Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Month: April, 2014

Spit like Cement

photo 4All 3 kitties groom each other on a daily basis, but no one grooms the others more than Caesar. However, I find it quite amazing that he frequently grooms his subjects against the direction in which their fur grows.  Interestingly, his spit must have some kind of powerful sticking properties, as once he’s given Fireball or Macaroni a “reverse Mohawk” hairdo, their fur stands upright like that for hours.  It adds new meaning to the term cowlick.

photo 2

Not easy to photograph, several examples of Caesar’s styling work are shown here.

photo 3

I kind of wonder if the reason Fireball sports the feature more often than Mac is because he pesters his big “brother” more annoyingly than the girly girl does.  With cats, who knows?  Guess I’m lucky that Caesar so far has opted not to groom my own hair.

photo 5


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

Sweet Surrender


There’s nothing like the feeling of pleasure that comes from expending considerable physical energy to accomplish a goal…


…especially when that goal is attached to an intriguing string that moves all by itself….


…and that goal ends in a catnip-filled toy that can be chewed upon with abandon just as soon as you wrestle it to the floor…

…ah life…


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



Baby Merkitty

photo 1

Seriously, who could have resisted this face?  This is the Merkitty in a younger (and presumably more innocent) era at her foster mom’s house.  Can you see the mischief oozing out of every pore of her body?  Neither did I, although she was a bit older and wiser when I first met her. Since she spent that first meeting hiding under a chair, I had no clue that her front paws doubled as flippers.  Still, the Merkitty keeps things interesting in this house. She’s the most adventurous of the three and is the first to get into things or to try something new.

Her latest adventure combined her two favorite things:  climbing and water.  The human heard a loud crash coming from the kitchen, so dashed out to see what was happening.  Of course, the Tiger Boys made it clear that they were in the living room and were not in any way involved in whatever made all that noise.  The same can not be said about the ever-unrepentant Merkitty, who was crouched in the stove room to see what happened next.  She’d apparently climbed up onto the sink and then tried to trim spider-plant babies off of several plantlets that I had rooting in a heavy vase sitting on a plastic tray on the window ledge overlooking the yard.  When the Merkitty pulled on the spider baby, the whole shelf came crashing down into the sink, along with pots of thyme, rosemary, Egyptian onion and an errant cactus.  There even was a dracena rooting in a glass of water. Of course, as luck would have it, both sides of the sink were filled with dishes and mugs.  Somehow, miraculously, nothing broke.  However, the silly human has since removed the spider-plant rootlings to a safer spot out of sight of the Merkitty.


(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photo courtesy K. Pichler.


IMG_1064Just so no one thinks it’s all sweetness and light here and there never are any kerfuffles…


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

Tail Chaser


This is a Mac Attack!  Like a teen unable to control herself, Mac loves to chase tails.  She’ll flop down in one of the kitty beds or on top of me and chase her own tail round and round until I get dizzy watching her.  If Caesar is near by, his tail will be attacked, especially since that gorgeous tail of his is so big and it seems to be perpetually in motion. Mac really can’t help herself.  She watches it wiggle for a few moments, her eyes get big, and then she pounces with teeth and claws out.  Caesar, for his part, seems to have a very sensitive tail. He jumps up, one of the big paws goes up in the air as though he wants to strike the little miscreant, then his better angel gets control and the paw comes down. He huffs loudly to signal his indignation, then turns and leaves. This goes on night after night. Then we wonder why water gets shoveled out of the water bowl all over the floor? Harrumph!

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


Fearsome Hunter Kitty


Who says the Big Guy doesn’t let loose? He’s a fearsome hunter kitty when something catches his eyes.  Despite his size, he’s amazingly fast and graceful.  And need I mention that those larger sized paws come with larger sized claws? Same goes for those teeth.  When no human is watching him, he really goes to town. That’s when he starts chirping and running around with toy mice dangling by the tail from his mouth. Stick a head around the corner to watch and he quickly returns to a quiet dignified pose accompanied by lots of embarrassed grooming.  He’s very unimpressed by the laser pointer that sends Fireball into crazed action for hours at a time.  However, bring out the fishing pole, or jiggle a ribbon or string along the floor or over the edge of the kitty condo, and Caesar Tiger Bear springs into action, ready to vanquish whatever forces are disrupting household calm.  He’s such a gorgeous boy.  Then again, I’m a bit biased.


