Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Month: February, 2014

Phenomenal Pheasant

IMG_0892

My fur friends are really big fans of birds — not only the kind that come to the window feeders each morning and entertain the cats and me, but the kind they eat.  They love chicken and turkey, but they really love duck and boy are they starting to adore pheasant.

Recently, I found a new form of freeze-dried raw food patties that I’m feeding them for “snacks.” Instead of paying $10-$12 USD/2.2 oz as I’d been doing for freeze-dried cooked turkey breast (in which the company has started adding soy sauce and carrageenan, a known inflammatory agent), with this new brand I’m getting 3 times as much for about the same price, depending on flavor.  We just finished a package of duck this week and they thoroughly enjoyed it.  Last time I’d been in the pet-supply store, I’d spent the extra money to try pheasant and we just opened that package the other day.

To keep the food fresh (and since I long have been zip-lock challenged), I usually move the patties to lidded plastic containers that I can close tightly to keep out unwanted air. However, these generous 6 oz bags fill up a bit more than 2 containers and I didn’t have a 3rd one handy. Hence, I did my best to close the zip-lock strips, then rolled up the bag and tucked it back into a location on a shelf near where they get their snacks at night.

photo 2Two mornings in a row, the nearly empty bag has been found on the floor. No one yet has figured out how to get into the bag; so far there are no fang marks indicating entry attempts — something that frequently happened with my previous crew.  However, it’s clear one or more of the kitties knows where the bag is and has been attempting to retrieve it so as to give him/herself some extra snacks.

Hmmm, apparently the two-legged isn’t being generous enough. Needless to say, the dim-witted human finally has moved the bag much higher on the shelves.  So far so good. Wish I could say the same about the water bowl.

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Advertisements

Aliens Among Us

IMG_0237

Need I say more?

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photo my own.

Mr. Dangly Paws

IMG_0634Caesar is such a big mellow guy.  He’s twice the size of the little ones, but he’s truly a gentle giant.  He does have a few peccadilloes of his own, however.  One of them is that he just loves to dangle one big paw out of wherever he’s sitting or laying.  Sometimes he hides from the little ones in one of the levels of the kitty condo scratching posts I have on the first and second floors.  Often the only way you know he’s in there is that you see a big paw hanging out the opening.  Even when he’s laying out in plain sight, he usually has a big paw or two hanging out…that is until the human comes by and starts petting and kissing him. Then the big soft paws go into hiding.  He’s got tickley feet I guess.

IMG_0724

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Happy 2nd Anniversary Kitties!

IMG_0216

Today is the 2-year anniversary of the first day Caesar, Fireball, & Macaroni came to my house to live.  I’m feeling wistful. They don’t seem impressed, although if they think they can get an extra snack out of me because of this observance, I’m sure they’ll try.

The first 2 weeks they lived here, each time I’d come into their bedroom to visit them, they’d hide under a highboy dresser.  All I could see were scared eyes looking out at me as I stuck my head on the floor and tried to coax them to come out.  Granted, the big guy would come out occasionally for a short visit, but then he’d retreat back under the furniture.  I actually sat and cried a few times wondering what I’d gotten myself into.  Animals and human children generally adore me. It’s only adult humans that usually are the problem.  I wasn’t used to animals being scared of me — particularly after they’d met me a few times.

IMG_1289

Well, over the last 24 months, we’ve come a long way baby! I’m so grateful that their foster mom was willing to give all 3 of them up for me.  As you’ve noted if you’ve read much of this blog, as they’ve grown less timid, their distinct personalities have emerged.  They are each quite sweet, funny, challenging, and precious. I suppose I wouldn’t have it any other way.

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Return of the Water-Bowl Wrangler

IMG_0775Argh, I suppose it was too good to last.  Mac let me have about 2 weeks of dry floors, lulling me into a sense of complacency with the cobalt-blue water bowl.  That too has now become her splashing pool, so I’m back to rotating a variety of dishes into a variety of spots to see if I can figure out what possesses her to throw water all over the floor — aside from just annoying the human, which is a valid enough cause unto itself.  My current strategy is to place the water bowl between 2 pots of kitty wheat grass.  So far, so good, but I’m only on day 2.  Honestly, she looked so cute and innocent when I adopted her. Little did I know what a little vixen she’d become.

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photo my own.

Head Rollies

IMG_0749My parents have a rescued Persian who is rather famous for her head rolling hand stands.  Until Mac came to live with me, I’d seen but never experienced head rolling in one of my own cats, other than an affectionate nuzzle and face rub on my hands.  But Mac is a champion acrobat, and apparently her sister does the exact same thing at her former foster mom’s, so maybe there is a genetic component to this behavioral trait.

