Chris Kouwenhoven


Games

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!

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. A more extreme version of this is to stage a loud fight with another cat sleeping on the bed, which will immediately wake the sleeping humans into a state of confusion. If there is a dog sleeping by the bed, you can try to get it involved in breaking up the fight, which will add greatly to the confusion. This stunt will more than likely result in getting everyone expelled, so play it sparingly.

WARNING: Playing games (1) and (2), especially the noisier version of (2), 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.

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.

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.

Fetch:

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. Asmall minority of Cats will fetch favourite toys like pipe cleaners, twist ties, or other small plastic things. They claim it's great exercise and doesn't deprive them of too much Dignity.

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.

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!

Skiing:

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.

Magic Curtain:

It can take some time to teach the humans this game, but it is worth the effort. You need a curtain which reaches down to the floor (vertical venetian blinds will do). Hide behind the curtain and command the human to throw a small toy (really a mouse, of course) at it. The key part is to restrain yourself as long as you can to fool the human into thinking you aren't going to pounce. When the human reaches for the toy, attack the toy and kill it. Half the fun is in attacking the "mouse", the other half is in watching the human jump back to avoid getting his hand shredded.

Variation 1: Sometimes the curtain or blind itself magically transforms into a Curtain Monster, which must be killed immediately! Grab it, kick it with your hind feet, wheel around on your back like mad and tear as much as you can! The Curtain Monster and the Martians that live behind it are tough opponents, but with persistence you will be victorious.

Variation 2: You are at the bottom of Mount Everest (the curtain) and there is a tempting morsel at the top which you must reach before it runs away. Climb as fast as you can before the morsel disappears and/or a human grabs you and throws you outside.

Tunnel:

Convince your human to move the couch out a little bit from the wall, just enough so that you can move between the wall [Image] and the couch. Demand that your human throw a toy (preferably a small ball) for you to chase. Instead of chasing it through the open room, run behind the couch, tunnel along, miraculously emerge from the other end and grab the toy. Your human will be deeply impressed by your sophisticated move, and will readily throw the toy again and again.

Snooze:

A good game to play with the other Cat(s) in the house is to see how many different places you can sleep in one day. You mark your sleeping spot with an appropriate deposit of hair, which is a necessary part of any Cat-owned apartment. It is important to play this game at least weekly, since the humans are always removing the markers. Bonus points go to the unusual spots, like the top of the fridge, TV, or air conditioner, and even on top of the Vacuum Monster slumbering in its closet. Of course, if the Vacuum Monster should awaken while you're sleeping on it, there will be potentially serious consequences!

Cupboards:

As you will have noticed in your explorations of your household, the floor-level kitchen cupboards are all interconnected. The object of the game is to dart inside when a human opens a cupboard door and immediately make your way to the farthest reaches out of range of the human's grasp. If you can get a partner to run it with you to divide the human's attention, so much the better. Often you can open the doors yourself and don't even need the human there. This skill is especially useful if there are some tasty treats being stored in the garbage can that you want. If the human gives up easily, you now have a nice safe dark place to curl up, snooze, and deposit hair. Humans love to wash their pots and pans before using them. If the humans keep the garbage can under the sink, you may also have a free meal or two if anything is worth eating (provided you can get into it). If you and your partner are feeling frisky, great wrestling matches can take place in the darkness, with lots of crashes and clangs to make it sound like the Tournament of the Century! More fun can be had by scooting back and forth and putting your paw under the door and meowing to let the human think you want out that door, but when the door is opened, run to another before you can get grabbed. If the human is prone to flushing you out with a squirt bottle, make as much of a mess as possible when making your escape to let him/her know your displeasure. Be sure to wash yourself upon exiting the kitchen to retain your Dignity and glower at the impudent human while doing so.

Telephone dialer:

Many of the newer things humans call telephones (with which they spend far too much time talking to other humans while not attending their masters) have lots of little buttons which you can use. The little ones without numbers are often "speed dial" buttons, which means that if you can turn the phone on (look for a "speaker phone button") you can make phone calls too! Since humans love to talk on the phone, they will be glad to hear your melodious voice greet them! Their feline masters will be even more pleased if you make your call early in the morning to save them the trouble of making the humans wake up early. If you can call long distance, so much the better! Serves those slug-like humans for sleeping during prime play time and leaving their masters unattended!

Bat the Blinds:

This is a fun game that can be used as an alarm clock for dormant humans or as a signal that a Cat wants to go outside. All that is required is vertical blinds in the bedroom. It is best played when there are more than one Cat in a household. When the humans are asleep, one of the Cats should go over to the blinds and attack them with the purpose of making as much noise as possible. Run and hide under the bed when a human gets up and blearily opens a door to go outside, while the other Cats play possum on the bed so that the human doesn't know who did it. Different Cats can do this at different times, with the objective of seeing how many can attack the blinds until all are thrown out by the enraged humans.

