Saturday, May 17, 2008

Petey's Passion

Our Petey loves the game of Toilet Paper Party.

At our house, we like to use those big megarolls of toilet paper, and Petey thinks those are the best. The bigger the roll is, the better. The toilet seat is the best place to work from. He sits on the seat, and with his paws, proceeds to quickly unroll it - and shred it in the process. Apparently a huge shredded pile, left on the floor to be found later, is best. Often if we are caught up in our daily activities, we don't notice, but if you listen, really listen, you can hear the deep rumble and rattle of the toilet roll holder, emanating from the bathroom upstairs.

But there's a game even better than TPP. TPP can be played anytime the bathroom door gets inadvertently left open, but this other game can only be played when a new critter arrives in the house.

This morning I could hear Petey talking enthusiastically upstairs. I saw him sitting at attention, ears perked forward, looking with anticipation at the closed bathroom door. I believed he was trying to convince the Kid to let him in to play a good game of TPP. I should have suspected otherwise though, because that game is best played alone. Those humans always spoil that game whenever he gets caught.

But when The Kid finally emerged, I heard her tell Petey that the spider didn't want to visit him. I then realized that his apparent enthusiasm was actually all about his Best Game Ever, Bug Huntin'.

In this game, Petey will see a bug, doesn't matter what kind - crawly or flying, perhaps somewhere close to the ceiling. Game time!

Sometimes a new unidentified spot on the wall, or a bit of a cobweb can also inspire the game, but we won't talk about my housekeeping transgressions here. Back to the Bug Huntin'.

Petey starts talking and chirping away, as if to convince said bug to come down from its safe haven in an upper corner of the room. He wants it to come down so he could poke at it, play with it, and perhaps eat it. But he's never mastered the art of stalking.

Our Rocky was a good hunter in his day, when he freely roamed the neighbourhood. He has caught his share of hapless mice, and an occasional baby bird. However, he apparently doesn't care that Petey's bug hunting technique is a little off.

There's nothing stealthy about Petey's technique. Petey loves the idea of the hunt, but he isn't very good at it. In fact, on more than one occasion, when the bug misjudged its ability to escape Petey, he would become the victim as a tiny bug snack. However, not realizing where it had gone, Petey would proceed search for the recently consumed bug, and re-examine every place where that bug had been. So the game continues, often long after the bug ceases to play.

Back to our eight-legged friend this morning. By this time, Petey was apparently trying to get at that spider, who had managed to crawl into a small dark space in the door frame. But that does not fool our Pete, who knew that if he just kept working at it, he would either dig his way in, or convince the spider that it wanted to come out again.

For a long while, the spider became his obsession; his mission. In fact, it became Petey's passion. Let the games begin.

Petey is bug hunting from our bedroom window. This vantage point offers a bit of a challenge to the game because of the screen.

Contributed by Jamie Naessens

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