I can always tell when my cat wants to play (which is quite often). I keep his stick with the feathers up on the fireplace mantle and he will sit in front of the fireplace looking up. If I look around the corner he will look at me and meow (in the saddest begging tone) and then immediately look up to the mantle as if he's motioning toward it. It's so cute because he will follow me around the house or sit in one spot waiting and as soon as I make any move in the direction of the living room he makes a beeline to the fireplace. He's so predictable with that.