Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Month: March, 2014

Hunter Kitties vs. World’s Best Kitty Fishing Pole

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Ages ago (circa 2000), I happened across a pet store where they also rescued kitties.  They had the absolute best toys — clearly, picked by the cats or by staff that really understood what made kitties tick.  One of the best toys I’ve ever purchased for my cats came from that store. It’s a kitty “fishing pole” made of a real fiberglass rod, a nice wooden handle, a very heavy navy line and, at the end,  a now very-tattered piece of denim fabric.  You can really snap the toy around and make the denim cloth “dance,” so it’s really irresistible for our obligate carnivore friends. The packaging stated that the toy was designed and made by an unemployed man in Appalachia.  Whomever that person is or was, he also really understood cats.  The toy is so well made, it has survived my previous 6 and is now being enjoyed by my current 3 felines.  Every other “fishing pole” toy I’ve ever purchased for the meows has bent or broken or been torn to shreds by very enthusiastic hunter kitties. However, this one is still functional and in use almost 14 years later.  Now that was $20 USD well spent!

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


World’s Most-Tired Cat



This was Caesar in one of the kitty nests with Macaroni yesterday.  He had so little energy at that moment that all he could do was squint.  In fact, a moment before, his tongue was still halfway stuck out of his mouth, where he’d apparently forgotten to tuck it away after a bit of a wash.

This is the universe approaching entropy.  This is the Big Guy at his most vulnerable. I managed to plant a kiss on his soft head without him even wincing or proceeding to wash the human “cooties” off his coat.


(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photo from G. Karan.

Changing Techniques


Actually, I was slightly inaccurate in my assessment that using so many different kinds and shapes and sizes and locations of water bowls had done nothing to change the Mermaid’s behavior.  She actually is doing one thing differently these days.

Rather than sit beside the bowl and dip a paw into the fluid, then sip water off her cupped digits, little Nessie is now crouching down (almost like a normal cat) and drinking water straight from the bowl.

However, unlike a normal cat, while she’s sipping water, she always has one forepaw and then the other reaching around under the sides of the bowl grasping at the air.  I wish I had a picture to show you.

What is she trying to reach?  Would she do this if I could figure out how to sink a water bowl into my floor? Heaven only knows.

So much for all the advice from all the cat experts.  Why does she do it?  I think the real answer is that she does it to annoy the human.  From a cat’s perspective, that may well be a very noble cause.

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

Tickly Parts


Mr. Caesar not only has very sensitive paws, but his tummy also is off limits. That’s too bad because it’s super soft and sports the most adorable leopard-like spots (in contrast to all his pretty stripes elsewhere on his coat).

He’ll have his paws out dangling and catching a breeze when the human walks by.  As soon as the human approaches, he tucks those adorable paws under his chest so they can’t be petted or kissed.  When the human persists and manages to sneak a pet on paws or tummy, that often leads to corporal punishment, Caesar style:  he taps the human 3x very fast (no claws), then he makes a huffing sound and turns to walk away.

An emperor must maintain his dignity. He cannot be expected to tolerate unwanted advances from his subjects.

On the other hand, getting hit by those adorable paws makes them even more irresistible to the silly human.


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

March (Water-Bowl) Madness

water bowls

The silly human, ever on a quest to understand the inexplicable behavior of her feline captors, came across an article from a cat behaviorist this week. Subject of the story was reasons why cats throw water out of their water bowl. Key takeaway was that this is often caused by a bowl that is too small (in diameter), as cats don’t like putting their faces in small confined areas and bending their whiskers. That seemed to make a lot of sense, so off the human went to find the widest soup bowl in the house to try it out.

Within 5 minutes of filling the larger bowl with fresh filtered water and putting it on the floor, the Mermaid was back at her watery antics.  She had a great time with the extra volume of fluid in the bigger bowl and flooded the floor (and the cloth underneath) very effectively. Drats, another great idea down the drain.

The human moved the water bowl to see if a different location made any difference. Nope. Same effect. Same large flood. Double drats.

Since yet another well-considered theory from a cat expert has been dashed, why give the splashy beast more water to play with, so back to the stainless steel bowl we went this morning.  Of course, within 5 minutes of putting it on the floor, Splashasaurus regina returned in full form.

So many bowls, so little behavioral modification.


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


Mr. Dangly Paws – Part III


Different day, different cat condo, different floor of the house, but same behavior. Yes, that’s Mr. Dangly Paws doing his best to keep his feet well ventilated.


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

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?


Recent photographic evidence has come to light that there’s been a bit of sleeping on the job going on in this house.  No wonder the birds, squirrels, and woodchucks move about outside with reckless abandonment.  Who DOES watch the watchers?

On the other hand, I guess they can’t work 24/7.  Even non-union workers are allowed a few short breaks here and there.


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

Taylor & Ng Kitties – Part 3


They may not be related, but the three meows sure do enjoy each other’s company.  It’s amazing the positions you will find them in, which means you always want to have your camera handy.  Note the curl in Fireball’s tail? He’s rather famous for how tightly he can wrap it around.  And here’s another cute one below.


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

Study Break


Here’s Fireball standing up beside me with his front paws on my desk. You can’t hear it, but he’s uttering a high-pitched cry that is piercing enough to break glass.  I’m supposed to reach down pet him, then scoop him up for hugs. Who could resist?  He knows just when the human needs a study break.

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

Aliens, Part III


But he seemed like such a nice, normal cat….

(c) Copyright PeggyMalnati 2014, All Rights Reserved. Photo my own.