[2004 and 2005] One year ago today Oliver, who was then not quite three months old, came to live with me. He was tiny then and scared. Today, he is almost grown up, more than 20 pounds of lively, demanding cat. He won't have anything to do with store-bought toys. His favorites are an old sock tied in a knot and a six-inch-square hunk of sheepskin I got him so he would stop stealing and hiding my sheepskin-lined clogs.
The game he likes best is hunting for toys I've hidden beneath a corner of a rug or under a blanket and I've learned the special meow that means "let's play hide-and-seek."
It's amazing how our furry little creatures worm their way into our hearts and minds, and the efforts we make to accomodate and understand them. When Ollie has left a dozen toys precisely placed where I cannot avoid tripping over them, I think of Frank Paynter's delicious explanation of his dog's arrangement of shoes:
“It seems to me like the chaotic distribution of my footwear across the house when I return after a day's absence may have certain algorithmic properties that only an Australian Shepherd is capable of getting its teeth into…
“Oddly, I am sure the dog doesn't think the distribution of shoes is messy, but rather that it has order and beauty best appreciated by creatures closer to the floor than the housemonkeys that provide the food and water.”