Oh, Red-and-White Stripey Object…

…thank you for being my soulmate. Before you entered my life, I’d tried them all: Round jingling thing that hides under the sofa, pink squeaking porcine animal replica, black clacking object that joins papers at one corner (actually, you really want to keep your tongue away from those things)…

Avalanche Loves Catnip

But they just don’t understand me the way you do, my diagonally alternating friend.  And that’s why this time it’s — dare I say it? — really love.  I love you more than any cat’s ever loved a hastily-manufactured red-and-white stripey cloth bag.


That’s some serious sandpaper on that tongue, Nancy H.



  1. Funny how cats get attached to unexpected toys… my cat Leo loves a stuffed “cube” that he has had since he was a kitten (he’s now 8). It’s the only toy he will play with (and blissfully).

  2. Ahhhhhh, true luv!

  3. Leslie (NTA) says:

    I call also: “Sunbeam Bliss” !!

  4. OMG that is SO adorables!!

  5. Dante’s fav toy is a frog, with some crackly (not “crack”) stuff inside. He likes to beat the crap out of it, also carry it around and sing to it.

  6. My cats’ favorite is a baby sock filled with quilt batting stuff and originally some catnip. I find it hard to believe it still smells like catnip, since it’s been washed several times (after having been soiled with the dreaded hairball upchuck). But a couple of my cats will carry it around in their mouths and then bat it around like it’s a live mouse. I don’t even try to understand…

  7. Your descriptions crack me up! “I love you more than any cat’s ever loved a hastily-manufactured red-and-white stripey cloth bag.” The cute photos are great, but it’s actually the reading material that keeps me coming back here!

  8. My cats favorite toy.. anything with the nip in it ..
    High cats are always funny!

  9. Aww, I love kitties with those markings. And this is such a cute picture.

  10. I forgot to say: peenk & black nose = keeeee-uuuuute !!!

  11. Bliss!

  12. Dreamspinner Cheryl says:

    My neurotic TubbyKitty has developed a weird thing for dishtowels. When she wants me to take a nap with her, or cuddle, or put food down on the floor where she can reach it, she cries pitifully and brings me a dishtowel. Or, my sock, or glove-whatever she can find with my scent on it, apparently. Yea, she has issues-including a serious eating disorder. Think they date back to her swan-dive into a tub of varnish, and subsequent near death.

  13. I could go for a C.O. tounge-hance or total snout-hance on this one.

  14. “black clacking object that joins papers at one corner” – I can’t for the life of me figure out what this is… can someone help a sister out?

  15. This is one of the posts which makes me wonder if Nomtom is already spoken, because if he isn’t, I’m sure the ladies must just line up to date him….
    Also, cute picture.

  16. I meant “spoken for”.

  17. @Noelle – these things.

  18. Noelle-in case you are not kidding – I’d hate you to be left hanging, I think it is a stapler. If you were kidding, well, I’m just a softie.

  19. Oh dear it looks like an enabler has slipped him some Nip in the bag.
    My previous cat,Gladys, favorite toy, was a tennis ball, on which she practiced the rear paw death rake, she was lethal

    @Theresa – what does Dante sing to the frog. A selection of show tunes mayhap. :0}

  20. OK, this time the source image was up to the task, so voilà, there’s your close-up.

  21. @Katrina – LOL, I didn’t think of that, and I have no idea why.

  22. Von Zeppelin says:

    Our semi-greyhound Max loves socks. He steals them from the laundry hamper, and anywhere else they are left unguarded. We regularly check his favorite closet hiding place for missing socks. He loves to carry them around the house, and, if he can get away with it, out into the yard.

  23. check out that sweet tongue spike action! I wish I had tongue spikes…

  24. “Black clacking object that joins papers at one corner” – hey, that’s pretty close to what I call them too! I’m at an age where it’s often easier to describe what a thing does than try to pull its name from the dim recesses of my mind. 😀

    Kitty’s blissfully loving embrace and makes me wish I was a “hastily-manufactured red-and-white stripey cloth bag.” *sulk*

  25. It always cracks me up when kittehs “groom” toys. Polly’s favorite toy thing is this big ol’ stuffed squirrel like cat toy, It’s kind of big so its good for throwing and doing kicky-kicks on!

