Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Enrichment Toy Failures

Knowing that her furry monsters have no opportunity to go outside, except on the “catio” (screened in porch), the human tries to keep them mentally stimulated and physically active. One way she does that is by purchasing so-called enrichment toys, which are supposed to make them think and move. Now, on balance, most of these toys have been a complete flop with a few exceptions. It’s not that the (completely unbiased) human thinks the kitties are not very smart, it’s that she thinks they are equal parts devious and lazy. Why go to the trouble of pushing the dome around on the puzzle feeder in order to get a few crunchies, when throwing a tantrum at 3 am almost always guarantees that the drowsy human will overfill the crunchy bowl? <<<So much more food for so much less effort!>>> And why run around chasing something when it’s clearly far more entertaining to make the human run around and retrieve things instead?

Here is a sad list of failed enrichment toy purchases that did not live up to their billing.

The flopping fish (too scary for big kitties)

The puzzle feeder (mostly the 4 that could operate it just sat around looking at the human and imploring her to turn the dome instead of doing it themselves)

And the newest flop? The (soundless) clear ball that flashes a sequence of colored lights when bumped (they just look at the toy, then at the human, as if to ask <<<Why? What were you thinking?>>>

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

A Leisurely Cat Fishing Session

Three of the felines were bored. They kept interrupting the human and her work. Finally, the 2-legged gave up and took a 15 minute break to play with the meows. The infamous (cat) fishing pole — arguably the most successful cat toy the human has ever purchased — came out and the kitties began to play.

First Caesar made a very energetic showing of chasing the little scrap of denim material at the end of the fishing line. So fast (and scary) is he when he’s jazzed up, that it requires both the human’s hands to keep from being run over or losing the entire pole to Caesar’s swatting paws and biting teeth (hence, no photos). However, his burst of energy depleted, the Big Guy laid down and watched Corky take over.

Corky, too, had a great time until big brother Pepe decided to get in on the action. At that point, the other two kitties looked away and the Pepster had the fishing pole all to himself. Eventually both 2-legged and 4-leggeds tired of all the action and retired to their respective corners.

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

Pillow Pal

The 2-legged is very lucky because, in addition to lots of Velcro furballs who are always glued to her body when she’s laying or sitting down, she also has multiple pillow pals that keep her company at night. The original pillow pal was Fireball, who will occasionally climb onto the human’s pillow when she’s sleeping on her side and curl up around her face. His tummy is so soft and fluffy, and his song is so sweet, that Fireball visits are always special. Unfortunately, being that close to kitty fur does not help the human’s allergies. Sadly, Fireball visits are always short, so you have to enjoy them while they last.

The next pillow pal was Caesar and he still visits daily. He favors wedging his big soft body between the headboard and the top of the human’s head and singing away for an hour or more. Sometimes he slides forward on the pillow, puts one big paw on the closest human shoulder, then curls his head into the crook of the human’s neck and falls asleep. <<<Awww!>>> Caesar is the only cat who will stay on the pillow once the human vacates the space. He also has become somewhat tolerant of the human gently stroking his velveteen paws, as long as she doesn’t push her luck and try to pet them for too long.

Mac is a more recent pillow pal recruit, as she normally favors stretching across the human’s body where it’s easy for her to get stroked and treated like the princess she is. She too is nearly a daily visitor. And being Mac, there are usually several headstand/head rollies before she settles down, and she will often wedge her sleek little body in between Caesar’s body and the human’s head. <<<We won’t mention what that does to the human’s hair.>>> However, let the human’s fingers get too close to her adorable paws and she’s bolts off the pillow as fast as can be. <<<There is only so much I’m willing to tolerate to give the human a little love.>>>

The most recent pillow pal member is Pepe. He favors laying slightly to the side of the human’s head. After all, even though he’s a big kitty, the human’s head is nearly as large as he is and he’s wary of getting smunched. He likes it when the human reaches up and gives him pets, but if she gets tricksy…as she often does when she tries to pet his paws…then he’s out of there! Unlike Caesar, who doesn’t mind sharing the pillow with the human and Mac, Pepe leaves if Mac approaches.

