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GET YOUR COUCH POTATO CAT (AND YOURSELF) OFF THE COUCH

 GET YOUR COUCH POTATO CAT (AND YOURSELF) OFF THE COUCH
 BOTHELL, Wash., July 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Don't let your kitty sink into lethargy! "Doris Dingle's Crafty Cat Activity Book" (Alaska Northwest Books, $12.95), a collection of more than 60 feline-tested games, toys and activities, shows you and your furry friend how to have fun and get exercise simultaneously. Even fat, lazy cats will love these games:
 Shoe Box Ride: Attach a string to the front of a sturdy box and you're ready. Put kitty inside and pull her slowly until she's got the hang of it. Variations include:
 -- Smooth or Bumpy Rug Ride: Pull kitty 'round and 'round on a big rug until you both get dizzy. Then bunch up the rug or hide something thick under it for a bumpy ride. For noise, pull her on a smooth floor -- the grittier the better.
 -- Tipsy Ride: This is reckless driving, very fast, ending with a crash or an overturned vehicle. Kittens love it, but mature cats find it incredibly stupid.
 -- Bath Tub Jai Alai: All you need is a small, hard rubber ball and a clean, dry bathtub (plug in place). Put kitty in the tub. Then said "Jai Alai!" and give the ball a gentle roll up the side of the tub. Once he starts batting it around, you just sit near the plug and keep the ball in play.
 Fun and Games in Bed: Here are some tried and true bed games:
 -- Hills & Dales: Make hills and dales by getting under the covers and putting your knees up. Once kitty clambers to the top, spread your knees apart to create a dale. Do it quickly and he'll come crashing down. Or collapse your knees just before kitty makes contact. "This baffles and bemuses them, which is stimulating if you're a cat," said Doris.
 -- Pounce: Wiggle your fingers under the blanket and, when your cat pounces, fling the blankets over her, giving her a good tumble and tickling. Proper pusses are not in the least amused by it.
 Foilball-off-the-wall: Mush aluminum foil into a ball, go to the bottom of the stairs and put kitty at the top. Bounce the foilball against the wall about two steps in front of him. Once he starts chasing it around, you can sit back until it lands at the bottom. Just toss it back up to start the game over.
 Balloon Games: Balloon games are not for cats or people with bad nerves, because every game ends with a bang.
 -- Bat the Balloon: The gentlest of games -- you and puss take turns batting the balloon as it bounces off a wall.
 -- Hide the Balloon: Too silly for grownup cats, but kittens love it. Hide a blown-up balloon under a coat or blanket. They'll inspect it, then bat it, then attack it to make a big bang -- a perfect excuse to flash their bottle brush tails and run up the drapes.
 "Doris Dingle's Crafty Cat Activity Book" provides patterns and directions for enticing toys, like Gordy Garter Snake, Dum Dum Dog and the Sock Ness Monster, all made from household odds and ends like nylons, cellophane, yarn and pistachio shells. You'll also find advice on hobbies and interests to pursue together, like growing catnip, reading the newspaper and watching TV. (According to Doris, cats are bored by news programs and rock videos, but they love wildlife shows and hockey.)
 With these toys and games, you and your favorite feline can turn those quiet hours at home into fun-filled aerobic romps. Who knows, your cat may even be inspired to play while you're away. "Doris Dingle's Crafty Cat Activity Book: Games, Toys & Hobbies to Keep Your Cat's Mind Active" ($12.95, Alaska Northwest Books|TM~), by Helen Levchuk, with illustrations by John Bianchi, is available at most fine book stores, or call the publisher toll free at 800-343-4567 ext. 719.
 -0- 7/29/92
 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Helen Levchuk (also known as Doris Dingle) is available for interviews. Also, black-and-white photos of the book cover and illustrations from the book are available. Call Margaret Liddiard at Alaska Northwest Books.
 /CONTACT: Margaret Liddiard of Alaska Northwest Books, 800-331-3510 or 206-487-6175/ CO: Alaska Northwest Books ST: Washington IN: SU:


SM -- NYPFNS3 -- 4380 07/29/92 06:48 EDT
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Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Date:Jul 29, 1992
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