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


Michigan Mitts


There goes those Michigan mitts again.  Snaking into the food bowl and coming away with a hunk of food.  Notice the dribbles on the floor? The Merkitty does not clean up.  That’s the human’s job.  Those same paws also scoop water out of the water bowl — sometimes into an awaiting mouth, sometimes onto the awaiting floor. It makes little difference to the Merkitty.


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

Return of Little Yellow Mouse

yellow mouseApparently, one of the kitties thought I needed a toy to play with when I left the house the other day. I surmise that he or she tucked a present into a bag I had by the door so as not to forget.  Somewhere along the way, the toy must have fallen out of the bag and onto the floor of the front passenger side of my vehicle. A friend along for a ride, upon departing my truck, announced that I had mice in my vehicle.  I was adamant that I did not. I always keep my windows rolled up tight.  She reached down by the seat she’d just departed, snagged something, and handed it to me. Sure enough, it was the little yellow mouse, last seen having just had a swim in the water bowl.  Hmmm…


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

So Much Bed-Making Help


Just try and pull wrinkles out of a sheet or blanket on the bed.  Immediately, a tiger pounces, bites a hunk of fabric, and starts kicking more fabric with his paws.


Another tiger joins in. Ears up, eyes alert to the slightest movement of fabric over fabric. Big paws, sharp claws extended, the fearsome warrior attacks the moving cloth.

So much bed-making help!

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


Paw Dangling can be Contagious

IMG_0563Paw dangling can be contagious, particularly if you sit too close to the Big Guy as these photos clearly show.  Now everyone needs to cool their paws and catch stray breezes. (Note that in the lower picture, Fireball has his paw over the top of Macaroni’s.)



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




Another awwww moment:  the tiger boys putting their feet together.  So cute!

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




Water-Bowl Tumbler

water bowl overturned

Oh, yes, today we’ve had yet another variation on the water-bowl wrangler theme.

Sick of cleaning up water all over the floor from the stainless-steel water bowls, I thought I’d be clever and switch to the water-clear transparent glass bowl.

Okay, I admit it, I know it messes with the Merkitty’s head.  She just can’t understand the clear bowl, and she snakes her paws around the underside of this bowl even more than she does a “normal” water bowl.  Apparently it was during one of these underside explorations that she overturned the bowl, spilling several cups of water all over the floor.  Argh!

water bowl overturned2

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

Water-Bowl Wrangler Redux

photo 2 See the water on the floor?  That’s not a great thing to have sitting all night on laminate.  See how soggy the cloth under the water bowl is? That too isn’t great to have sitting all night on laminate.  Both floor and cloth were, of course, quite dry when I turned in last night.  Clearly, the merkitty has emerged from the deep and had a little play. Once again she is not admitting anything.  Look at that innocent face, those cute little toes, those lovely white whiskers…you can see how I was lured into bringing a merkitty into my house. She looks so sweet and innocent.  Ha! photo 1 (c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Mermaid Sighting


Splashing sounds are heard. Human goes to investigate. Sees water out of water bowl.  No surprise. Sees little wet footprints on the floor.  Follows them to unrepentant mermaid.  No chance of receiving an apology. No chance of receiving an explanation.  Deal with it human. I’ll play whenever I like.  I dare you to do something about it.  Bah!



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


photo 4

This is the little red bee looking his usual adorable self.

He really is aptly named:  he streaks from room to room like a little meteor.  He’s a fast moving, perpetual-motion machine…except when he’s not and he’s flopped down exhausted, able only to move his eyes.

He chirps a lot, and he’s a big fan of  “hit & run” snuggles with the humans.  He’ll quietly walk up to you and then softly bang into your leg as he brushes on by.  If you’re quick, you might get a tail pet before he’s off to something more interesting.  In the middle of the night when you’re fast asleep, he’ll bounce onto the bed to say hi. He strikes the surface once, lifts off and chirps mid flight, lands on your stomach (ooooffff), then returns to the floor where he is immediately off again looking for more adventures.

