Usually it’s Frodi enticing Kato to play by “Doing the Noise” The “Noise” can entice even the most moody aloof Kato to play. It’s a play growl, a deep, husky, low rurrrrr-rurrr noise. Kato can’t resist it, cocks her head from side to side, then on about the 4th or 5th rurrrrr will go over to him mesmerised by this sound. She either does a floorboard shaking play bow, or pokes him with her nose and then makes herself very tall.
Frodi is fast, nippy and very flexible. He darts up, over, around and under Kato. He does pause so she can thump him to give her the impression of winning. He allows himself to be turned upside down and clocked round the chops with one of her big paws. There is a “no-tails” rule. If a tail gets accidentally trapped or trodden on, there is a squeak and the game ends.
Frodi’s other special move is the Mobile Back Rub. He lies on his back and scritches, moving around the room as he does. This is accompanied by a comical ing-ing-ing noise. It doesn’t work on Kato but rarely fails to get humans attention.
Since the tumour was removed and histamine overload controlled, Kato has re-found some of her energy. We are aware that this is a honeymoon recovery and things could turn at anytime for Kato. Kato currently couldn’t be acting less poorly. Frodi has the weary look of a husband whose wife is on HRT and is demanding attention. When Kato wants to play, she wants to play NOW.
Kato only plays if she is under the illusion that she is winning. If for one second she suspects that the canny Frodster is actually prevailing, she loses interest and wanders off. And this, I think, has to be our approach to the twilight of her life, if Kato isn’t winning, then she would rather just not play.