What I don't know, however, is where they are. I never threw one of them away, but I kept getting new ones because they are an essential part of cat life here.
This was Esme in the middle of a night in 2012.
This was Gundel in 2017. Look familiar?
I even complained about the typical thunk thunk sound of a ball dropped on the floor in one of Ponder's blog posts before.
Meffi and the boys liked to play with them as well, but Meffi was too dignified to fetch and Ponder was too quick for me to a better picture than this. Greebo played ball, but he only fetched his very special extra big household rubber band.
Esme preferred the yellow balls, Gundel doesn't make a difference. I sometimes think she can't see the yellow ball that well, but often I can't myself on the wooden floors or the floor in the hallway. Esme used to drop her ball on my desk when she wanted to play or brought it to my bed. How often had I wondered at night why Esme was sitting so patiently next to me telling her she should bring me a ball, and then I would find one of them tucked into my blankets the next morning. It made me feel bad every time until I finally learned to check for those balls if the Silent Black Cat was sitting next to me.
Ponder brought them to bed, but he dropped them right on me because he knew what a fool I was and had zero trust in my ever being able to learn.
Gundel brings them to bed sometimes, but mostly to my computer chair if I sit there. She also loves to dribble them through the flat when I'm in bed.
I'm great with knobbly balls. I try to throw them exclusively up or down the hallway because chances are better I'll be able to find them again. The point of them being knobbly, though, is that you don't know which way there are going to bounce which is more fun for a cat. Over time I taught myself some great trick shots.
Okay. It's all a lie. I suck at throwing balls. My trick shots are accidents. The balls end up in pockets of jackets on my wardrobe, they get stuck between jackets or even in folds, they hit water and food bowls. I throw them in a way that come back to me landing before my feet. A while ago the guy who worked on the heating found some behind the washing machine. They are under the bed, under sideboards, behind doors, under the wardrobe and I don't know where else.
Almost nine years of balls, balls, balls, and even though I did the big round today and crawled around on the floor like an idiot (Ponder would have loved that) while Gundel waited for me in the hallway wondering when I was finally going to turn up for play hour, these were the only ones I could find. Only two days ago I still had four of the blue ones, how ... where .... why?? And where is the ball hiding that bounced into the bathroom today? Neither Gundel nor I could find it!
For now I hid them and left just one out for Gundel, so we can really have fun again tomorrow!
By the way, if you noticed the difference of the balls within the same color - matte and shiny - that is because the company had to change the rubber mix. Luckily none of my cats ever did it, but there were cats who chewed on those balls and managed to bite little pieces off and even swallow them. Now the rubber isn't as soft anymore to avoid that, but that also means the balls don't jump as high anymore. Hmmm ... now I wonder if I should maybe check higher areas for those old specimens ...