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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Shadow Play

Though our two cats are sisters, they are as different as day and night. Inside and outside. Sunlight and shadow.

Dawn likes to hide under boxes. Athena likes to sit inside them.

Dawn likes to sit on a lap facing the lap owner's knees. Athena likes to sit on a person's chest facing his or her head.

Dawn respects the rules about staying off the kitchen table. Athena believes rules don't apply to her.

Dawn runs under the bed when people come to visit. Athena joins the dogs to greet visitors at the door.

Dawn chases shadows. And Athena thinks she's nuts.

It's the cheapest toy, really. All you need is sunlight and a finger, and Dawn is ready to pounce. It is one of her favorite games, and provides endless entertainment for the cat--and for us.

Any source of light will do: sunlight, lamplight, flashlight. And anything makes a shadow worth chasing, though for some reason, long thin shadows are the best.

The combination of box and shadow is extra special for Dawn. The play has very specific parameters.

First you Sneak into a Box. It must be done with stealth or it doesn't count.

Dawn is Hiding Under a Box. You do not see her.

Now you are a Hidden Kidden. And Nobody Can See You.

Suddenly you see a shadow just outside the Box. You must Get The Shadow. But it would mean you would have to come out of the Box. This causes much staring and tail thrashing inside the Box. But nobody hears your tail banging the sides of the Box because you are Hiding.

After a while, you just can't stand it anymore and you Pounce out of the Box to get the shadow. And it disappears!  Every time!  You just don't understand it, so you turtle yourself back into the box and wait for it to appear again. Because it will. You Know. Because you are a Cat.

Pouncing a shadow.

Even though shadow boxing (new meaning for the term!) is fun, you can play with Shadows anywhere. The stairs are fun, too, as shown in this short (less than one minute) video below.

As for the rest of the animals, they just Don't Understand what the big fuss is about Shadows. Dawn says they don't know what they are missing.

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