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

Defect in the Bowl

<<<For those with eyes and a willingness to see reality, there clearly is a defect in the bowl on the right. It is utterly empty…devoid of even the smallest crumb of food. You can tell this because of the gaping chasm at the bottom of the bowl. Those brown things? Not sure what they are. Not food anyway.>>>

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

Not Pleased with Our Human

We tried replacing our human a few years back when she completely ignored our blog for several months. Unfortunately, no other human seemed to want the job we offered. We adjusted our expections downward (by several orders of magnitude) and decided to chill when our 2-legged got really busy and didn’t make time to let our fans know what we’ve been doing. Still, that doesn’t make it easy and it certainly doesn’t mean that we have to like it when our blog gets ignored. (Don’t worry, our human is still doing all the important household tasks to keep us healthy and well fed.) Still, humans are really challenging pets to keep and they require constant training.

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

Toys for the Toys

In the “Gee, what were they thinking?” category, the human noticed that the new flapping fish toy had been brought 4 little toy mice of its own. In this house, everyone gets to have some toys. <<<Don’t you just wish you how your cats’ minds worked?>>>

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

Cozy Again

A displaced Fireball found a nice comfy bed to sleep in…

One that wasn’t contested by the bossy Girly Girl, who was camped out next to him in the pink puff.

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

A Pure Brat-Cat Move

Mac had been sleeping in the other bedroom in the light-brown puff. She entered the master bedroom and hopped up on the bed with the human and three other cats. Unfortunately, she found Fireball sleeping soundly in the pink puff.

In a pure brat-cat move, Mac attacked poor Fireball and chased him out of the pink puff.

Victorious, she hopped in and engaged in a bit of wool sucking and mixing on the pink puff before settling down for a snooze.

Meanwhile, poor Fireball had to go find another bed.

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

Caesar & the Scary Human

The human started to walk toward the Emperor Kitty, who was otherwise engaged in deep thoughts.

The Big Guy glanced nervously at the approaching human. <<<Does she have the nail clippers hiding in her hands?>>>

<<<Pretend to look away so she doesn’t think you’re watching her. Maybe she’ll just walk by.>>> And she did. No kitties were harmed, no nails were trimmed, no feet were illegally petted, only a couple of quick pics were shot and the 2-legged went on her way. <<<Whew!>>>

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

Fishy

The silly human came home from the pet-supply store the other evening practically cackling with delight. She’d found a new “educational” cat toy — or, rather, one that promised mental enrichment for the cats. It was a sizeable “fish” stuffed with fluff, catnip, and a USB-chargeable unit that causes the tail to flip back and forth. This creates the effect of a thrashing fish, as if it had suddenly found itself out of water. The fish effectively flips itself across the floor while also making a clicking sound. The 2-legged had to charge the unit before first use, so she removed the innards and plugged them in, then brought the rest of the fish upstairs for the cats to check out. Both Caesar and Pepe gave it a sniff, and several times that evening Pepe gave it a good thrashing.

It’s probably appropriate then that as soon as the human and cats came down for breakfast, and the human reassembled the toy and put it on the ground, Pepe came over to check it out.

He was soon joined by Caesar, who rushed over to see what was up with this strange creature that had found its way into their house. It turns out that the fish is touch-sensitive, so after thrashing around and clicking for about 90 seconds, it lays still (and goes silent) until someone touches it with a paw or nose or hand in the middle section — not at the tail or head where the Big Boys were sniffing. By now, Corky had joined the team investigating the interloper.

The human has been moving the fish around the house for the last few days. In the long run, it may fail to hold their attention, but at least for now whenever Caesar hears that particular clicking, he rushes into the room and starts sniffing the creature. This morning, the human found the Emperor laying beside the fish toy, as though on guard. And when he got up, the human found 5 toy mice sitting beside the fish. Did he think the fish was hungry? Or did he think the mice would teach the fish some manners? It’s times like this that the human really would love to know what her masters were thinking.

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

A Little Morning Exercise

The human was eating her breakfast and the Pepster was right beside her. For a while, he was content to just lay sprawled out on the chair, but then he got bored.

