Thursday, February 12, 2009

Burmese Baseball

This is totally trivial - except for Rupert and me - but should you feel in need of a quiet chuckle, then I suggest you read on . . .

Not the least of the problems posed by bad weather, is how to keep Rupert exercised. His energy, alas, can't be switched off just because it's raining. Speaking selfishly, I'm all for encouraging him to sleep, but Rupert is having none of it. To enliven the cold, wet days he has invented a game of such complexity that only he and a chimpanzee could understand the ground rules. But, for the layman such as you and me, let's call it Burmese Baseball.

The playing-field is centred on my lap, the boundaries are the walls of the book-room. Rupert sits upright on my lap. He is facing me, his body tense, his eyes wide and his front paws tense with expectancy.
I have now learned that what I am expected to do is to put a pile of pencils (or ballpoint pens) on the table beside us. Taking one of these pencils, my aim is to poke him in the tummy before he can whip the pencil out of my hand. If you think that sounds easy, think again!
I wiggle the pencil, pretending that I'm approaching from the right, whilst planning a strategic poke from the left. I wiggle the pencil a little faster . . . than strike!
Before the pencil is anywhere near Rupert's tum, a paw whips out, the pencil is lifted out of my hand and . . . whoosh! . . . it flies across the room, scoring a boundary by hitting the far wall.
I take pencil number two, Rupert's expression grows even more eager, I wiggle . . . he tenses . . . I thrust . . . he strikes!
Yet another pencil goes soaring through the air!

Do you get my drift?
After ten minutes of this there are no pencils on the table and I'm left groping around on hands and knees trying to retrieve them from the distant corners of the room!

Do you happen to know of anyone - preferably someone young and athletic - who would welcome a game of Burmese Baseball (or toy mouse) with an inexhaustible cat?!