The Cat Burglar. Literally.

McLovin is not a cat. He's a bitter little man in a fur suit.

Proof? Although McLovin is strictly an outdoor kitty, like most cat owners, we've got a cat toy. It's a wiggly black stick about 3 feet long with a pouf of pink feathers at the end.

Basically, you wave and wiggle the stick-and-feathers in front of the cat. He may, for the first five seconds, coolly ignore you. But his instincts will soon take over; within a minute, he'll pounce it, which is just the prelude to going completely kitty ballistic.

It's not fair really. These toys are designed to deliver orgiastic feline displays of gymnastic, mid-air twisting and flipping. They showcase their startling, lightning-fast reflexes and crazy-cool hunting abilities. It's also about the only time any self-respecting cat will deign to perform for humans: Because they can't help it. A million years of evolution renders them completely unable to resist the power of the pouf.

Our cat toy gets good use. McLovin is an impressive performer. He gives good cat show, every time. The only thing that would make it better? A unicycle.

Unfortunately for McLovin, however, Makenna (our fur-less child) has discovered the sweet, sweet power of the stick.

Cat Teaser Feather WandSuddenly, the toy of temptation becomes an instrument of torture. She chases him around, madly waving the stick and feathers. She cracks it on the patio, yelling, "KI-TAY! KI-TAY!" The only thing missing from our diminutive domina? Little leather hip boots and the vocabulary to say, "That's MISS Makenna to you, Slave."

Poor McLovin absolutely freaks out. He's desperate for the feathers - but fears the smack that inadvertently awaits if he moves too close. So he runs from her, and finds a lofty perch from which to lust after the stick and hot pink feathers. 

Fast forward to this afternoon.

I step out of the shower in my empty, locked-up house. I'm toweling off and hear a funny noise. Sort of a *ka-slap!* followed by a *hsssssss*. I wrap a towel around me and peek out the bathroom door just in time to see a furry orange butt turn the corner. I chase after after him yelling, "How the hell did you get in here?!" He pauses and slowly turns to look at me. That's when I see it.

He's got a mouth full of hot pink feathers, and three-feet of black stick dragging behind him. McLovin leaps to my open bedroom window, and a with a final, triumphant glance backward, glides outside, up and over our 10-foot fence, dragging his purloined bounty with him. If a cat could laugh, he would have been, let me tell you.

I stood there, dripping and impotent for a few minutes, staring at the space where he vanished over the fence. That cat toy was gone for good, I knew it in the instant he and I locked eyes. We may have mouse and bird and lizard carcasses littering our doorstep. But that cat toy? Dead to us.

And the worst part is that his move was so awesome, and from his perspective, so justified, that you've just got to hand it to him. You can't be mad at a bad-ass move like that. You just can't. Basically, we just got owned by a tabby.

Score: Cat - 1. Humans - 0.





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I am a writer and lazy artist who loves travel, architecture and design. Right now, I'm into photography. My fabulous husband (a.k.a. The Varmint) and I are also the principals of a San Diego-based creative agency - and new parents to the divine Baby Mak. Read More >