Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Soggy Fur

See that adorable paw? It’s soaking wet. So is the foreleg to which it is attached. In fact, the leg is damp all the way to the shoulder. Same deal with the other foot…leg…shoulder.

Why is this significant? It means the Merkitty has been swimming in the downstairs water bowl again…or, if not swimming, then definitely wading in her splash pool.

See that smirk? It’s the look of supreme satisfaction when the human realizes you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing.

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

Emergence

The human walked by and glanced in the other bedroom. Her peripheral vision picked up a bit of color where there shouldn’t be any. A kitty was curled up on his/her side in the white dome-shaped kitty bed with his/her head at the edge of the “door.”

Fortunately, the human had her camera handy and started taking pictures as she walked closer to investigate. The kitty was instantly alerted because humans are noisy herd animals.

The kitty in the kitty bed was no other than the Pepster. He looks a bit large for that kitty bed, but apparently he fits quite nicely when curled up inside, as it’s become one of his favorites of late.

At first he looked a bit sleepy, with heavily lidded eyes, but then his eyes opened wide and he was fully alert, planning his escape should the human be carrying something evil like medication. (She was not.)

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

Miner

The Merkitty has been feeling very fine indeed of late. As a consequence, she’s had an unusually large number of zoomie sessions. One of the many crazy things she does is leap into the big pink puff and spin around chasing her own tail. (She’s 11 or 12 years old, so not exactly a kitten.) And lately, the Girly Girl has started digging underneath the big puff. She then slides under the puff, presumably imagining she’s hidden from sight. <<<Until the evil human lifts the edge and stares at me!>>>

During a recent session of digging and hiding, the human, who happened to have her camera in hand, lifted the bed, which spoiled all her fun. Mac then attempted to dive under the bed again, pushing it close to the edge of the big bed. Her side ended up sticking up in the air while the other side dipped down and rested on the kitty condo, which prevented it from sliding further. Since her side of the puff was higher than she initially anticipated, the Mer rose up on her hind legs and crested the side of the bed, then nose dived into the puff before the human intervened and pulled the puff (with crazy kitty in tow) back onto the safety of the big bed.

Owing to the human’s interference, a disgusted Mac left and the human resettled the kitty bed in its normal spot. The human made a mental note to look for some rug grip to prevent the puff from sliding across the fleece. <<<Spoil sport!>>>

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

What is Corky Doing?

The human had dried the bedding outside on the lines, which leaves them with a delightful “outdoor” smell. The 2-legged had subsequently stripped and remade the bed with the yummy-smelling sheets and duvet. The human thinks that Corky was running his nose along the edge of the fabric, much as he does to items that need a bit more drying inside and are draped over blankets on the upstairs bannister. Still, even for Corky, it was an odd sight.

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

Not a UFO

Although it’s round and flew through the air, this is not a UFO. The human immediately recognized what it was, so the object was not unidentified. The Merkitty is suspected. The human has seen her get the zoomies, race into the bedroom, leap onto the big bed, then leap into the big pink puff only to have it slide precariously close to the edge of the bed. This time, apparently it went off the side of the bed, presumably with her in it. She’s such a goofy girl.

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

…Except Perhaps Piles of Crackly Paper!

The only “found” object that might be more fun to play with than a cardboard box is a pile of crackly packing paper….or a box stuffed with crackly paper.

Pepe, Corky, and even Mac have been having so much fun jumping into the growing pile of crackly paper and exploring.

Other than having a sniff to see where it’s been, the human has no idea why Pepe likes to stick his face into the paper.

Pepe’s technique for playing with the paper differs a bit from his brother or sister. He spins around and jumps on the pile, throwing paper this way and that. Corky likes to jump onto a piece and slide across the floor. And Mac likes it when the human sprinkles catnip on a sheet. She’ll flop down and roll back and forth until her fur is coated with the wildwood weed.

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

Boxes are the BEST Toys…

In this house, toys that are purchased seem to be far less interesting than toys that the cats imagine (or actually) steal from the human.

Case in point: an empty box that recently brought something into the house is far more interesting than a light-up ball or a toy fish that flops around on the floor.

In most cases, it’s a waste of money buying fancy enrichment toys, as the kitties prefer to find their own enrichment from things the human has lying around.

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

What Do You Think these Two are Up to?

<<<Can’t be anything good…>>>

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

Twinkies in the Big Pink Puff

Fireball had been sneaking into the big pink puff more and more often when Mac was occupying one of the smaller puffs in another room. <<<If only I could figure out how to sleep in all of them at the same time!>>>

Finally, he must have gotten caught by the Mer Monster, who thinks all the puffs are hers and hers alone. Although the human did see her chase the little Red Bee out once — and then, in a pure Brat Cat move, she walked away and laid down in a different cat bed — more and more often, the human has seen them occupying the big puff together.

Perhaps she’s learned at last that it’s nice to share.

The puff is so large that easily two more cats could fit in there, not that Brat Cat would approve.

