Sunday, July 11, 2004

Kitten Soccer

Kitten soccer is simple; a ball is put in play, and the first feline player to reach it bats it. The ball tends to take off, like a prey, so the players hunt it down again and take another swing. Advanced players can dribble the ball between their paws, and if the ball doesn't get away it will sometimes be used as a punching dummy for Cat Fu kata.

Kitten soccer does require a regulation ball. A variety six pack of toy balls include belled whiffle balls, solid rubber balls, textured hard plastic balls with small rattles and others. However, the only ball which meets the needs of kitten soccer is the basic ping pong ball. That's because it is the lightest of the bunch, giving both horizontal and vertical lively movement.

The kitten farm now has something on the order of a dozen psychedelic ping pong balls, all but one hidden from human view and mostly out of kitten paw reach. That's because when playing kitten soccer the Bleacher Bums knock them around like the Red Sox taking batting practice -- not many stay in the park.

In fact, most kitten soccer games are started by a human groundskeeper/referee who has gone searching for lost balls and puts one in play. Likewise, the game ends when either the feline players lose interest (likely if the ball is not regulation) or the ball has gone into foul territory where the cats can't (or won't) retrieve it.

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