Wednesday, March 30, 2011

FEI World Cup Show Jumping...Cat Style

About two weeks ago I came across this video on a blog I like, Behind the Bit.  I sat at my desk (of course this was not during working hours! wink wink.) in absolute shock before I burst out laughing.  I don't think any horse loving little girl in possession of a long suffering pet has not tried to make them into a surrogate show pony.  I do know that no one I know was as successful as the owner of this cat!

I had to share this with my kids as soon as they came home from school.  We laughed like loons and then my son and I went off to make dinner.  My daughter disappeared for a bit, then reappeared at the bottom of the stairs with an armful of Breyer jumps and fencing.  She proceeded to create a jump field that prevented any motion from the kitchen into any other room in the house.  The cats, trusting and apparently completely unable to see where this was going, watched with interest.

Upon completing construction, she turned to grab Mo, who promptly put two and two together and vacated the premises.  Dreidel, slower of foot and brain, didn't move quickly enough and was immediately and unwillingly pressed into service.  Sophie's first attempts to induce Dreidel to jump were passive and mostly involved cajoling, encouraging hand gestures, and petting.            

These inducements did not result in the desired behavior, so Sophie moved to Plan B - bribes.  Soph grabbed a bag of cat treats from the pantry. Dre was unmoved and unimpressed.  My husband had gotten a bag of the wrong treats; our discriminating kitties prefer Pounce

On to Plan C...the hands-on method.  Dreidel found his zaftig frame hoisted and gently "encouraged" to jump over the fences.  Dre made it over obstacle #1 and promptly dropped to the floor and rolled over on his back, offering his big, fuzzy belly for a scratch.  Definitely reminded me of my horse's philosophy that jumps are clearly just obstacles that need to be negotiated before treats are handed out.  Soph picked the prostrate cat up and pointed him at fence number two, with similar results. 

At this point my son and I had abandoned dinner and were watching the proceedings with varied levels of hilarity. Soph was less than pleased with us, and she let go of the cat so she could better deliver a crushing set-down.  Dreidel took that opportunity to abandon all pretense of activity and pass out in the middle of the combination.

Would this be considered a refusal?


  1. So funny. Thanks for sharing this

  2. I was stifling my laughter at work. That was so cute.

    I have taught my cat to jump with clicker training, but he isn't near as good as Lukas. he will only jump one jump at a time.

    My dog, though, will jump several jumps in a row. It's about the only thing she does really well. My cat just watches her like she is nuts.