Saturday, August 27, 2016

It's Caturday! Do You Know About Da Bird?

It's Saturday, time to tell you about the best cat toy ever, Da Bird! It's a fishing pole toy with a little feather thingy on a string, but it's not just another fishing pole toy. This one has some small, simple, but highly significant technology behind it.
The only cat toy that makes that flappy sound.

First though, I have to tell you about my canary. She was found by a neighbor of a friend of my mother's. The canary flew into their garage and they caught it in a cat carrier, but couldn't figure out what to do with it. I ended up bringing it home, it was a female canary, and I named her Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne the Majestic.

The Hellions were under a year old when Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne the Majestic came home. I knew that I needed to keep the canary safe from them, so my then-husband and I set out to teach the cats that the bird was bad news. We stationed ourselves in front of the cage, armed with squirt bottles. The cats heard the canary flutter around in her cage, and immediately turned into drooling cat zombies. Every time they headed for the bird cage, they got a face full of water. This did not dissuade them in the slightest. Half an hour later we had two soaking wet cats sneezing water out their noses while lurching toward the cage every time the bird made a sound. We shut the bird cage in another room and then bought a bird fortress the next day.

Fishing pole cat toy makes mesmerizing sounds
What was it that turned off the water-hating part of their tiny cat brains? It was that flapping sound that small birds make when they fly. The sound seemed to flip a switch in their heads, and that switch said BIRD. The creators of Da Bird have discovered a canary-friendly way of flipping that switch.

At first glance, Da Bird looks like all the other fishing pole cat toys. It's a stick with a string attached to one end, and at the other end of the string is a bunch of feathers. Here's where the design is important: Da Bird's feathers are arranged a bit like a propeller, and between the feathers and the string is a tiny swivel. When you move the toy around, the feathers spin and make that magical flapping sound!

As the child of a puppeteer, I find this toy almost as much fun as my cats do. I can make it fly laps around the ceiling before divebombing the cats. It can fly lazy circles just above them, or zoom from one end of the room to the other. I keep it locked up when not in use because James and Solstice would shred it or eat it given the opportunity. It would be ok if they did though, because Da Bird makes refills! You can just buy a new feather propeller and hook it on there!

So that's our favorite cat toy, what's yours?

(Also, a quick cat litter update: I managed to procrastinate about scooping the Cats Incredible litter for nearly a week. It did not smell. Not even a little bit. It definitely, definitely worked as advertised, and I'm never buying another kind of litter ever again.)

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