I’ve been trying to get my cat Joseph to play on his own for a long time now. He loves to be around people and everything has more meaning for him if he has someone to share his experiences with. His (over)friendliness makes both of us happy most of the time. But there are certain times when I am not at home or I have other things to do at home. For reasons like these, it would be best if he – at least from time to time – learned how to spend time by himself.
As I was looking for ways to achieve this, “The Maze” from the TV Show “Westworld” came to the rescue. I created a bigger and simpler maze that could keep Joseph busy for some time. To my surprise, he really liked it. He didn’t exactly try to solve the maze of course, but followed the ball as it moved away from him. It did actually keep him busy for some time before he started calling out to me to sit beside him to play together.
First he was attracted by the ball that goes through the grooves. Then he figured out that he can actually scratch the side of the grooves (as if he doesn’t have enough KATRIS blocks at home). Later on he found comfort in just laying on it and fitting his feet into the grooves. Objects going beyond their original design intent are always fascinating to us designers and cats are usually good at looking at objects from different perspectives and finding different ways to interact with them.
What would happen if his whole environment could become a toy for him instead of a separate singular object? A room filled with a maze could be quite interesting for Joseph because I figured that he likes adventure and likes to walk through dangerous terrain. But I am pretty sure his eyes would still be looking for someone to share his excitement with.