When he does slow down and does want attention, he’s the ultimate cuddle buddy. He literally wraps around my throat or around my head and sings and sings. He’ll curl up under my arm, lay his head upon my shoulder, and snuggle up tight. When it gets too warm next to the human and under the blankets, he’ll stretch his forelegs out and drape himself half on me and half on my pillow.  His fur is so incredibly soft and fluffy, and it really does feel like chenille. And for a little guy, he’s got a big, big motor.

I can’t seem to get enough calories into him to fill out those pretty red striped pajamas he wears that always seem a size or two too big. It’s certainly not that he doesn’t eat. Quite the contrary.  I affectionately call him my little red Hoover.  He inhales his food so fast I can’t believe he’s even able to taste it. Then he runs over to see if there is anything his “siblings” have left. If they have, he’ll make quick work of it. Caesar used to be a slow eater, but no more. Even Mac has learned to grab tasty bites and run elsewhere away from the vacuum on four red legs.  In fact, if he’s hungry and the human is nearby, he’ll let out a plaintive cry. If that doesn’t immediately lead to food in front of his face, he’ll drop his voice an octave or two and proceed to chastise the silly uncooperative two-legged.

He often follows  his “brother” Caesar around, copying everything the big guy does.  However, when his “sister” Mac tries to copy what he’s doing, he leaves in disgust. Do what I say, don’t do what I do.

Fireball is serious and purposeful. He’s neither the goofball comic his sister is, nor is he interested in playing the manager and peacemaker roles taken up by his brother.  He’s his own unique little self and I wouldn’t want it any other way.

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



Mac Attack

Mac Attack 2

This rug was flat on the floor, until it was no more.  It was subject of a Mac attack.  She was very focused on the little blue mouse.  After she chased the toy all over the kitchen and under the rug a couple of times, she laid down on its disheveled surface to take a much-deserved rest.


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

Stolen or Repurposed Toys are the Best

photo 2

Why is it that when you pay good money for absolutely adorable looking toys,  your cats won’t play with them?  However, get a free piece of string tied around a coffeecake at the grocery store or a cotton ribbon around some dish towels, and that turns out to be the best thing they’ve played with in months?  Are cats really that perverse or are humans just so dense and unable to figure out what makes a fun toy?  Only the Shadow knows…

photo 1

Yes, that is one giant Caesar paw (with a second about to appear).


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

Mr. Dangly Paws – Part IV


Surely, this too counts as paw dangling.  It’s the Big Guy in action on the stairs.  That yellow cat toy used to be a half-moon shape filled with potent catnip, now reduced to powder.  It’s tied to a long satin ribbon, allowing the wimpy human to play with the fur people without losing fingers.  Even at play, the paws need ventilation.  Maybe he doesn’t like hot feet?

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

Another Change of Tactics

Well, the Mermaid has found a new way to annoy the human. She has switched tactics again.  She hasn’t really flooded the water bowl in a few days, but what she is doing every morning is tipping over the paper bag that holds recyclables until they are ready to be carried out to the big wheeled bin beside the garage.

I think it started innocently enough…she was batting around one of her new fluffy mice and simply hit it too hard into the then-barely-full paper bag, which toppled over with a good hit.  However, now that she knows that hitting the bag low and hard will tip it over, she delights in overturning it and spilling papers, aluminum foil, plastic bottles, and more all over the floor.

She’s such a little vixen, but an entertaining one at that.


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

Little Yellow Swimming Mouse

yellow mouse

This little guy went for a swim the other night.  I’m not sure which of the mischiefs gave the toy a wash in the water bowl, but someone did as it was dripping wet when I picked it up from the floor.  Fortunately, this kind of mouse seems to be made of sterner stuff than their usual toys, which start delaminating after a bit of a swim.  In fact, these new mice, which I picked up for 50 cents USD each, are really great. Although they don’t make any noise like the “shakey” mice, they seem to be sewn with exceptionally thick and strong tails that Mac has thus far been unable to chew off, much though she tries.  She and Fireball carry the mice all over the house and bat them around, particularly along the “slippery” laminate floor in the kitchen.  I found two of them outside my bedroom door yesterday — this wet one and a dry one in light blue.  Not sure what that means, but I’m going to choose to interpret it that they brought me not one prize but two.  Such thoughtful kitties!


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