  26. Not That Mike The Other Mike says:

    Actually, I was picturing a stapler, not a binder clip, but I think Theo’s interpretation makes just as much sense, if maybe even a little more.

    [Nah… stapler it is. I haven’t had any coffee yet. – Ed.]

  27. That’s not a “hastily-manufactured red-and-white stripey cloth bag.” It was an elf’s hat.

  28. we have a kitty that had a love/hate relationship with a set of large fuzzy dice. He would run around with one in his mouth, and the other one would flap around and bop him- eventually getting caught up under and behind him- under his tail. (He was a smaller at the time.) He would growl and run around as if it was chasing him and biting his bum.

  29. AuntieMame says:

    I thought of the binder clip at first, too, and it didn’t make a lot of sense, because I can’t get the durn things open, so I wasn’t sure how a cat could endanger its tongue with one of them. (Not that I’m saying that cats regularly use a stapler, either…)

  30. AuntieMame,
    You read my mind… it’s like you took the thoughts verbatim right from the twisted recesses of my brain. 🙂

    My friend’s kitten has an old soft leather velcro baby shoe with a grown up’s ankle sock stuffled in it that she adores. She ADORES it. It’s strange, it’s probably even illegal in some countries, but that “thing” is the love of her young life.
    I had a ferret who went ga-ga over this tiny stuffed animal hot pink pig with a squeaker inside it. Whenever she’d hide out and wouldn’t come- we’d squeak her ‘baby’ and she’d come running, snatch it from us, then go put it back where we “heathens” couldn’t make it squeak anymore.
    It’s funny how some critters ge SO attached to some toys while others show no interest in them at all.

  31. Just to add to the binder clip vs stapler confusion… I assumed binder clip because my cats LOVE to play with them in all sizes. They couldn’t care less about the stapler.

  32. My cat used to have a pink feather boa as her “luvie.” She would drag it around like a momma cat moving a kitten, and eventually she licked all the feathers off it.

  33. Tongue-Hance! WOW!

    Really, it was a binder clip? I have them in many colors, I never thought of that! How creative are we all, honestly? Very.

  34. Reminds me of the very sweet comic strip MUTTS, and the bliss engendered by the beloved “little pink sock” …

  35. Oh, what a private moment. *Backs away and closes door*

  36. Thread jack- and speaking of helping a sistah out…does anybody use the service called “Constant Contact”? If you do, you could ‘sponsor’ the Orchestras, at NO cost to you and allow us to use it for free! We are a 501-c-3 and qualify for the CC free program, we just need a sponsor who already has an account!

    Theo-could you do your magic and give my e-mail address to whoever answers this? I’ll never ask for anything else again. Except for you to have a really nice day. Back to the black-things-that-inhabit-the-corner-of the-…..

  37. Trabb's Boy says:

    Okay, three things:

    1. That cat seems to have developed opposable thumbs, or claws anyway, so that it can hold onto its beloved red and white stripey thing.

    2. Thank you all for the term “binder clip”. When I need one I always walk up to a colleague and ask for a *opens and closes hands in a pinching motion* and they always know what I mean, but it’s nice to have an alternative, in case the office hires someone with visual difficulties.

    3. Awwwwwwmnsnugglelickyhappyhappyhappykittieinnasunshine!

  38. @NTMTOM – Please let Turtle Girl know that we are still cheering her on…hope she is feeling better.

  39. My bunny JJ likes to play with shirt hangers, plastic ones especially. He will carry it around the house, drag it into his cage and even sleep with it under him. Weird, huh? Here’s a video link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pEj9IqeFKow

  40. Do angels really do not ungrateful cats ?

  41. I wonder if this is a Hot Cats toy (http://www.fullcircleherb.com/default.html) – we have the 4-link version and my cat does *exactly* this to it – just sits and makes out with it for an hour.

