We just celebrated the kids first birthday a few weeks ago. Party hats and cake for everybody. Chester felled a fake tree in my living room, as a result of a high-speed chase with Frosti. I think they might have been in the catnip too much, when I wasn’t looking. Frosti got a new pink diamond encrusted collar, and Chester got a new stuffed toy. Chester wore his tie to the party, but that didn’t last too long. I confess that it was me who put it on him, and by the look on his face, you can tell he wasn’t too happy about the clothing addition. So he only had to deal with it long enough for me to take a few pictures.
When Chester plays, he goes all in. I had a wand toy with a furry mouse at the end of the string. I had been flipping it in a 180 degree arc, every time he got close to it. He would jump two or three feet in the air, twisting his body to catch it mid-air. Frosti had gone to the far corner of the room to watch. After a few minutes of this Chester was thoroughly worn out. I let him catch his breath, and I started to yank the mouse on a string into the air. All of a sudden, I hear a sound from Chester. It was sort of a “trill”. Think of the sound a cat makes when its motor starts, but amplify the sound and have it come through the mouth, with a heavy force of air. I stopped, because this is only the third time in the year of his life he has made a sound. Of course I did everything I could with toys, food, affection, and begging, to get him to repeat his vocalization. Of course he looked at me silently like I was an idiot. Then later in the evening, I took my evening medicine. As I got up to go into the kitchen to give the kids their evening Tasty Treats, Chester “trills” at me with excitement again. I get to the kitchen and am making every kind of meow, chirp, trill, and any other cat sound I could mimic. On top of that, I am withholding the treats, in hopes of yet another repeat, but to no avail.
This brings us to Chester’s newest idiosyncrasy. I remember seeing Nancy Ede, who runs Wholly Cat’s Kitten Rescue, throw out Tasty Treats on the floor, and all the little kittens would race to get them. That is where I adopted the kids from. So I kept up the same method of treat giving. I do it in the morning around six or seven, then again at suppertime. The package says to feed ten to twelve treats per ten lbs. of cat. Both of my kids are a little over ten pounds. I just pour out a handful, and toss them on the tiled kitchen floor. It used to be that both kids would eat until full, then wander off to see what room I am in. Frosti usually ate around 60%, and Chester the rest. Recently, I noticed Chester would only eat one or two treats and walk off. Not that Chester is going hungry, but I am concerned at every change in their behavior. The solution is that now, I have to stand there and take turns tossing one treat at a time to each one of them. They are excellent at waiting their turn. So what was once a ten second chore, is now a three to five minute task. Just so you know that Frosti is evolving new behavior patterns too, her newest trick is to drink from anything with a straw. It might be only one sip, but she has to try it all.