Our two cats just aren’t interested in the toys we have bought them… they completely ignore the tiny balls with bells, the green plush sneaker and even the little squeaky chicken hatching out of the egg.

They showed some interest in a small plastic bottle with beans inside, a small paper cup, and a large piece of crisp, crumpled paper… but just for a few minutes.

There is, however, one toy they both think is ALWAYS very fun and exciting…

… this is the simple toy I made for them using two spools, some knots, and a short piece of rope. It helps that the spools are hard plastic and make an interesting clanking noise when they knock together and that the rope is thick and soft and very flexible. Our older cat lies on her side or back, holds the rope in one paw, and bats at the spools with the other. The younger cat kicks the spools and rope ahead of her and pounces on them.

Our two dogs also aren’t interested in their “doggie toys”… even though they are all specially sized for their small mouths. Actually, our older dog almost never plays with toys at all… when she was a puppy she occasionally played with a dental floss box :o) … but now she prefers to race and run and jump and climb on things.

Our younger dog does have a favorite toy… this is her beloved “sock toy”… a complicated project that involves taking a clean, orphaned sock and tying it tightly in knots. (Knots feature big in the toys I make! :o)) She carries her current sock toy around with her most of the time, tossing it in the air and chasing it over and over again. She takes her sock toy to bed with her each night and even brings it with her when she sits on someone’s lap. Any sock toy becomes even more exciting when it has just come from the washer and dryer.

Obviously all four of them are minimalists!