  42. My kitties love their catnip banana and catnip cigar, but I have never seen the festive catnip candy cane.

    Schwitters likes to hold his catnip toys with both paws and rub them on his face. Our other kitty, Moonpie, licks them and gets them all wet. She is very spitty. (We have a song: “Moonpie Kitty, Moonpie Kitty, Very Spitty…” sung to a tune by a band called Throbbing Gristle. I am pretty sure none of you has heard of them, though)

  43. I am indeed familiar with Throbbing Gristle, kzgz, and I find that enormously amusing. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  44. Oops, not this one.

    but here it is!

  45. Mary (the first) says:

    My cat used to have one of those (although his was more hot pink than red, with white stripes.) It was filled with organically grown catnip and yes, it would drive him crazy with love. He would slobber on it until it was literally dripping and I’d have to take it away from him. I’d have to hide those toys in the freezer to keep them away from the cats..they’d smell and find them anywhere. (Take away only temporarily, until it could dry out.) Hot Cats, I think was the brand name.
    When he got older, he took to carrying it around the house in his teeth, howling out the sides of his mouth. I called it the Evil Mouse King and explained to guests that he was announcing the death of the Mouse King and the Evil Mice Army in the walls of the house better just stay in the walls and not bother me. (It seemed to work, as I never saw any mice.)

  46. @MaryTeh1st – Schwitters yowls too!! Not about his catnip things but with other toys. Sometimes he wanders around having dropped the toy, still yowling/muttering to himself. He can be very loud for a smallish-cat.

  47. @Leenk, OMIGOSH! People, click the link and look at that bunny!

  48. My sister’s cat loves Earplugs (especially used). She’ll throw them up in the air, chase them around, bat at them, throw them in the air again, stalk them, etc… She’ll even try to steal them out of your ears when you’re sleeping. Bat. Bat bat. Bat bat bat. (clawless front paw batting at ear-with-earplug sound)

    My mom’s cat loves twist ties. She’ll chase them across the house if you throw them. If she’s in the mood, she’ll even bring them back.

  49. @Mary (theFirst), my late beloved Stinky, a sweet, adorable cat– used to regularly swagger throughout the house, bellowing his head off– an unearthly, savage jungle-cat noise– for no apparent reason. He would march around, puffing his chest, yelling the cat equiv. of “I”LL KICK YOUR @$$!!” and when he would see me, he would veer off, and give me a passing mini head-bump (“Hi, Mommy!”)
    and continue on his way.

  50. Mutts anyone?


    (let’s see if I messed up the HTML horribly…)

  51. (deep gasp) Somehwere, there is a little girl, whose Raggedy Ann is missing a leg.
    Oh noes.

  52. Behold, the only thing stripelier than yourself!

  53. Leslie (NTA) says:

    @ kcgz : OMG !! That link you provided (the second one in Comment #44) also has a Hello Kitty stuffie doll for $3.00.?????
    The only thing keepin’ me from buyin’ it, is that I don’t do cr. cards. THAT is a good link !!!!

  54. My cats LOVE those things!

  55. Happiness is a sunshiny place to sleep and a favorite toy. Although I suspect their enabling hooman’s doused that thing with catnip.

    I LOVE Mutts. I had a little tuxie like that but she didn’t find her one true love in the form of an inanimate object. Had trouble deciding between Mutts and Owly for my iGoogle theme.

  56. @Matthew – my boyfriend’s cat is obsessed with earplugs too. He sneaks up on them from behind furniture and bats them around like crazy until they go under the big easy chair in the living room and he can’t reach them anymore. One time we lifted up the chair and found a huge 30-some earplug stash under there! He also has a habit of carrying them around in his mouth and dropping them into his water dishes, maybe to “drown” them? It’s not a normal day when there isn’t at least one drowned earplug per dish.

  57. Love the cat stories. I have two of my own:
    Muczki (mooch-key) loved the plastic ring from milk jugs. We’d play fetch: I’d toss one a few feet, she’d dash to it, bat it around a bit, then trot back with it dangling from her mouth. At night, I’d hear her batting them across the kitchen floor. I can’t tell you how many I found under the fridge.
    My sister’s cat, Alex, was obsessed with the catnip I grew in my garden. I’d bring over a snip or two of it and rub it all over his face. He would press his entire body into my hands, eventually flopping over and writhing on the ground in ecstasy. The purring and drool was incredible. He’d be stoned for hours.

