Bonjour à tous et à toutes. Haricot Blanc, le blogging French cat here once again.
On my mind today are TOYS (intentionally writ large) and especially the shape, size and sheer variety provided, all in the name of keeping me entertained.
After all toys maketh the cat, do they not?
A veritable industry has blossomed to keep us occupied, and dare I say it, one totally unfounded on what we all know we really want and need.
Sure it's lovely to have the odd plaything bought for us, and when I first took up residence here in Fontainebleau at the end of June, one thing in particular struck me about the welcome I received.
I was inundated with a selection of toys the comfy laps had decided were to provide the basis of my "favourite things".
They had clearly raided the local pet store in anticipation of my arrival.
Let loose among the shelves, they had tried to buy a selection of the cutest, most chewable and enticingly dangly knickknacks and playthings that would keep me forever enthralled.
Hah! Perhaps they hadn't realised I have the attention span of a goldfish.
That said, while I'm not going to gripe about the toys (too much) some of them quite honestly defy belief...even to a three-month-old kitten.
There's a little grey hedgehog (er hello, have cat toy manufacturers ever seen a grey hedgehog?) with a pull-out tail (ditto) to make it zip across the floor with me in hot pursuit.
Similarly preposterous is the pink bear equally sporting the extendable tail that retracts once at full length.
A blue hippo (of all things) with an incredibly long tail is regularly proffered to lure me into chasing around in circles to tire me out. I have to admit that I succumb whenever it's waved in front of me.
And then there's a vitiman-packed, green-olive scented scratch post welcomely promising "attraction maximale" (I don't think I need to translate) to prevent me from sharpening my claws where I shouldn't.
All very well-meaning and certainly I have got some use out of all the gifts. But let's face it - and here's the crux of the matter - comfy laps just don't get it do they?
I mean, had they asked me what I really wanted the list would have included the following...and not an extra penny (or centime as we say here) would have had to be spent in the first place.
For starters, I love to get my teeth into the inside of a toilet roll - the cardboard bit.
It's just right for flicking out of the bin in the bathroom, grasping it in my mouth and then parading around the house with.
Better still of course is a whole toilet roll just waiting to be shredded. All right, I know I shouldn't. But it's soooo tempting just sitting there, waiting.
Waste paper bins in general are a toy treasure trove especially the one in the study.
It's full of paper and makes fabulous rustling noises when I leap inside and tip the contents on to the floor.
Perhaps it makes a little mess, but at least it gives the comfy laps something constructive to do as they clear up in my wake.
Shoes, slippers and laces - I've mentioned those before. But honestly, I just can't get enough of them. And there seem to be so many lying around just waiting.
Then of course there's that thing that at the end of my bottom. It has been there since I was born, and even though I know it's there, I still end up chasing around in circles trying to catch it.
Not really sure why.
Because I can I suppose.
So you see. I've only mentioned a few of my really "favourite toys" and already I've provided proof that most of the things I find fascinating are pretty inexpensive (running to "free" much of the time), available and provide hours...I mean hours of fun.
I'm sure I'm not alone.
Now where's that ridiculous blue hippo?