I often hear people comment on a cat's unexplained behavior with, "They are a cat!" I assume that no further explanation is needed as if knowing they are a cat answers everything. Point in fact, after several days of splashing and digging in his pool, a couple of the volunteers asked me to talk with TJ, one of the newly rescued tigers, what was behind this "silly" behavior.
The timing was perfect, as TJ demonstrated this behavior when I started talking with him. "It's dirty," TJ pronounced as I asked him if he was having fun. "It's hard work pawing all of this dirt," he replied. "It doesn't look like hard work TJ," I responded as I continued to laugh. "There's one spot that is bothering me, and I am cleaning it." I thought for a moment, forgetting they can read your mind, wondering how much water was going to be left by the time he cleaned the spot.
He suddenly quit and looked up at me. He put his left paw in first, then his right paw followed by his entire body. He walked around in his pool several times and stopped. Then, as quick as a cat can move, he started "digging" again, leveraging his front paws with his strong back legs as the water flew everywhere. Waves of water were rocking back and forth when he looked back at me and said, "Done." With that, he flipped his tail up and jumped out of his pool. As I stood shaking my head, one of the volunteers came up from behind and asked me if I had talked with TJ. Yes, I had talked with TJ and found that he has a neat streak and doesn't like his pool dirty. Another thing a cat can do...pool cleaning services.