat was female, the other half guessed a boy. With no clear hints dropping, I asked the vet.
“Hmm,” she mused. “It’s a boy. See these? With kittens it’s hard to tell. But yep, Stucco is a tomcat.”
Thus far Stucco and I are fast friends. He’s also made friends with my buddy’s Labrador and is taking on dog characteristics. He mostly comes when called, mostly sleeps during the night, and is learning to walk on a leash. And for the doorknob toy, I’ll rig up a few more around the house. I’ve just about finished a prescription of Simvastatin…
PS And here’s the toy in action, click on etcguy cat toy doorknob
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