  58. Argyle Donkeypants says:

    @ Von Zep: Last December I lost one of a pair of almost-new Smartwool hiking socks. Would you mind checking Max’s stash for it? It’s stripey and warm and oh-so-comfortabuhls.

  59. Von Zeppelin, while we’re at it, there’s something I have always wanted to ask you. “Is there a feeling you get, when you look to the west”?

  60. Avalanche is gorgeous, and I’m glad he has a toy that he loves so much.

    Our two cats prefer to play with things that are not intended for them. They do like ear plugs, especially if they happen to be in the little round travel case. They also like tent poles (when we are trying to replace the shock cord), pens and papers that happen to hit the floor, leaves and flowers on the house plants, etc. If I actually spend money on something marketed as a cat toy, it’s pretty much guaranteed that the toy will go unused. Ah, cats…

  61. @Hon Glad, yes, he sings a selection of show tunes that all have the words “NYOW-WOW!” in them.

  62. My kitties have something similar called a “Catnip Candybar,” which looks very similar to this kitty’s stripey thing, except its all one color and made from felt. They too “groom” them. Funny stuff.

  63. These kitteh stories are cracking me up!

  64. wuv. Twoo Wuv.

  65. Von Zeppelin says:

    Argyle Donkeypants, I’ll take a look. . . (Searches through the back of Max’s closet)
    Hmmm. . . 42 miscellaneous items of clothing, a TV remote, copies of “Sock Fancier” magazine, Nixon’s plan to end the Vietnam war (so THAT’S where it wound up!), several of the lesser Dead Sea Scrolls, a couple of library books checked out in 1964, map of Atlantis, D.B. Cooper’s briefcase (WOW! Loads of dough!). . . nope, no stripey hiking sock. I did, however, find a pair of argyle donkeypants. Yours?

  66. Von Zeppelin says:

    And if you listen very hard
    The tune will come to you at last.
    When all are one and one is all
    To be a rock and not to roll.

  67. librarianjessica says:

    That was SUCH a snortgiggle moment. Thanks, NTMTOM, for the laugh.

  68. Oh, the felinity!

  69. For years, our piebaldy kitteh Trivet would look down his nose at anything purported to be a cat toy. He much preferred milk rings, rubberbands (NOT a safe toy), and hair scrunchies. He would actually open my bathroom cabinet and steal the scrunchies.

    But for whatever reason, in his 12th year, he has fallen for the toy mousie. We have a dozen or so different varieties, and he doesn’t seem picky. He’ll bat one around and play some kitty soccer. Then he’ll walk through the house with the “dead” mousie in his jaws howling at the top of his lungs. The first few times he did this, we thought something was wrong with him. Now we know it’s just his way of announcing his hunting triumph. If I go and look at his mouse and tell Trivet what a brave and mighty hunter he is, he seems satisfied and stops yowling.

    As a friend often tells me, cats is weird.

  70. All my cats love a toy that’s pretty gross – I saw the video here or just from YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adXTF5wPft4

    Brush cat, roll fur between hands to form a “cigar” and they cats love it. Jinx just walks around the house with it in his mouf. Eww..

  71. (gives Von Zeppelin a daisy, makes peace sign.)

  72. Leslie (NTA) says:

    oh, Pyrit —

    (you wouldn’t wanna be outed as an outdated hippie-freak, wouldja? I’m glad you made your peace sign in parentheses. That way, no one else besides you, VZ & me will notice it — winky winky.)

  73. Argyle Donkeypants says:

    @Von Zep: Sigh. Thanks for checking. I’ve already interrogated my ferrets, but they’ve got rock-solid alibis (“I was sleeping” is true 99% of the time). Still suspicious, I checked their hidey spots and found a cassette of Genesis’ 1986 Invisible Touch album, 2/3 of the Not-Quite-Dead-Yet Sea scrolls, a bottle of Scope (“for the lehdeez,” says Buzz the ferret), and a copy of Something Shiny! magazine. And a thigh-high lace-up stiletto boot, which I’m assuming was left by our last house guest. I’ll give him a call tonight.

