Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Mac Steals Pepe’s Box AGAIN!

Macaroni is famous for her brat attacks. Nearly every night, she chases Pepe off the human’s pillow. She spends at most 5 minutes there, then goes off to find other mischief. Meanwhile, Pepe has lost the comfy spot he’d held for several hours and the human has been woken from her sleep. Mac also is famous for chasing Corky out of his kitty bed only to walk away and not even lie down in it. And she chases the Tiger Babies away anytime they dare get near her or happen to be laying in a spot she decides she wants. Why the bigger cats let the Merkitty boss them around and chase them from their rightful places is anyone’s guess. Another thing Mac is famous for is stealing whatever box Pepe happens to currently be favoring. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big box or a small one. If Pepe plays or sleeps in it, Mac steals it from him. In disgust, Pepe plops himself down right next to the box that Mac is illegally occupying and waits for her to get up and leave.

(c) Copyright 2023, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Happy 8th Anniversary Corky & Pepe

Eight years ago today, Corky and Pepe were walked in cat carriers from their old home next door to their new home when their former human had to move and couldn’t take them with her.

Those first few weeks with the bonded trio of Caesar, Mac, and Fireball were not fun for anyone but, eventually, d├ętente prevailed. Caesar was simply not going to put up with bad behavior — not from his crew and not from the brothers.

Now, the Corkster and the Pepster are the elders and having to deal with the striped interlopers from outside. Pepe has opted to play the role of the grumpy old grandfather who has no patience for tiger baby neediness. And Corky has a new life chasing and being chased by the little tiger bandits.

Happy birthday Duo!

(c) Copyright 2023, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Shahjah’s Turn at the Vet

Just as Shah Jahan was starting to trust the human again after his scary visit to the vet for a checkup and shots in late November, and after seeing his sister Mumtaz incarcerated in the bedroom for a week in early January, the bad human trapped him in the bedroom and off to the vet he went the next day for neutering.

Poor little guy was so scared but he came through the procedure with flying colors. He only required 2 days in kitty prison for recovery before he was freed. Since then, he and Taz Bird have terrorized the household and kept the silly human in stitches as the Tiger Babies get into one thing after another.

(c) Copyright 2023, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Telling the Human You Disapproved of the Food Offering

The human is clumsy and stupid, doesn’t understand cat speak, and can’t purr to save herself. Worse, she often leaves a lousy food offering for her masters. Since the 2-legged doesn’t understand when the cats try to explain to her that they don’t like their food, the best way is to show her by leaving a toy mouse or two in the bowl. <<<Food not even fit for a (toy) mouse!>>>

(c) Copyright 2023, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Taz’ Very-Bad, Awful Week

Back in early January, poor little Mumtaz (left) was having a grand time running around like a manic inside the house, which turns out to be loads more fun than the (formerly great) outdoors. Taz Bird was chasing her biological brother and main squeeze, Shah Jahan (right), as well as Corky and Fireball, often tackling the bigger males and knocking them to the ground. (She’s a force of nature when she gets wound up.) And at 4 am one morning, she started making noises that — to the evil human’s ears — sounded like she was in heat…weeks ahead of time and weeks before her spaying surgery was scheduled. Worse, she had her butt in the air and the still-intact Shahjah was sauntering down the hallway with a grin on his face. When Taz went to relieve herself in the litterbox in the guest bedroom, the very bad human pulled the door shut and trapped her. That was early Sunday morning.

On Monday morning, the evil human brought her to the vet to get her second distemper shot and learned that they could squeeze little Mumtaz in on Wednesday for her spay surgery, so back to the locked bedroom went a very angry Taz. When Wednesday came, off to the vet she went again. When she woke up, fur was missing from her belly and she felt awful. Back to kitty prison once again she went. Worse, she had to have painkiller administered several times/day by the evil human, which did not endear the 2-legged to Miss Fierceness.

When one cat is locked up in the bedroom, the other cats have a sweet habit of bringing toy mice upstairs from the toy boxes and leaving them lined up outside the door. Taz was a prisoner for more than a week, so over that time a lot of little mice were deposited beside the door for her. It’s the kitty equivalent of get well cards and balloons or flowers.

When she was finally freed, off she went. Since then, she doesn’t let the evil human get too close. Clearly, that 2-legged creature is not to be trusted under any circumstances.

(c) Copyright 2023, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Happy 11th Anniversary Mac & Fireball

Eleven years ago this afternoon, Caesar, Macaroni, and Fireball crossed the threshold into this house for the first time. (Thank you Kim!) While we lost dear Caesar a year and a half ago, Mac still rules the roost and Fireball has transformed from the little kitty brother who followed Caesar around and mimicked everything he did to now mentoring the Tiger Babies and teaching them how to be proper cats (and proper tigers). When not bossing around the 2-legged or other 4-leggeds, Mac and Fireball are still the best of cuddle buddies. Happy anniversary kitties!

