Ella sits and stares at spots on the floor. She’s waiting for something to move, something to pounce on and demolish.

But then, Ella just isn’t really that kind of cat. She’s delicate. She’s as unaggressive as a cat has ever been. Her idea of ‘attack’ entails rushing up to the object to be attacked, come to a sudden halt, swat gently at the item and give it a tiny sniff. That’s it, but to her, it is all out war to the best of her nature and ability.

And all this on her own time and choice. She’s not interacting with me or Wilma, she’s not playing with other cats. She independently romps and frolics on her own.

But occasionally, she finds ways to let us know that it is OUR turn to join in on the fun. Sometimes all it takes is for one of us to enter the room, at which point she scampers as quickly as she can and places herself next to the toy she would like to play with.

(Side note: Ella doesn’t really scamper. She’s the only cat in the world I know that actually gallops. She has a way of propelling herself across a surface that produces that ‘clippity clop; sound that comes with that strange canter she uses. The vet told us she may have broken a leg wherever she was before we picked her up at the animal rescue facility…in any case, it doesn’t bother her, and it certainly entertains us.)

Her toys? There are the usual ones that every cat owner has purchased for their loved one. Toy mice with short leather tails are her targets many times, but it doesn’t take long for her to bat them around the house and lose them under the piano, the TV center or the hutch. (I might also add at this point that I think Ella may have Canadian roots, because when she bats these critters around the floor, I swear she’s using the same sticking skills as seen by the best hockey players in the world.)

Then there are the toys adorned with feathers. She seems to let these alone for a while, but then she rediscovers them and goes at them with as much energy and gallop as she does with the mice.

Stringy toys are also in her box. There’s a black plastic whiplike toy with feathers on the end that she’s worn out, so we replaced the feathers with ribbon, which work just as well for her. We’ve also rigged up an ice fishing rod with a small piece of feather and a mouse that we use to entice her into play.

But her ultimate toy is one that cost us absolutely nothing at all. It is a piece of blue shoelace, about thirty inches long. Just twirl that item in her reach and she goes so very nuts! She will wrestle it, chew it and pay it mercilessly. One of my favorite things to do with it involves putting it under a rug, one end sticking out one side of the rug, and me pulling it under the rug with the other end. She does her ‘attack’ as I’ve described before and will often grab the end of the lace just as it is about to disappear under the rug, giving it a good tug, pulling back six inches worth. She throws me a look with her pretty cat eyes that say, “I got this one, man. Back off.”

Then there’s her wrestling with me. When she’s in the mood, she will attack my hand – she’s declawed, so there’s no danger there, but she will slap my hand silly with her paws – Wilma and I think she’s ambidextrous – she can whap us equally with either paw. Also, as we wrestle, she never bites, but she closes her mouth enough so I can feel her teeth – she’s never punctured my skin, as our other cats have.

Ella is a playful cat – a gentle cat when she plays with us, but has her own girlish style when she’s playing on her own.

She’s a good member of the family.