One thing (of many) about having a lot of pets; you just never know sort of weird things they might a) drag into the house b) play with c) throw up.
Weird might not actually be the best definition, though. Unusual? Creative? Gross? Ah, MYSTERIOUS; as in "what the heck is THAT?" but also, "where the heck did that COME from?" and "how in the heck did they get A HOLD of that?"
Since there are children living in the houses on other side of us AND in the house below us, play-related items routinely make their way into our backyard. Scratch that. LUCY's backyard. We'll frequently be sitting outside enjoying a cocktail and notice Lucy running around with some new object in her mouth. "What's that?" one of us will ask. "Oh, looks like a....(fill in the blank)". One of her favorites was a basketball. Of course, it now longer remotely resembles anything like a ball; more like a puddle of chewed up rubber. I hadn't seen it in sometime; I figured she must have buried it somewhere. The other day, I was upstairs brushing my teeth and looking out one of our bedroom windows and I saw this blob in the middle of the backyard. I thought it might be a dead animal. I finished up with the teeth brushing and went downstairs to ask Mr. B. "What's THAT?" I said, pointing at it. "Lucy's basketball". Oh.
Of course, it wasn't really Lucy's; it was the kid next door's, but, I'd bet he really wouldn't want it back now.
Despite the fact they make her sick, Lucy still hunts and eats the small frogs that jump around our backyard. Spring is prime frog hunting season, but, there still seem to be a few hopping around (maybe because it's been so warm, I really don't know). The late season frogs must not taste as good, however. Several times this summer, I've gone outside to find half-masticated frogs barfed up onto the patio. Nice.
For a while, Lily was bringing Lucy's toys upstairs. We'd wake up in the morning to find two or three of them near our bed. During the holiday season last year, she took to dragging this huge Christmas stocking that Mrs. Senior B made for Mr. B many years ago up the stairs. This stocking is about the size of a small throw rug and we kept it draped over the back of the leather club chair. Lily is also a fine one for stealing items left on bathroom counters or the top of dressers. She'll spot that you left something there, jump up, get it in her mouth, jump down, and run off with it. In this way, she's nabbed: nail files, barrettes, hair elastics, eye glasses, hair brushes and my tube of Rapid Lash (which does seem to work, BTW). We've had near misses with leaving wedding bands and diamond rings.
Pete has this one wand toy with a long, furry leopard printed "thing" (for lack of better word) dangling off of it. He LOVES it. He carries that around in his mouth, wailing and howling. He'll wail and/or howl, pick it up, and make an odd noise while it is still in his mouth. Then, he starts kneading the floor while it's in his mouth. After a bit of this, he'll move across the room with it and repeat the process. In this case, the item isn't a mystery so much as his behavior is! I've never seen a cat do this before, but, then again; what can you except from a cat who prefers to spend his days sleeping in the pantry? Pete is also the cat Most Likely to Barf; which, given the amount of fur he has, isn't really a surprise. BUT, let me tell you, BECAUSE of the amount of fur he has, he's sometimes brought up fur balls that resemble small rodents. I've seen one or two and taken a step back until I could ascertain that they were, in fact, merely huge fur balls.
The Little Kids subscribe, I suppose, to more normal cat behavior. They'll chase and eat bugs, play (and chew on, damn it to hell) electric cords and will, eventually, get out every single toy in their toy basket (no small number) and place them all around the house. One of them, however, has taken to chewing on the covers of our soft covered paperback books. If we happen to leave one out on the nightstand, you can bet that in the morning, we'll find a multitude of little puncture marks dotted here and there on the cover (which I dutifully cover up with scotch tape). I haven't caught the culprit, but, I'm putting my money on Athena. Bookmarks are also a huge favorite, as are newspapers and anything that makes a crinkle crackle noise. Ares and Athena have dutifully found every piece of tape (used to secure stereo/speaker wire) and chewed them to pieces. Athena, that dumb-dumb, will eat tape, too. I've found a good share of barfed up tape; this despite the Bitter Yuck I spray all over everything.
Apollo doesn't seem to do too much of this, although, he did seem to think the other night that my new cell phone was his personal property. Usually, though, Apollo is more likely to play with ice or beg for food.
Anyway, what prompted this topic this morning was I was sitting here checking email when I noticed Ares jumping all over the place with something in his mouth. Then, Athena came running at him, followed by Apollo and all three of them took off like three furious little bats out of hell. Scramble, scramble; up the stairs, down the stairs, jumping over the couch; all three of them in a row. Finally, Athena and Apollo got bored and went away. Ares was still jumping and climbing with this thing in his mouth. I went over to investigate; he dropped it and ran way.
This is what it was:
I have NO idea where this came from! How strange. It's a mystery. Then again, that's life around this household!