About three weeks ago I noticed that every late afternoon into the evening, Jasper was showing interest in a corner in the kitchen, the corner between the dishwasher and the stove. There's a small stick vacuum cleaner leaning against the counter in front of the dishwasher, and a round library kick-stool in the corner. And Jasper would crouch there, ears up, tail flicking, for an hour or two or three, until he'd lose interest.
About two weeks ago I found out what was attracting his interest. It's a cricket, a small black cricket. It's probably female, because it doesn't "sing". It never strays from that corner of the kitchen, stays in a 4' by 4' square which extends to under the Nugget's play table.
Jasper watches it intensely, chases it and bats at it when it moves, stares at the stove, or stool, or dishwasher when it hides under one of them, and scrabbles after it when it dares to go as far as Nugget's table.
I'm surprised that it has stayed in that corner. I'm surprised that Jasper hasn't caught it. I'm surprised that it has lived this long. I don't mind it as long as it stays in the kitchen. In fact, I often feel guilty that poor Jasper doesn't get enough physical or mental exercise (older cats tend to lose interest in toys once they figure out how they work), so I'm grateful to the cricket.
If the cricket ever disappears, I think maybe I'll buy Jasper another cricket from a pet shop - they stock them for feeding lizards and stuff - if there's any way I can be assured of getting a female (quiet) one.
Only problem is, how do I make it stay in the kitchen?