Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Not Quite Hidden

Sometime this spring, Fireball figured out how to open up the closet door in the big bedroom. He’s been hanging out there for months, completely abandoning his usual haunts under the blanket draped over the stairs. He’s often been joined in the closet by Caesar, Mac, and even Corky. Not wanting him to lay on the hard floor, the human put the pink puff in the closet to Fireball’s delight. Lately, the human comes into the bedroom only to find a little red tail peeking around the edge of the door. The rest of the red kitty is in the pink puff completely oblivious to the fact that he’s not quite as hidden as he thinks. <<<Ah, cats!>>>

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

Almost Back

Thanks to all the kind people who sent their condolances.

Life without Caesar takes some getting used to, but this house is slowly getting back to some semblance of normalcy.

The human was really worried about Fireball, as he was inseparable from Caesar. He’s spent a lot of the last week hiding, but he’s beginning to come out again for pets and cuddles. In fact, he’s been vigorously chasing the laser dot around in the morning. And little toy mice are starting to leave the toy boxes and work their way around the house, so the kitties are starting to play again.

The other cats too are back to flopping on top of the human and demanding cuddles. Cranky Corky has been amping up his demands for earlier and earlier crunchy bowl fillings in the afternoon. And we’ve had a lot of paw-dangling action going on as well.

We miss you terribly, Big Guy. Thanks for 9-1/2 great years.

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

In Memoriam: Caesar Tiger Bear

Last evening, Caesar had a 15-minute episode where he suddenly started breathing very fast and shallow — as though he couldn’t get enough air in his lungs. Eventually, he coughed up a bit of mucous and seemed to be okay. He even curled around the human’s head and sang a song afterwards, until the 2-legged got too annoying by trying to pet his paws. He’d had an active day of eating, drinking, carrying toy mice all over the house, and demanding his daily dose of pets and brushings from the human. Just a day or two before that he’d been leaping in the air chasing the fishing pole and the laser dot and roughhousing with his brother. Hence, this sudden shift was as perplexing as it was concerning.

He had another episode at 4 this morning that was longer lasting and more severe. In fact, his breathing rate never really went back to normal. The human called around to find a vet appointment and finally snagged one for late morning. His bloodwork looked fine, but X-rays gave a diagnosis of cancer. There was only one good decision, and that was to say goodbye. We’re all devastated.

This human has known and loved a whole lot of furry people in the 6+ decades she’s been on this earth, but Caesar was one of a kind — as beautiful inside as outside, sweet, bossy, funny, and a force to be reckoned with when trimming claws or trying to get him in a carrier for vet visits. He was such a remarkable, vital presence in that 19 pound package. Always the first there to comfort an upset cat or human. Nine-and-a-half years was not nearly enough time together, but we’re grateful for every moment we had with him.

From the moment the human saw his photo on PetFinder (above), she knew he was the one. It seems only fitting to say goodbye with that image as well as one of the last the human took of him, paw dangling to the end with Mac. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Rest in peace, Big Guy.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Top image, K. Pichler. Bottom my own.

Another Lazy Sunday

Yes, it’s the merry Pepster enjoying a bit of sunshine on another lazy Sunday. <<<I guess if you’re a cat, every day is Sunday; if you’re the cat’s human servant, every day is a work day.>>

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

Tiger Boys go Fishing

The spooky and not-so-often-seen red tiger boy came down to play with his big brother. They had an early afternoon romp with the fishing pole.

There was much dramatic pouncing and leaping…

And astoundingly fast air-swats.

There was good ground action with rapidly moving paws…

And cuteness abounded.

There even was some skillful team action.

Eventually, the tiger boys tired and left to take a nap while the human returned to her keyboard and deadlines.