The other morning, Fireball was doing this morning snuggle on my pillow, wrapping himself around my face. Mac, who always has to insert herself into the middle of the action, climbed up on top of my prone form and started doing her head rolling action.  The little comet didn’t like the competition, so got up and left.  Mac was facing my head with her head and doing her handstands when she got a little overbalanced and actually somersaulted completely over, crashing down onto my face, then losing her balance further and starting to roll off me. I caught her partway to the bed.  Whew, it’s amazing how much a 7 lb cat body in motion can hurt one’s nose so early in the day.

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Taylor & Ng Kitties

IMG_0590

In my late teens and early 20s, Taylor & Ng had a series of mugs for sale featuring animals in some rather playfully passionate and physiologically dubious positions.  These animal orgy mugs were all the rage when I was in college; my roommate had the penguins and I had the alligators.  These days, I no longer recall what happened to that mug — too many moves over too many years. However, I seem to have my own living version of Taylor & Ng’s cat mug.  My 3 darlings curl up together in the most interesting positions, a few of which I’ll share here.

IMG_0616

IMG_0728

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Face Wrangler

IMG_1061Fireball has the softest, most unusual fur I think I’ve ever felt on a cat.  His fur is short but slightly fluffy, and feels like chenille.  He also has white as well as black whiskers that are so curly, they actually partially wrap around the front of his head. He’s quite adorable in so many ways.

He’s been the most timid of my current 3 rescues.  Like the rest, he has his sad story.  Fortunately, he’s slowly coming around to the idea that humans can make quite tolerable pets, and their company can actually be reasonably pleasant — as long as they are sitting or laying down and not in motion. (Standing up and walking around humans are still pretty terrifying.)

It took about 4 months of me patiently but persistently trying to pick him up for hugs and pets for him to decide that the vegetarian wasn’t actually going to devour him. (It’s all those kisses he gets.) Now, he actually seeks me out.  He’ll come stealthily into my office while I’m intently pounding away at the keyboard.  He’ll stand up on his back feet, put his front paws on the edge of my desk next to my keyboard, and squeak at a pitch that should break glass it’s so high and plaintive.  That’s my cue to reach down and pet him, then pick him up for a cuddle.  (He knows just when I need a break from work.)

More recently, he’s also learned that a human is warm and can be quite pleasant to cuddle with in the cold and dark of early morning.  He usually will climb on top of me when I’m in bed and walk up to see what I’m doing.  In the bitter cold of last month’s and this month’s polar vortex, he’s been laying down beside me, allowing himself to be covered up with blankets, and falling asleep stretched out against me.  When it gets too warm under the covers, he crawls out and if I’m laying on my side, he climbs up on my pillow and curls around my head — quite literally.  Suddenly I find myself with a face in his soft belly, getting that fluffy red fur of his in eyes, nose, mouth, and ears.  He’ll often start grooming me, although he finds my long hair a challenge to wash.  And sometimes he rolls his head around on top of my head giving me a good nuzzle.  We’ll lay like that for 15 or 20 minutes. It’s a delicious way to begin the day.

IMG_0214

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

A Toy Story: Part III

IMG_0624

I was walking up the stairs one morning.  And out of the corner of my eye, something looked funny…

I stopped my climb, turned around, and came back down a few steps to have a better look at whatever it was that had caught my attention.

IMG_0621

At first it didn’t register, but then I realized there was bright blue dab of color where there should not be.  I moved in closer to investigate.

IMG_0620Sure enough, someone had been playing with one of the “shakey” mice and had tossed it well into the air.  It came down inside a small glass cup that holds tealight candles on a wall-mounted sconce.

Fabulous, excellent, one-in-a-thousand shot!  I recorded it for posterity.  No one stepped forward to claim the prize, but I retrieved it for them anyway. Such a nice, well-trained human.

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

A Toy Story: Part II

IMG_0315

Yes, this is an unretouched before and after shot of the famous “shakey” mice that Mac and Fireball favor.  Note the pristine shape of the bottom mouse and the tailless, eyeless, and mostly furless form of the lovingly played with upper mouse.  Not sure if the latter has had a dip or two in the water bowl and if that’s why its fur is missing, or if it’s just been flung about once too often, but they do love these toys.

Interestingly, Fireball favors the orange ones — and he’s a ginger tabby — and Mac favors the bright blue ones — she’s a tuxedo ( B&W) kitty.

No one really likes the green ones, but they will play with them if there are none of the others around.   The green ones do seem to get a higher ranking than the dull “natural” colored ones that Caesar favors. What can I say?

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photo my own.