He started looking for something he could steal to entertain himself. The human pulled out a small piece of metallized film from a treat she’d finished and began waving the piece back and forth along the back of the chair.

The Pepster had a grand time attacking the shiny object the human was moving here and there.

Eventually he tired and left for the upstairs. At least he got a little exercise.

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

Waterwerks

The human found this mess when she arrived in the kitchen to prepare breakfast for the monsters a few weeks back. Not only was the rack with both water bowls tipped onto its side, spilling water everywhere, but the absorbant pad underneath was pulled out from under the rack and completely off the rubber boot tray.

This is clearly the work of the house’s resident water monster (and floor destroyer), Macaroni the Merkitty. <<<Heavy sigh…>>>

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

Fireball Quite Likes the Pink Puff

Although his big brother and his little sister have tried to prevent Fireball from getting into the pink puff, when it’s empty, and no other cats are around, the Little Red Bee is a big fan of the soft kitty bed.

That is, until the human gets close with her camera.

Mac is clearly losing control of her territory.

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

Dereliction of Duty

<<<Clearly, even a human can see that the bottom is showing in this crunchy bowl.>>>

<<<You can’t possibly expect us to eat out of a bowl that’s almost empty. Why do you make us suffer so?>>>

<<<Really, you don’t plan to refill the bowl? We’ll starve!>>>

<<<Come on, there’s nothing worth eating here. Maybe we should advertise for a new human again?>>>

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

Pepe Braves the Pink Puff

Mac was camped out in the brown puff in the other room and Caesar had staked out a place in one of the other cat beds. Pepe decided he would give the pink puff a spin.

He carefully climbed in and had a look around.

It wasn’t long before he’d flipped around, belly to the sky, and dangled his paws out of the puff while the human snapped some pics. Caesar kept watch lest the human got too close. (The 2-legged decided to behave.)

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

A New Puff: And Mac Claims it!

Mac had been ruling the new pink puff, not allowing any of the other kitties to sleep in it and enjoy its luxurious softness. Then, just like that, she had other places to be. That provided first Caesar, then Fireball, with the opportunity to check out the new kitty bed, which they embraced enthusiastically.

During the time when Mac wasn’t sharing with the other cats, the 2-legged’s friend treated those kitties to yet another puff. This one is a lovely shade of light, warm brown. The human put it in the second bedroom.

No surprise, Mac immediately claimed the new brown puff and settled in for a nap. It had the advantage of having no other kitty smells on it.

She’s been spending morning and night in the new bed and hasn’t been letting any of her adopted brothers have access to it. So much for sharing.

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

What’s the Purpose of All This?

There he sat, facing the wall with his head turned away, as though pondering the meaning of the universe.

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

Are You REALLY Making Fun of My Face Again?

<<<That’s not even civil, let alone fair.>>>

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

Mac Loses Control Over the Pink Puff

It started innocently enough. Mac was off doing Mac things and the pink puff was empty. Caesar jumped up on the bed and hopped in. <<<Oooh, this is so soft and it wraps around me so nicely.>>>

Then Fireball hopped up because, well, he’s never far from his big brother Caesar. He spied Caesar in the pink puff, so moved to join him, although where he was going to manage to fit was still to be seen.

Caesar was really comfortable and the pink puff isn’t that big, so Fireball had to content himself by balancing on the edge of the pink puff while leaning on Caesar’s body. It wasn’t that stable and it wasn’t that comfortable.

Caesar’s strategy of giving no quarter worked and Fireball grew bored and left. That meant the Big Guy had the pink puff all to himself. Soon his body parts were overflowing the puff. <<<Such luxury!>>>

A little later, his nap over, the Emperor Kitty sat up in regal grace and surveyed his realm.

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

Strategic Utilization of Sunlight

The human walked upstairs in the middle of the afternoon and spied one of the cats strategically positioned to enjoy a spot of sunlight. At first the human wasn’t even sure which cat it was.

As the two-legged drew closer, she thought she saw a pair of little white feet, indicating it was Corky.

Sure enough, it was the little Banu Bear, who appeared to be in a good mood and not intending on moving anywhere anytime soon. <<<Can’t a guy relax and enjoy a little peace in this house?>>>

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