    Please send the pants at your earliest convenience, as our donkey has tired of his paisley donkeypants and has requested a “style spruce-up” for autumn.

  74. I’m glad some people brought up the LITTLE PINK SOCK! Oh, how I love Mutts.

    Little pink sock
    Little pink sock

  75. ca n’t t ype. .. giggggling too hardd.

  76. One of my guys has a stuffed catnip toy he has had for at least 10 years. As someone else said, I know it doesn’t still smell as it’s been washed (mostly by accident, tossed into the hamper) but he adores it. However, he will only pay attention to it while we’re out of the house. many times we’ve come back in from doing yard work to find him standing over it guiltily. he walks it around the house singing to it. So funny!

  77. @Argyle, I thought I saw your donkey on “What Not to Wear” last week. Stacy and Clinton showed her how to dress for her ears, and not be afraid to mix small patterns with bold ones, as long as the color palette is the same.

  78. I am not familiar with Throbbing Gristle but I think I will have to become so.

  79. 1) Did anybody else read this in Stewie Griffin’s voice? The episode where he thought he was dying and was dictating his memoirs to Brian. I couldn’t place it at first, but it is definitely Stewie.
    2) I too thought it was a binder clip, then a stapler. Then saw Teho’s note and thought binder clip again, then Nomtom’s and thought stapler. Again.
    3) My Loki cat loves to fetch. His favourite toy is crumpled up Starbucks pastry bags because they crinkle and roll when tossed. From my bed, I can toss them down the stairs and he goes racing after them and brings them back to be tossed again. He will do this until my arm falls off, and unlike dogs he can’t be faked out. Cats is weird!

  80. (Leslie (NTA) – Old hippies, of which I am not really, never die, they tie-dye.)
    (why are we whispering?)

  81. Argyle Donkeypants says:

    @ Theresa: That was my donkey! She’s put to good use their advice to go for flare-leg jeans to balance out her silhouette (since she’s a little top-heavy).

  82. Leslie (NTA) says:

    @ pyrit
    (“It’s like I said, it’s for your benefit, really” — pats you on the head affectionately.
    ” I just didn’t want the rest of the world to attack you, for your peacefulness”!!!! Remember — not long after 9/11…some airlines determined that Cat Stevens — of the song “Peace Train” & who is now Yusuf Islam …might be a threat to public safety, on their plane; he was on their “watch list” …. So far, they haven’t shown any proof of any connections btw him & Osama B.L. But, you know, ya never can tell ………..)

  83. Leslie (NTA) – Yes, cats are a threat to public safety! Thank goodness the gubment is aware of this.
    I’m just going with the flow, that’s all I know. 🙂 Whee.

  84. For the first time in my life I wanna be a red-and-white stripey cloth bag.

  85. Thank you so much for your help today.
    I posted a little thank you & a pic of Roscoe the most put-upon, unloved and unlucky cat in the world (at least that’s how he feels).

  86. I wish there was one thing that made me that happy.

  87. ima employ some kittehs to sandpaper my parquet floor.

  88. lucy's mommeh says:

    Can’t tell you how happy I am to see that Tabitha (my kitty) is NOT the only one that’s weird abour earplugs.
    Interesting thing is, we tend to find them in the dry food bowl when it needs refilled.

  89. Seven Paws says:

    We own one of those mesmerizing red and white stripey things! (as well as two cigars, a banana and a lemon!)

    What IS it with cats that they yowl the loudest while parading around with just-killed catnip toys? I too thought my boy was having an attack, then I realized he was just bragging about his big game hunting.

  90. Is this cat porn? Shame on you Cuteoverload! Please remove this offensive material. I will cancel my subscription!

    [ *facepaw* – Ed.]

  91. “Binder clips” – interesting. I’ve always called them “alligator clips”. But my first thought with NTMTOM’s description was a stapler.

