String theory

So, when Trooper first came to us, he was a Twizler Champeen.  He would play with some of the other toys we have in our sparse(!) collection of Feline Entertainment Items, notably the Floofy Ball, and Turtle.  He would also do some serious kickhat with the springs, but we couldn’t interest him in the old braided leather cord that had been a favorite with. . .several generations of Cat Farm Cats.

When Sprite arrived, she fell upon the leather cord with high-pitched squeaks of Coon Cat Gladness and dragged it around with her everywhere, insisting, whenever she found an idle person of the Thumbs persuasion (which, in this house, is often) that we Make The String Work.  Such was her enthusiasm that she won Trooper over to String Play.

Well, upon inspection earlier in the week, it was revealed that the old leather cord really was old, and brittle and just plain worn out, so I remembered to stop at Tractor Supply to take on rawhide boot laces, in order to make a new cord.

In order to braid the strings together, I tied a knot in one end, and closed it into the top drawer of the file cabinet, then I stepped back, keeping tension on the cords, and began to braid.

Trooper was in his box.  He kind of glanced at me, decided I was Being Funny Like I Did, and went back to sleep.  Sprite, of course, came to sit on my feet and bat at the dangling ends.

. . .at least, she did until the braid was about half-done, when she looked up — and saw what I was doing.  She squeaked, went over to the box and woke Trooper up.  He still didn’t Get It — and then he did, and jumped out of the box to sit and watch the progress of the braid.

When the last knot was tied, I couldn’t get it out of the file cabinet fast enough; Sprite wanted it NOW; it was hers; I had made it for her, and by Bast, she wanted it.

The old leather cord went the way of such things, and here’s Trooper and Sprite and the new string:

String Theory. Trooper and Sprite and the Leather Cord. Photo by Sharon Lee
String Theory. Trooper and Sprite and the Leather Cord.
Photo by Sharon Lee

9 thoughts on “String theory”

  1. Questions: How long were the leather shoelaces? and how many did you braid together? Want to make one for my cats.

  2. In order to make one braided cord, you need (at least) two sets of 72-inch leather shoelaces. I braid three laces together, which makes for a nice thick cord that they can still grab onto and drag around.

  3. Thank goodness we have your cats to explain these complicated scientific theories to us mere mortals
    Thank you!!

  4. Now… I’m glad you told us about this. I’ve a cat who has swallowed yarn, and I am cautious about playing String with her. I can get a Real String for her now, and not worry about it getting tangled in her guts, with part (eventually) coming out the other end. Sorry for the indelicacy, but it happened with yarn once. This can be deadly, so I’ve tried to not leave anything shorter than ball length where she can get at it to prevent another such instance.

  5. Do you have any trouble with them trying to eat it? My little coon-mutt once ate half of one of those leather boot laces, while still in the boot. It digested safely but I had to lock up my fringed suede jacket because he started snacking on the fringe. I know Jasper would love a string but I am afraid he would over-love it.

  6. Seriously? That’s dedication.

    We’ve had a couple cats who would sort of ruminatively gnaw on the string, but none who found the taste irresistible. If he’s know to eat leather, I wouldn’t give him a leather string as a toy.

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