Today I made an obstacle course for my cats.
Did you know there are agility courses and competitions for cats? I didn't, but according to the Cat Fanciers' Association they're starting to pop up at cat shows all over the world. The stereotypical cat is lazy, napping most of the day, and certainly too aloof to perform on demand. Jackson and Pepper, my two cats, certainly live up to that stereotype. However, they also spend part of each day running around. One minute they're sleeping next to each other and the next they're chasing each other around the house. Why not channel some of that energy in an organized fashion?
Pepper was MIA, so I decided that Jackson would be the recipient of all the fun. He was napping on top of the sofa in the family room, but opened one eye to look at me when I started assembling materials. I decided to use things that were already there as obstacles, but also set a kitchen chair in the middle of the room. I used a flashlight as a guide, because Jackson loves to chase after the light.
Jackson didn't do bad for a first try. He followed the flashlight beam across the coffee table, down to the floor, and jumped up on the fireplace hearth. After a quick unauthorized stop to use his scratching post at the end of the hearth, Jackson continued to the far side of the room, jumped on and off the other couch, then leaped onto the kitchen chair. Next he sauntered back to his original starting point, but this time going under the coffee table. As a finale, he rubbed his chin against the edge of the table, letting everyone know he'd been there.
He seemed to be pleased with himself, but obviously had enough of structured activities. Running like a bat out of hell, he zoomed through the living room, around the corner, and up the stairs to the second floor. Several minutes later I noticed him back in the family room curled up on top of the couch like he never left.
I wonder if I could ever get my pets to perform as well as the cat in this video: