Our 18-year old Temi has a new interest these days. On windy days she likes to go out into the backyard to hunt. And when she catches something, she brings it into the house and drops it on the floor while meowing for her kittens to come over. In Cat Watching, Desmond Morris explains that this is what mother cats do to teach their kittens how to handle and kill a prey animal.
The problem in the case of Temi is that she doesn't have kittens and she only chases and catches the leaves getting blown around in the wind.
Is she getting senile? Does she really think the leaf is an animal that she caught? The BBC reported last week that cats can suffer from a feline form of Alzheimer's disease. Temi, however, doesn't seem to have developed any peculiar behaviors; she still responds to her name, recognizes us, remembers where her litter box, food and water bowls are. And despite her advanced age, she is still in good shape—you should see the way she goes after the leaves.
I am guessing that this is just a new game she has invented to make the best of her golden years.