(c) Copyright 2023, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Crazy Tiger Babies

There is much to report about the crazy tiger babies that the evil human brought into the house in late November. However, that same human has been working long hours 7 days/week with almost no break, and she’s quite behind in her postings — which, it must be said, does not please her masters.

Nonetheless, to give you a sense of how Mumtaz Mahal (Taz Bird) and Shah Jahan (Shaja) have enlivened this household, we present two images. The first is a newly opened 20-pound/9-kilogram bag of sunflower seeds that the human found tipped over on the kitchen floor early the other morning. (The kittens weigh 7 and 9 pounds/3 and 4 kilos, respectively.) See the little kitty tracks in the seeds? While no real harm was done, it took the 2-legged 15 minutes to clean up the floor before kitty breakfasts could be served, which also displeased the masters.

Then, this morning, the human came downstairs and found that someone had knocked over her rolled up yoga mat onto the floor and then caused the mat to unroll. Do you suppose the 4-leggeds are suggesting the human get back to practicing her yoga again? (Note that Mac is there watching things, not that we suspect her.)

(c) Copyright 2023, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

The Mighty Mushroom or What to do When Your Cats are Engineers

Another really cool gift Sandy Claws brought the kitties was a multifunctional mushroom-shaped play center. As designed, the unit is predominantly made of unvarnished wood — some of it covered with a sisal scratching surface. The bottom-most disc is grooved and, together with the next disc, holds several large plastic balls with bells that can be rolled around inside the groove. Balls can be accessed both from the side and through a series of large holes on the upper disc. That large upper disc also is grooved on the top surface. When combined with two smaller discs, it holds a series of 5 small wooden balls. A central spindle provides a tough sisal scratching surface, and the large cap also is covered with sisal, providing yet another tough scratching surface. There’s even a pom-pom that hangs down on a string from the top, which is what Pepe is beating on in the image above.

It only took a few hours the first evening for the kitties to figure out how to tip the mushroom over on its side and pop the 2 large balls out of holes from the top of the second large disc. Where those balls have gone is anyone’s guess. Also missing are 2 of the 5 small wooden balls. The human really did crank the whole assembly down pretty tight with the supplied Allen wrench — not enough that it hindered movement of the balls, but it certainly should have been tight enough to keep the cats from popping over half the balls out of the assembly. The human tried adding some additional big balls, but the replacements have also disappeared.

Despite the fact that only 3 small wooden balls currently remain in the system, the cats — especially Mac (shown above) and the Terrible Twins — really enjoying sharpening their claws on the sisal scratching surface. And occasionally, someone will knock the remaining 3 small wooden balls around inside their discs. Thanks, M&J!

(c) Copyright 2023, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Cold Weather Cuddles

In addition to hiding out from the Tiger Babies, Mac and Fireball stay warm and cozy by being cuddle buddies. Note that even in sleep, there is paw dangling going on.

(c) Copyright 2023, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Mac Steals Pepe’s Box (Again!)

Maybe it’s a tuxedo cat thing?

Nah, it’s a pure brat cat move by the Merkitty.

Fortunately, Pepe eventually recovered his property.

(c) Copyright 2023, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Sandy Claws brings Kitties a Stocking (Tunnel)

Those fortunate kitties received three fun toys from Sandy Claws this holiday. Their first was a large Christmas stocking tunnel made with crackly fabric that Pepe had to try out right after inspecting the box it arrived in (just to the left).

Goofy Boy began by checking out the secondary escape hatch. After studying it for a minute, he stuck his head and neck inside.

Then he pulled out and stuck his paw in. Always the paw…

Next, he came around to the front of the toy to check it out.

After a quick sniff, he stuck his head and neck in this end. More of him fit this time, but clearly not all of him did. (He’s a big boy.) He pulled out and discovered the two dangling balls hanging down. It’s hard to see in this shot, but he batting them wildly with his right paw.

Every few days, the human sees him walk by the toy and stop to bat those balls. He sure is intrigued with the dangling toys, one of which has a bell and tinkles when he hits it. Many thanks to JC for the gift!

(c) Copyright 2023, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

What do You Think About…?

<<<What do you think about the annoying and noisy youngsters the human brought into our home?>>>

<<<She never asked, although I clearly expressed my displeasure every chance I got. You really can’t trust humans. They need constant supervision.>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Kitten Avoidance Strategy (KAS)

The Tiger Babies have yet to be brave enough to climb up onto the big bed despite having explored (and wrecked havoc) on nearly every other area of the house. Still, while the Terrible Twins don’t venture here, The Foursome is taking advantage and getting some shuteye.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Tiger Babies Settle in

The tiger babies are settling in and even have names now. The male is Shah Jahan and the female is Mumtaz Mahal. Although you see only one face, this image shows both kitties in one of the kitty beds. That’s Jahan looking very grumpy. He looks remarkably like Caesar, who also made faces at the human to show his displeasure.

