Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

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.

When Your Sister Steals Your Box

Leave it to the Merkitty to know just how to irritate another cat. While Mac’s favorite kitty beds are the pink and beige puffs upstairs, which she’d sleep in simultaneously if she could, she doesn’t usually have a favorite spot on the first floor, preferring to flit like a butterfly from one location to another.

Of course, when another cat shows a preference for sleeping in a particular spot, the Little Mischief has to plunk herself down in that location just for the annoyance factor. And so it happened that Pepe left his box for a while and Mac took over Pepe’s favorite bed. When he returned, an exasperated Pepe parked himself right next to his box and waited hours for Mac to exit.

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

Box Inspector Confiscates a Box

Pepe is the official box inspector in this house. No matter how large or small a box is, he insists on sniffing it inside and out and then standing in it — even if just with his forepaws.

A few months back, a large box arrived that was packed with big blocks of foamed styrene to protect the contents. After it passed the sniff test and the standing-in-box test, Pepe decided he really liked this box and climbed in and laid down. The human moved the box to an out-of-the-way location, and added blankets and a pillow to make it even more comfortable. It’s become his favorite downstairs snoozing location. In fact, some kitty has been putting toy mice in the box.

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

Blanket Sculptor

The bed really was made when the human left the room early in the morning. However, it’s getting quite chilly of late and Pepe the blanket sculptor likes to dig down and sleep on the softer, warmer blankets. And notice the twinky twins in the pink puff?

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

Watering Can Inspectors

The human had filled her watering cans prior to going outside to give the tropical plants on the deck a drink. It was just too tempting indeed for the Water Monster not to stick her little head into the can and drink unfiltered water. There was a big ceramic bowl of freshly changed filtered water nearby, but that was no where near as interesting as the watering can. And since Mac the Merkitty had her head in the container, Pepe, who of late has become a water monster himself, had to join in and have a little drink.

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

We Need a New Human

Our blog is languishing from lack of attention from the 2-legged. We’d sell her and buy a new human if we thought we could get a good price. Unfortunately, we tried that several years back and no one was interested. You can’t even give a human like that away.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com. File ID 28725707 © Stevanovicigor.

She Promised to Get Better

Have you seen any posts from her? Have you seen any cute pictures of us? Case closed.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com. File ID 16016049 © Robert Kneschke

One Bad Human

Our very bad human has not posted on our blog for over 90 days. We’ve tried guilt, punishment, acting cute, acting stern, bringing her toys, pouncing on her when she’s trying to sleep, walking across her keyboard when she’s trying to work, yowling when she’s on a conference call, and much more. Still, all she does is complain about her incredibly heavy workload. What does she think we do all day?

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com. File ID 176510470 | © Yasir Khan.