smile

Kitten games

I mentioned earlier that the Kitten taught herself to play fetch. She continues to fetch enthusiastically. All of her toys are fair game for fetching. The sight of a kitten bounding along carrying a stuffie as big as her head for me to throw: hilarious! Her very favorite fetch toys are the little rattly rabbit-fur mice.

Mr Pedia has been demonstrating that she's trainable in other ways.

The first thing to know is the story of the Smarter Dog. The smarter dog's ideal weight is 4.5 lbs. She is a very small dog. She loves food, however, thanks to an un-ideal puppyhood with people who were not the doting Mr P. She'll eat until physically incapable of eating any more. For a while she was pushing 6 lbs, which, in a dog that small, made her pretty rotund. So Mr P starting having her fetch for her food. He throws a ball from one end of the house to the other. She chases, retrieves, and receieves a couple pieces of kibble for her efforts. She's been at her ideal weight for years now, but she loves the feeding game so much that Mr P has continued it.

The Kitten also loves this game. The Kitten partipates in the chase, though not the fetch. The Kitten also loves dog kibble, and attempts to steal it. Mr Pedia has used the one as a lever for the other:

If the Kitten makes contact with the Smarter Dog during a fetch, the Kitten is rewarded with a piece of kibble.

He doesn't reward mere chasing or lunging or pouncing. The Kitten has to slam into the Smarter Dog in some way. The Kitten experimented with doing the minimal possible, but figured out that kibble was not forthcoming. So now the Kitten lurks, pounces on a completely uncaring tiny dog, and then gets to chase a piece of kibble. She carries the kibble somewhere where it's safe from Dimmer Dog (learned that one the hard way) and eats it. Then she rejoins the fetch game in progress to earn another piece.

The Kitten is about the dogs' size now. I am wondering how long Smarter Dog will be indifferent to this pouncing thing. But Mr P is an Evil Genius. He just cackles.
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Very clever way to slim down a chunky dog. When I was a kid, our dog--probably 30 pounds was terrorized by our cat. It used to sit on kitchen chairs and wait till the dog walked under one and then the leap and pounce. Back in those days, nobody paid much difference to cat and dog food and everybody got the same dry kibble. Poor Jeff used to have to wait until the cat was done. He'd whine and squirm, but always held himself back till the cat was done eating. Once that was accomplished he was on that chow like white on rice and woe betide the cat that tried to come back for seconds.
The Cat is definitely the boss of the dogs. And I think the Kitten will be soon. Vertical mobility makes all the difference.

Poor Jeff!
LOL

My cat definitely runs the house. He has no front claws, but if the dog so much as breathes funny, the cat will attack, and the dog goes running away. 'tis Amusing.
Mr P is deliberately encouraging cat-dog play. I don't think the kitten has any sense of doggy transgressions. She thinks of them more as littermates. Or maybe as extremely interesting toys. Hard to say.
OMG, that would be so much fun to watch! :) Used to play a game with my grandparents 3 legged cat: cat on one side of kitchen, me on other, then sling kibbles across floor for cat to chase/catch/eat.

It's very much like that: he flings a kibble, she chases madly. Then trots around carrying it to a safe place.