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

Brother Boys Watch the Snow Fall

<<<After the zoomies, what else is there to do on a cold dreary winter’s day?>>>

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

The Mer Flippers have been Busy

The human and the Merkitty have reached a state of d├ętente with the kitchen water bowl. While the heavy and tall-sided bowl has so far prevented the Watery One from being able to toss water out and onto the floor, still she is “swimming” in the bowl multiple times each day. How does the 2-legged know this? Mischievous Mac comes up to visit the human multiple times each night, alternately flopping across the human’s chest and climbing onto her pillow and dangling those adorable and overly hot Mer Paws, which the human cannot resist petting. Quite frequently, at least one paw, foreleg, and shoulder proves to be damp. And upon inspection, the water level is much lower and the little paws have tracked debris into the water bowl.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Brat Cat Takes all the Nippy for Herself

Mac has been outdoing herself lately. Apparently, she’s not into the generosity of the holiday season and is taking everything she can for herself.

Case in point: the human sprinkled catnip and silvervine on top of a sheet of crackly paper with which the cats had been playing. Mac immediately threw herself down on the sheet and started rolling all over the dried herbs.

Corky and Pepe wanted a sniff for themselves, but with Mac thrashing about with all of her sharp claws out, first Corky departed and then Pepe left. Brat Cat had it all to herself once again. And, no, she showed absolutely no remorse.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

A New Box to Explore

Given that it’s the holidays, a lot of boxes have been coming into and leaving the house. That’s great news on two accounts. First, there are all kinds of new boxes to explore and mark with kitty scent. Second, there often are sheets of crackly paper the human removes from the boxes and lays on the floor for Corky and Pepe to slide around on and have fun. And soon Sandy Claws will come and leave the kitties more presents. Truly, this is a great time of year for the furry people.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Fireball can Only Get this Close to the Giant Puff

You can tell how well the sharing is going. The human woke the other morning to find Mac sleeping all by herself in the giant pink puff and Fireball sleeping in what now seems like a much more diminutive cat bed with his head resting on the side of the puff. Apparently, that’s as close as he’s going to be allowed to it for now. Brat Cat is back!

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Mac Discovers the New Giant Puff

Mac “owns” the two puffy, fluffy cat beds that were given to all the kitties last year…or at least she thinks she does. She regularly plays Brat Cat and chases another cat out of either the pink or beige puff so she can take it over. Despite being the smallest cat in the house, she’s a force of nature when she wants to be.

Well, the human found giant puff kitty beds at a local store that are at least 3x the size of the originals. She thought about where she could place such a big bed if Sandy Claws were to bring it to the kitties this year. Finally, the elves broke over and brought home a giant pink puff. Here is Mac discovering the kitty bed.

Time will tell if Mac takes over this puff as well. It’s so large that hopefully she will learn to share.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Triumvirate

The human walked upstairs to grab something she forgot earlier in the morning and found Fireball, Mac, and Pepe reclining in their favorite spots on the bed. Corky, who is usually found to the left of Pepe was nowhere to be seen. With the human’s approach, all 3 cats were instantly on alert. <<<Who knows what mischief the 2-legged might be about to perpetrate. >>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Corky’s Turn at the Vet

This has been quite the year for big vet bills and frequent visits to places of torture. It was Corky’s turn to go to the vet. He was acting off and the human suspected a UTI. Unfortunately, as has been the case this year, after many expensive tests, nothing showed up. The little guy is acting better now, so whatever was going on hopefully is past and he’s on the mend. Still, he wasn’t a happy camper to be dragged out of the house only to be poked, prodded, and forced to give up samples of bodily fluids. <<<Never trust a human who pretends to be about to pet you!>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Head to Feet

This amusing image is of Mac and Fireball lying head to feet in one of the kitty beds. (The human recently purchased some extra-thick and plush fleece remnants for their beds, and they seem to love how the fabric feels.) Fireball, of course, is the kitty with the little red paw stuck up in the air. Not sure what that was about, but it was definitely cute and photo-worthy.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Object of Ick

Pepe has had a tough-to-clear cough since his first year living at this house. Every few years it gets frequent and persistent enough that the human has brought him in for a check, including X-rays, and to receive a dose or two of long-acting antibiotic. Since switching to the new vets’ office, we’ve learned that he likely has a condition that used to be called “kitty asthma” and now is called chronic bronchitis. Since his teeth extraction, Pepe has been on liquid steroids, which are definitely helping with the cough. He used to be a real challenge to medicate, but the frequency of his dosing has made him much more compliant. Still, the syringe full of meds that the human has to manage to squirt into his mouth is something he loathes.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

The Human Strikes Back

Finally, the human had had enough of the water bowls being flooded multiple times a day. She picked up the water-bowl rack and emptied what residual moisture was still in the 2 bowls. She hurried the water-saturated dish drying pad over to the sink and wrung it out as best she could, then set it aside to dry before sending it to the wash again. She dumped half-a-liter of water out of the rubber boot tray and set it aside to dry off a bit.

Next, the human pulled out a big and heavy ceramic water bowl that had recently been retrieved from the basement and washed. She filled it with a few centimeters of water, then placed it on the boot tray and a dry dish-drying pad. The bowl has steep sides that are close to 18 cm tall, and is nearly the same wide. The bowl is so heavy that no kitty feet are going to be able to move it. And, the human reasoned, the sides are tall enough that should the Splashy One start scooping water and tossing it, that the water will likely hit the sides and roll back into the bowl. In fact, if you look carefully at both images, you can see little water droplets on the walls of the bowl from repeated attempts to do just that.

We shall see if the human’s evil plan works. The Merkitty loves puzzles, so we can be sure she’ll take some kind of offensive action as soon as she’s figured out what to do. In the meantime, she does muck up the water once or twice a day, but at least the whole area is staying drier than it had been with the rack. Score 1 for the human!

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.