It used to be bright orange and squeak. It was Frieda’s favorite toy. Actually her only toy. Before I got it for her, Frieda didn’t play. She was probably with me for a year when I found she was taken with the squeak. I didn’t know till later that the noise got her going because it stimulated her hunting instincts. And her playing was more like stalking and killing. But it didn’t matter, I love to see her flip that ball with feet into the air, her tail doing a slow wag (I saw her do the same to a skunk one time), like she was finally having some fun.
It’s hard to believe that toy lasted so long. It’s a dirty non-color by now and the squeak is long gone. ( I got Frieda many other toys, that squeaked and none of them lasted). But Frieda still loved to play with it, even when she could hardly get up the stairs anymore.
This morning I looked out my studio window and saw Fate picking up Frieda’s toy by its feet, tossing it in the air and chasing it. Fate recently discovered the dog in her that likes to chase a chipmunk or try to flush anything out of the tall grasses by hopping around like a bunny. So it makes sense that Frieda’s toy would suddenly entice her. But I also like to believe that Fate has a bit of Frieda’s spirit in her. Not the killing or running off part. But maybe just a touch of her wild nature.