You can tell that the frenzy of busyness of late has eased off, because I once again have time to mess with the cat. I've been preoccupied with a million things lately, and Toby has gotten off very easy, so now we can return to normal.
I've discovered that I can get Toby to do what we call "The Phantom Scratch" almost on command, and it amuses all of us no end. Usually you can render Toby immobile with delight, simply by getting his ear between your thumb and forefinger, and rubbing firmly betwixt the two. He leans his head back and closes his eyes and swoons. It's like he's just been given a shot of morphine or something.
But recently, we've discovered that if you put your finger and thumb way lower down into his ear, not only is he overwhelmed with bliss, he slowly begins to bring up his back paw towards that ear, and starts batting away at the air, as if to scratch his head, which he is nowhere near. This can go on for ages, me rubbing, him waving his paw around in mid-air, like a crazed, furry orchestra conductor.
He seems oblivious to the hoots and laughter around him, until I stop rubbing, and then he fixes me with a malevolent, slitty-eyed glare, part fury and part self-loathing. I did it time after time yesterday, because I really didn't have anything more meaningful that was pressing, and I was entertained mightily each time.
I think Toby preferred it when I was otherwise occupied, and I didn't have time to devote to shredding his dignity. But I didn't.