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

Sassy Bird

This is the daily late-morning / early-afternoon visit by Mac and Caesar who then attempt to pry the human’s fingers off the keyboard long enough to give them a snack of fresh catnip leaves or, ideally, to refill the upstairs crunchy bowl. <<<Fat chance that’ll happen this early in the day!>>> Note Mac’s mouth? She’s in the middle of emitting a very-high-pitched meow. It’s part of her sassy bird act. <<<Ridiculous, slow-witted human. If you were better trained, I wouldn’t need to do this every day.>>>

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

Big Boys Plot & Plan

Pepe and Caesar are the big boys of the house with each approaching 20 pounds/9.1 kilos. Although they have their share of tussels — Pepe does not appreciate Caesar’s intense need to groom every cat in the house, especially not him! — for the most part they get along great. It’s quite common to see them curled up back-to-back or feet-to-feet on the bed. And they often hang out together in other areas of the house, as they were this particular morning when the human happened to walk by. <<<Doesn’t it make you wonder what they were talking about? And who do you suppose took the toys out of the toy box?>>>

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

The Usual Suspects

It’s not that the human is paranoid. However, when she finds 3 or 4 cats all clumped up together as though she just walked in on a secret meeting she wasn’t meant to see, and where Corky drew the short straw and had to play lookout, well…you see where this is going.

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

Play Station

The cats have a new “toy” to play with. It’s a tall cardboard box that the human turned on its side and has filled with sheets of crackly paper. Pepe and Mac are especially prone to leaping into the box and smunching down the paper, although Corky will chase the laser dot or the fishing pole lure in there as well. When the human walks by and feels as though she’s being watched, a quick peek into the front of the box often reveals a pair of eyes looking out at her. Of course, in this house, the most successful toys are not the ones the human buys but rather the found ones or the ones the human makes of unneeded materials otherwise destined for the recycle bin.

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

Human-Attention Deficit Disorder

It has come to our attention that Mac and Pepe both suffer from HADD: human-attention deficit disorder. When Pepe wants the human’s attention and she’s otherwise occupied with reading news on her smartphone or planning out her day, he acts out by hopping onto the kitchen table and taking a quick spin or he starts cuffing small items off the table that he can reach from his chair. When Mac has HADD, she plops herself down on top of any cat that stands between the human and her own body so as to get all the attention. Both attention-getting approaches are effective, if not entirely fair.

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

Torture from Above

<<<Where did that pesky toy disappear to now? When I catch it, I’m not going to let go!>>>

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

Update for the Mother Ship

<<<It’s been a while since I last filed a report becaues not much has changed. Sadly, there’s little intelligent life down here, other than cats. How did these humans manage to take over the planet?>>>

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

The Human Spies a Reclining Corky

Even after 6 years of living here, Corky still acts like he’s not supposed to be sitting or laying anywhere when the human pokes her head around the corner. That makes it quite hard to get photos of the little guy, who is cute as can be when he’s not having a meltdown over one or another food issue.

At least this once, the human had the camera in hand and got a couple of shots in before Corky abandoned his comfy bed.

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

Tiger Boys Take a Tiny Timeout

Caesar and Fireball are best buds most of the time. Fireball follows his big (adopted) brother around from morning until night. They often curl up together. In this case, they took a rest and did a bit of paw dangling.

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

What Do You Want?

<<<And will I like it? Probably not!>>>

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

Just What You Need After a Hard Day at Work

Compliments of one of the thoughtful kitties.

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

Allowing the Unthinkable to Happen

<<<Did you see the state of the crunchy bowl? It’s a CDD cat-tastrophy!>>>

<<<The bottom of the bowl is showing again. Why does she do this to us? Does she want us to suffer?>>>

<<<After we figure out a way to get her to refill the bowl, I think we should plot our revenge.>>>

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

It Doesn’t Get Much Better than This

Trail of crackly paper: check.

Really big box: check.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy, so much fun!

Where do you suppose the crackly paper trail ends?

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

Why there’s No Room on the Pillow for the Human’s Head

Need we say more?

This is a once or twice nightly kitty activity. Believe it or not, before the human got up, Mac was balanced precariously on top of the 2-legged’s head and Caesar’s back. Sheesh!

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

When it’s Really, Really Hot

When it’s really, really hot and all you have energy to do is lay flat on the floor…

…it’s time to sit up to cuddle and chat with your BFF instead.

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