Cat and Mouse

Playing Cat and Mouse

Cat and Mouse is a game of strategy, strength and balance. It is played by two players at a time. It can be played on land as described below, but the voyageurs often played the game in the canoes.

Each player (an avant), would be located in the bow of the canoe. They would balance on the gunwales or edges of the canoe. A long rope stretched between them. At the count of three, each would quickly gather up the slack in the rope and attempt to draw the other off balance and into the water. They could do this by pulling on the rope or letting go of some slack unexpectedly when their opponent pulled on the other end.
White Oak 2010 Water Games
Here’s how to play the game on land. For equipment you need two wooden stumps, boxes or other objects you can stand on. They do not need to be very tall, just 12 to 18 inches high. The stumps need to be 10 to 12 feet apart. You also need a length of thick rope that is approximately twice as long as the distance between the stumps.

Each player stands on top of one of the stumps and grasps an end of the rope with all the slack lying between them. The object of the game is to force your opponent to fall off the stump by pulling him or her off with the rope or by tricking him into falling off by losing his or her balance when he pulls on the rope.

At a count of 3, each player begins to use the rope to try to gain an advantage over the other player. You can quickly pull on the rope, gathering up the slack until your opponent has only an end to hold on to and then try to yank him or her off balance. But be careful. If your opponent suddenly yanks on the rope while you are pulling, you could find yourself on the ground. If your opponent is faster in pulling up the slack, he or she will have more rope to play with in the back and forth tug of war that usually occurs. He or she can let out a little rope or even a great deal to throw you off balance when you are pulling. Or, he or she can hold on to the rope and allow you to tug hard and then suddenly let go.

A good cat and mouse player is always planning and working a strategy. You must use a variety of techniques, otherwise other players will quickly learn how to catch you off guard and pull you off the stump.