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Friday, February 15, 2013

The Winter Blahs


Freezing temperatures, gray days, no wildlife outside to watch; does your cat have the winter blahs? If you live in an area that gets snow, ice, freezing rain, etc. chances are they do. It’s tough keeping them entertained when you can’t open the windows, there aren’t many birds outside at the feeders, and all anybody wants to do is hibernate. When they’re kittens it’s so much easier because it doesn’t take much to get them going. They’ll play with anything, anytime, anywhere. But as they get older it can be a challenge to get them off their butts, just like with us.

Lately we’ve bounced between having a snowstorm of 21 inches to temps in the mid to high 40’s where everything is melting. I’ve been able to open the windows and let some fresh air inside. This has jump started the nut brigade of running from window to window, room to room. Nothing fills me with more pleasure than seeing the furs flying past me at warp speed. When they’re bored, I’m bored and vice versa. It seems to rub off. I’ve tried to get them to chase some of their toys, such as “da bird”, to no avail. They just stare at me and are probably laughing inside for all I know. I think sometimes they’d much rather see me playing with their toys and be content to watch me run around like a nut with a feather toy trying to get them to move even an inch. Their eyes say so much. “Look at mom! What a dope!” LOL.

Then there are the times when I’m doing nothing at all and somehow, some way, BAM! The sliding across the floor starts and I can hear them smashing into the furniture sideways. From downstairs it sounds as if they’re actually rearranging my furniture. Perhaps that’s what they’re trying to do. Who knows how they really feel about my set-up. Is it conducive to their “flight path”? What is their trajectory? Do they like the rooms the way they are or would they love it better if I just moved everything out of their way? I wouldn’t go that far but sometimes I feel like I need to do whatever it takes to get them moving and as fellow pet parents I’m sure you have done just as much. I do have these little nylon tunnels I set up in each room and they seem to love to go flying inside them (or into them) as they’re chasing each other. I’ve even put paper bags in the kitchen as a sort of obstacle path.


I’ve had to anchor their towers to the walls in fear of them falling over when they go up one side and down the other. Finney is a big boy and I think it wouldn’t take much, no matter how sturdy the towers are. As I type this it’s 49 degrees and the sun is shining bright. Still not many birds outside just yet and I’m looking forward to the day when they all come back and taunt my kits at the windows. The birds have a habit of sitting on the back stairwell right in front of the window where the kitties sit watching them. They seem to know there’s a plate of glass there separating them and there are no worries of any teeth coming closer. So they take that opportunity to sit on the railings right smack in front of the windows and preen themselves. Drives my cats nuts! 

Such a simple thing can get a cat’s engine revved up for at least 30 minutes of horseplay. Those are the days I love, when it doesn’t take much for them to get their exercise. I guess it sort of pushes me also to go out and get mine. Spring is near! The birds will be back, the windows will be open more often and I’ll see flashes of fur flying by me again in no time. Until then, I’ll have to put up with the long stares, the pathetic looks of “Mom! I’m bored!” just like a human child. And with another snowstorm coming this weekend, I’m guessing that’ll be a constant.

Tell me how you entertain your pets during the long winter months!

8 comments:

Laurie said...

We don't have the same problem. We use a bird feeder with suction cups on the window. In winter is when it gets almost constant activity from birds. In summer, there's so much natural food for them around here, the squirrels do the "in your face" entertaining. :-}

Peg Keeley said...

We get lots of birds in the winter at the feeder, but mostly chase the sun to bathe in the spots on the floor moving from room to room as it goes through the day.

Brenda said...

We put food out to feed the wild turkeys when the snow got deep, but it's mostly attracting squirrels. We put the food right in front of a basement window My cat Pounce is glued to the glass, the squirrels have no fear of her. My kitties usually play in a fenced yard and are going crazy in the house.

WeBeesSiamese said...

I use the laser light, they go beserk with that...Minko is alert to the sound of crinkly paper...so coupon night, or clean out the purse night is time to give him his 'ration', which he promptly rips up, or stuffs under the furniture or stove...and yours truly has to fetch it or give him another. Pipo waits for someone to bring home things in bags...so that he can...chew on the bag, MOL!
Pipo loves to watch snowflakes come down, and even chatters at them! I have heard him do that to skudding clouds, too...he sure has good vision! Since we live semi rurally, as soon as it gets the least bit warm, the bugs wake right up...instant kitty entertainment!
And dog-guy is great at making for interesting if not active activity...he tries to possess Minko, then Pipo comes by and swats him or chases him, MOL! Who needs TV? Even I am entertained!
And there is always stuff to see next door...namely their goat and dog...and a slew of children, 7 of the eight are still at home! Good people, just kind of messy...
And they always try to help me on the confuser...
OK, now that you have been entertained...

KittyQuartet said...

I have a finch feeder fairly close to the back windows, and while they turn from bright yellow to a dull greenish, they chatter away & provide entertainment for the kitties. I save the long pieces of crinkly packing paper from boxes & I toss it in the living room and especially Tigger will jump & slide around on that for a few days (especially at night the darling) They miss going on the screened porch. They can still go out there, but we staple very heavy duty plastic on the outside to make a wind & snow buffer, & they cannot really see thru it well. We just got a new DaBird, so hopefully that will help!

IBDKitties said...

I must be the only one with kitties that are just plain bored! I've tried a lot of the suggestions you have here and their attention span is so small. They don't care about the laser light anymore, they don't really chase paper balls that much anymore. I tried pipe cleaners, balls, etc. sigh. Lacey does like to watch snowflakes falling too. That's so cute that Pipo chatters at them. We haven't had many squirrels, no finches at all, and not many birds. Maybe it's just been too darned cold?

Timmy Tomcat said...

We are pretty much the same winter spring summer and fall. That may be because we are insiders. We have two great window seats and Pops just got us nice new seats with pads.

We also like playing at night. Oh yes we play in the daytime and get a good few race/runs in but night is the biggie!

Pops plays with us after work every nighg. Yes one or the other may sit out a game but overall we will join in.

Even old Buddy will join in a bit. He really likes to play by himself.

Purrs to all and let the games begin.

Timmy

IBDKitties said...

Funny, right after I read Timmy's comment they started playing like crazy! Maybe they got the hint? LOL