  92. i’m w/ foxy (comment 81) on the #2. binder clips…. no, wait. stapler. binder clips… no, stapler…. binderstaplerclips. there we go.

    i wonder if kitteh was leeking in its dream or if it was just soooo happy to be leeking it that it closed its eyes.

  93. GIGGLE 😆 Our kitties went ga-ga over small cloth bags full of catnip 😆 I finally opened them up so the kitties could inhale the catnip 😆 Talk about bombed out their furry little minds cats 😆

  94. Tongue closeup!

  95. kibblenibble says:

    This is so Qte. Kitteh looks so blissed out. I read all the comments on the blender kitty post first, before coming here. I recognize more names in this thread, and as usual, their comments are making my day! Thanks, CO friends! ❤

  96. I REALLY LIKE your site, but not only is this taste less, but considering the average IQ of most of the readers (no offense, but do look at the above comments!!) this post is irresponsible. Remember how many cats end up in a washing machine or micro wave? Too many….
    Sure you can say, “ah, people now the difference…” – well people also voted for Bush…

    [I think this satisfies the Godwin requirement. 😛 – Ed.]

    […also, WRONG THREAD, genius – Ed.]

  97. All this talk of ear plugs, reminds me that Sid, one of the Tux Brothers .Seemed to really really enjoy chewing a Q-tip (we call them cotton buds) with my ear wax on it,yum yum yeurg!

  98. I read the most amazing story in a magazine at the doctor’s office. I wish I could remember exactly which mag it was, but it was one of the ladies’ titles, like Good Housekeeping or Ladies’ Home Journal. It was by a woman named Gwen Cooper (who apparently has a book out called “Homer’s Odyssey,” and this was an excerpt). Homer is a blind black cat she adopted as a kitten. He had to have both eyes removed as a result of an infection. She named him Homer after the Greek poet, who also was blind. Anyway, she awakened one night to the sound of Homer growling–which she’d never heard before–and was disoriented at first because she couldn’t find the source of the growling. Then she turned on the bedside lamp…and there was a strange man standing in her bedroom, looking completely gobsmacked because he, too, had no idea what was making that sound. Then when he realized an eyeless black cat was the source, he freaked out. Homer attacked him, leaping at him and scratching and biting, and Cooper called 911. She got the operator on the line and said there was a stranger in her house…but by this time, the intruder gave up on it and took off, Homer in hot pursuit. Homer was not harmed, neither was Cooper, but the story was just incredibly sweet. This has nothing to do with this post, I just wanted to share this with other COers.

  99. CandyCoatedCactus says:

    My cat has one of those too… It’s filled with cat nip =)

  100. @Noelegy, I remember that story, too. She told him, “Homer, eres mucho gato”– “Homer, you’re a lot of cat.” Very moving.

    @Hon Glad, my Dante loves the Q-tips, too– we played fetch with one last night.

  101. @Theresa, Ah but did it have the added piquancy of ear wax on it?

  102. Theresa: Yes! I couldn’t remember the exact quote from the Hemingway story that made her think of that. Of course, anyone who loves cats would not be surprised that they love us in return. There’s an incredible story called “Bast’s Gift” in one of the “Catfantastic” story collections that follows almost along these same lines: a black cat saving his mistress from an intruder.

  103. P.S. The article was accompanied by a photo of Homer with his chin in the air as if to say, “That’s right. I can be bad if I have to be.”

  104. AWWWWW……and they all lived happily ever after……I hope. Lets pray none of the other things catch him!

  105. Glad you all enjoy the photo of Avalanche. She’s a six year old Snow Tiger Siamese. If she weren’t so blissed out, you would see her beautiful blue eyes. Very talkative, smart kitty. Loves sunshine and catnip!

  106. kibblenibble says:

    Noelegy, I loved the story of Homer. Thank you!

  107. The Caption that says Nancy H. Is the owner of this cat, She’s my Aunt.

  108. Hi, Shane! And Avalanche is your beasty-cousin! Love, Aunt Nancy H.