Sanna Kramsi - Blog A peek into my life

Toys, games, words - more cat stuff

September 19, 2019 | Cats

Osiris, as many Abyssinians are, is a very smart cat. He is actually the first cat of mine who is submissive to humans (he was also very submissive with Lumia in the beginning). If he thinks he's made me angry, he will immediately lie down on his back and meow at me. That always makes me laugh and I have to give him pets and kisses.

Lumia bows to no one. If I tell her no, she will start wiggling her tail and maybe scoff at me. She will look at me and let me know that I am being a mean and a stupid human. She usually obeys though, but she will make it clear that she is only doing this because she feels like it. But luckily you don't have to tell her no to many things, she rarely does things she shouldn't do. Most often I tell her no when she tries to hop into my closet when I open the door to put clothes in. She would very much like to lie in the clean soft clothes. She likes all the closets though unless she gets permission to go in. Then the closets are boring.

Words the cats know

Osiris also knows a few words, which he also obeys. He knows what 'down' means, he knows he is supposed to hop down to the floor from wherever he is. This he obeys easily from either of us.

A word he properly obeys only from me is 'come'. I can get him to come to me no matter what is happening, at least so far. If he is running towards an open door and I tell him to come, he will come. If he sees a bee and I tell him to come, he will leave the bee and come to me. It's very useful. My fiancé can't get him to obey as often. I think it's because of the tone. I will say the word with a higher than normal voice and if I want to make sure he comes, I will say it excitedly. My fiancé can't get the same effect through to Osiris. We've tested this on quite a few occasions and I always get the cat, my fiancé only sometimes. This word is something we actively started to teach him as soon as I first noticed that Osiris might understand what we want from him. I sometimes practised with him alone, taking a few of the freeze-dried chicken bits with me without Osiris noticing and telling him to come. And then he would receive a reward. He responds quite well to treat rewards because he likes to eat. Then we sometimes did this together with my fiancé, we both would have treats and one of us would tell Osiris to come and give him his reward and then the other would do the same. And now Osiris knows the word really well.

Lumia doesn't really respond to words as well as Osiris does. But she learns things. She has a habit of vanishing to sleep somewhere. Sometimes I will worry and I will need to find her, for example, I won't start the washing machine before I locate her. And sometimes I will press the button, realise I'm not 100% sure of where she is and that's when I definitely need to locate her. I know she's not in the washing machine but I just need to see her. I will search all her known hiding places while calling for her and if I don't find her on the third search around the house, I think I will start sounding desperate. That when she usually appears from somewhere, I just turn around and there she sits on the floor. So she recognises my anxiety and comes to me when she knows I'm in this state. I always try to give her a few treats for showing up so she might learn that it's a good idea to show herself when being called.

Kitchen habits

When they are waiting to get food, Osiris runs around. He will run between Lumia and the humans, constantly meowing and brushing against everything and everyone. Lumia hates this behaviour. She will tolerate his closeness for a moment, might even wash his head for a few seconds, and then she will lose her temper and bite him or hit him with her paws (no nails though). Osiris just waits until he is loose again from her grip and continues like nothing just happened. Lumia would just want to sit and wait in front of her cup in peace.

Lumia also thinks about whether she will eat the food (unless she's super hungry). When she is thinking, we will pet her and tell her to eat. She will often start eating. Sometimes not and she will make a game of it and runs away (more on this subject a little later). If either of us doesn't pet her after setting their cups down, Lumia will look at us expecting her pets.

We've taught the cats that they will not receive any food that isn't cat food (apart from the raw meats once in a while). Lumia doesn't really care at all about our plates or anything (she might sniff one, but she isn't interested). Osiris, on the other hand, likes to lick any plates that might be around. Which means he will hop on to the kitchen counter, walk across our stove and over the sink to the plates. Our stove makes beeping noises if it detects something on it. So we will hear the beeping. All it takes is to shout out 'cat' and we hear him hopping down. A few seconds later he appears in the doorway to look at us. Well, we did already know who was on the stove but he doesn't seem to realise that he is basically telling us he did it by appearing. Lumia sometimes steps on the stove, but her fur in her paws is so long that she rarely triggers the beeping.

Weird games and favourite toys

Lumia loves to run away from me. I will creep up close to her, make a certain noise I've taught her (a sound I only make while we are playing so she knows what it means) and try to pet her or touch her. She sprints to another room and I will chase after her and again try to pet her. And then we repeat the process until one of us gets tired. My fiancé has tried to play this game and Lumia will often think he is seriously chasing her. But I think it's nice that we have our own game between us.

Lumia loves to play on the bed. She likes to do a miniature version of our chasing game by hopping on the other side of the bed when I try to touch her and then I will have to move all around the bed to get to the other side to touch her and this will again be repeated for a while. For some reason, I magically cannot just touch her on the other side without moving to the other side.

Then Lumia likes to chase hands under the covers or sheets (but only when we are playing this game, at night our hands and feet can move). Though often she will be passive which means the hands will chase her, and she hops around the bed. She has this way too adorable way to move her head from side to side when she will attack the hand. Osiris used to play this game too but nowadays he is too scared. We might do a little light version with him but it just isn't the same, even to him.

I've tried to buy them a lot of different toys but they don't seem to like anything much. Osiris loved the first feather stick toy we got him as a kitten and then I ordered more of the same kind once it broke down. He was terrified of the new toys. But luckily the toys found a new home with my coworker's cat, who loves that kind of toys.

Osiris responds to toys with catnip, I've got him a couple of soft toys. He doesn't seem to bite them much anymore though, he immediately stops after shaking the toy. I think it might be because he has so little teeth left. But then he just gets very drunk and walks away. Or he might just sit and stare at nothing. Lumia doesn't really respond to catnip, she always checks the new toys out but she doesn't usually play with them.

Lumia loves all kinds of strings. Shoelaces she gets regularly and they are fantastic. Also, my coworker brought her some strings that were thicker, she loves to bite those. I have winter boots that break shoelaces rather quickly, we now have a habit with Lumia that she will join me when I change the shoelaces. After I'm done, she gets the old ones to play with. She loves to chase the strings and sometimes she will just want to watch them move. The latter is quite tiring for us humans since we put some effort into the string movements. But when she chases after it, it's amazing. She makes these cute hops around the string and attacks and runs away and attacks again. Her fluffy fur makes her movements so cute it melts my heart to watch her. Osiris didn't like strings before he noticed that Lumia liked them. And now he likes them too.

They have one favourite toy. They used to love this one feather toy we call a bird toy. It has more and longer feathers than those feather stick toys. They love to chase it. And after my brother showed that he had used a fishing rod to make a cat toy, we decided to try the same. We bought a children's fishing rod and attached the feathers from that feather toy to it. The cats love it.

Both cats like boxes and bags. Both also like to play in them, you can move your finger on the outside of the bag and get bites and paws. Osiris especially plays gently when he knows the human fingers (or toes) are at play. He was taught by his breeder very well not to bite on an early age. Lumia, on the other hand, isn't that gentle with us. But her breeder didn't teach her at all about not biting people. When we went to get her on her 13th week, she was constantly eating my fingers. But funnily enough, Lumia rarely bites Osiris, it's the other way around. Except in the kitchen but that's only to tell him to stop bugging her.

It's just hard to play with them both since Osiris is always aggressively playing after joining the fun and then Lumia will stop playing, observe for a while and go away. Osiris will always join all the toy games around the house which results in Lumia not getting to play as much. Which is why it is even nicer to have a few games only Lumia will play.