My cats get very agitated if they don’t get exercise. That’s a challenge, because the way they exercise is by playing, and the way they play is by catching little bird and mouse toys that I make flit/scurry around. There being three cats and just one human, the cats have to take turns, and they don’t quite get that concept.

Max, the youngest and biggest, always monopolizes the game. He is also the most destructive: We’ve gone through twice as many toys in the year or so he’s been here as we did the previous several years. I took the photos below just a few minutes before he grabbed the flying birdie out of the air, breaking the string to which it was attached.

Max is also the most exciting and least exciting to watch. Most exciting because he executes dramatic, two- and three-foot twisting leaps in the air, trying to catch a toy. He’d make a great figure skater. But also least exciting, because once he catches the toy he tends to squat down, toy in mouth, and growl at the other cats without letting them have a try at playing.