Fortunately, while Mac and Pepe still occasionally hiss when the babies run up to them and try to make friends, no blood has been shed, no limbs have been shorn off, and a great amount of silliness has ensued. In the nearly 30 years the human has lived here, there have been no kittens, at least none this young and energetic. Winter promises to be a lot of fun this year.

Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

The Evilness of Humans – Part 2

A feral female started bringing her 3 kittens by this spring. She’d eat, nurse them, rest, and then the whole crew would depart. After a few weeks, she started leaving the kittens to play on the deck all day. They scrambled up the human’s plant stands knocking pots off all over the place, then shimmied up the trunk of the ficus tree and cuffed each other. They pulled clotheslines down and dragged them into the yard (including into poison ivy, which the human is very sensitive to), and they gladly chased toys in which the indoor kitties had never shown interest. By early summer, the mother abandoned her kittens, who have spent the time growing fat and silly on the deck outside.

The human waged a slow and patient campaign to tame the kittens so she could capture them and find them a new home. Unfortunately, she got rather attached to the two that remain, and they had gotten fairly comfortable with her, nuzzling her hand, letting her pet them, and even venturing inside the kitchen. Three of the 4 inside kitties had come nose-to-nose with the interlopers. After several unsuccessful attempts, the human finally captured them 3 days before they were due to go to the vets for their checkup, initial shots, and bloodwork to check that they were kitty AIDs and leukemia free. They were. They have since been mixing with the foursome, who cannot understand what the crazy human was thinking about bringing babies into this household.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Oh Human, What have You Done?

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

A Gift for the Distracted Human

Fireball hopped up on the bed for one of his many short visits and lay down on top of the human, who was reading. She petted him in a distracted manner and then went back her book as the Little Red Bee proceeded to roll his head, lick her hand and fingers, and mix on the lumpy human furniture. Then he was gone in a flash. It was only after Fireball had departed and the human moved and heard a strange rattle that she looked and found that he’d left one of his toy mice behind when he departed. Such a thoughtful little boy.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Cold-Weather Cuddles

It’s been pretty chilly of late and the human has been leaving the far-infrared heated mattress pad on all day for the kitties and all night for herself. When you combine that penetrating heat with the soft pink puff, it’s kitty heaven as Fireball and Mac recently demonstrated.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Tummy Tuck

Corky has rules — a lot of rules — and one of them is that the human is NOT allowed to touch his tummy.

Now, mind you, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t regularly roll up on his back and show his soft white tummy to the human.

It just means the human is in a “look but don’t touch” sort of situation and must be on her best behavior.

Recently, as the 2-legged was trying to make her way from her office to the kitchen, an energetic Corky was trotting a few paces in front of the human’s feet. He flopped down on the floor and started rolling around.

Shockingly, the human was allowed to approach and pet his tum tum. She’s happy to report that it’s as soft as it looks.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Outsmarted by the Merkitty Once Again

Let’s be honest and acknowledge that the human isn’t very bright — not compared with the kitties. Still, it has taken the Merkitty a year to figure out a way to flood the floor since the human switched to the heavy, straight-sided water bowl in the kitchen. While the Little Mischief quickly learned to climb up on the lip of the bowl and stick both forepaws in the water (and taught Pepe to do the same), when she scooped water up in her paws and attempted to toss it out of the bowl, the tall straight sides of the ceramic crock frustrated her efforts. The human would walk by and note the multitude of water droplets still clinging to the inside walls of the container and chuckle under her breath. The Merkitty clearly heard and finally has figured out a way to get revenge.

The human isn’t sure if the reason she’s been outsmarted is that she’s gotten overconfident and started filling the water level up higher or if the Watery One modified her scoop & toss technique. Regardless of how she’s doing it, she’s been flooding both the boot tray with dish-drying mat as well as the kitchen floor multiple times every day during the past week. In fact, just to rub it in, after a flooding session, she seeks out the human seated at her computer typing away frantically and hops up on the desk surface, forcing the human to move her keyboard out of the way. Then she head butts things off the desk while standing there with soaking wet paws and at least one foreleg wet all the way from toes to chest and shoulder. She is such a Merkitty!

The human is not sure what strategy to adopt next but she really does need to focus on solving the problem, as Miss Macaroni will not stop her mischief. Still, this has been the longest period of time the human has managed to outsmart the little monster, so at least the 2-legged has that going for her.

It is possible to outsmart a cat, at least for a little while. <<<Don’t let me hear you say or even think things like that!>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.