Table Cloth

For whatever reasons, sometimes your humans will put a large piece of (usually white) cloth on their dining table. If you are a dark-haired cat, this means you are obliged to try to deposit as much of your hair on it as possible. If you are present while they are putting the table cloth on, you also have an opportunity to Hamper. Leap up and snag an edge with your paw as the humans are trying to adjust it so you can try to pull it to the floor. You will be immediately shooed away, of course. Once the humans have set all the stuff on the table, do this again. You will get lots of toys, as well as plenty of nesting material, but it's impossible to do this silently and you will get forcibly ejected and barred from the dining room. If you wish to be more subtle, hop on the table and begin shedding activities, (scratching, grooming, and/or sprawling). See how much hair you can deposit before the humans notice and throw you out. The more Cats there are, the more variety of colour you can add to the table cloth! If the table cloth reaches nearly to the floor, you have an instant fort. Lurk underneath it until a human passes by, then leap out and grab an ankle! Run back under the table where they can't get you. Be prepared to be flushed out by a squirt bottle though.

Bat the Toe

This game involves some risk of exposure to Cat Solvent, but is worth it because it annoys the humans greatly. If the human leaves the bathroom door open (due to your diligent training -- see DOORS), and if the human is taking a shower rather than a bath, lurk beside the shower stall or bathtub and wait until he/she is finished, steps out, and reaches blindly (due to water in the eyes and/or a lack of glasses) for a towel. As soon as a foot comes within reach, bat at the big toe with a paw and run out of the room. If you can escape without being splashed or spotted while lurking, you win. It is not wise to try to play this too frequently, as the human(s) will quickly catch on and will gleefully try to soak you with Cat Solvent and force you to retreat with loss of Dignity.

Bedding Mice

These mice appear during the human's weekly ritual known as "Re-Sheeting the Bed". This is the perfect time to hunt for Bedding Mice, which appear in many shapes and sizes just as the fresh bedding lands on the bed. It is also the best time to make sure the bottom sheet contains enough hair and dander to trigger the human's allergies later in the week. The human will usually shake the sheet toward the head of the bed. It is imperative to attack by jumping straight up and landing on the sheet as it floats downward. This action ensures that the sheet will land over the Bedding Mice, which can be seen as lumps or an occasional small hillock on the bed. These small, tasteless, but usually colorful mice can be pummeled into oblivion by the use of the rapier swipe or the one-two hind kick, employing one or both back legs. If you're not quick, the human slave may find you've flattened too many Bedding Mice and make the bed with you in it. This can be difficult to get out of, especially if the human makes the bed in a military manner, uses hospital corners on the sheets and blankets, and tucks in everything up to the pillows. You may instead be escorted to the door and locked out of the room for your efforts, in which case other, more devious (and hazardous), methods will be needed to install the necessary Cat hair, such as burrowing under the covers while the human(s) is/are in bed, or going after the Bedding Mice when the human is making the bed after getting up in the morning. In any case, the pursuit of Bedding Mice is definitely a form of HAMPERING.

Wrestlemania

This is a great game for at least two Cats who are both bored and full of excess energy. It can be initiated by one Cat either goading the other into attacking, or by a surprise attack from either a high object (table, chair, Cat scratching post) or from behind. Any form of kick, nip, swat, slam, throw, or other maneuver (fair or not) is permissible, so long as no injury is performed on the other participant(s). If more than two Cats share the same house, they may join in at any time, or perhaps use the diversion to get onto the counter or some other Forbidden Place for some deviltry of his/her own. The goal of the game is not just to burn off the excess energy, but to make as much of a mess as possible over as large an area as possible, so make every effort to knock things over, scatter and shred papers, and leave hair everywhere. Growling and hissing are optional, but not recommended because the humans might think it for real and break it up early. Wrestlemania comes to an end when the participants are exhausted (uncommon), or are bombarded by thrown things or Cat Solvent by the humans after the nebulous line between entertainment and destruction is crossed, or if the match occurs at night, when a human charges into the Battle Zone swearing and throwing things. In these latter cases, the prudent Cat(s) will bolt for cover until the rage passes.

Laser Tag Team

This game requires a human with a small, harmless laser pointer. Some Cats believe that grabbing the elusive red dot on the floor, wall, sofa, other cat, etc., will get them the tastiest treat ever (the harder it is to get, the tastier it must be, right?) and will go nuts trying to get it, seriously compromising their Dignity in the process. Humans love this game because they are naturally lazy and don't have to do anything to make their Cat get his exercise. Other Cats wisely regard the red dot as something beneath their notice.

Phantom Cat Behind the Door, Curtain, etc.

In this game, the Cat on one side of the door or curtain pretends to have never seen the other before. The objective is to drag the other Cat to your side of the door through a one-half inch tall opening under the door or curtain. Meanwhile, the other Cat will see the disembodied paws as swift-moving (albeit odd-shaped) mice and leap to the attack, getting his paws under the door where the reverse happens. This can be great fun, especially when it's dark and it's the humans' bedroom door, but of course it will be a short-lived game.

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