Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Month: July, 2014

A New Office Visitor

photo 1For almost a year, I’ve had regular weekly visits from Fireball, who comes in on silent paws, then stands up next to me, puts his paws on my desk, and squeaks. That’s my cue that I’m supposed to pet him, then pick him up and give him hugs and kisses.

Well, the Emperor is clearly taking tips from Fireball’s play book now.

Admittedly, both he and the Baby Comet have long come in and softly bang into my leg as they swished by under my chair. If I was lucky, I’d get to pet a head or tail, but then one or both of them would be gone.

However, after a few leg bumps, Caesar comes back and stands up next to me and asks to be petted. He’s still not that keen on being picked up. His foster mom, Kim used to say he didn’t like to have his feet off the ground and that may be part of the reason.  But he seems to be tolerating being held for longer stretches of time.  In fact, shocking as it was, a few months back he actually allowed me to pick him up from the couch and carry him upstairs to my bedroom when I had company coming over.  I’m not sure who was more surprised that he allowed this to happen — him or me — but it was nice to be able to carry the Big Guy without sacrificing chunks of my arms to do so. He has formidable paws and claws.

Anyway, I’m taking this new behavior as yet another sign that Caesar is becoming less afraid.  It’s so sad to think about what these skittish kitties must have had to endure before they were rescued. It’s a wonder they trust any human at all.

 

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

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What Dignity?

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This is the comedy cat. She hopped into a kitty bed last night, flipped around and around chasing a cord that Caesar had been playing with, then laid spread-eagle on her back for 20 minutes.

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Clearly, this is a cat with no body-image hangups.  Would that I could say the same!

 

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

I Double-Dare You to Pull that Fabric!

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<<Go on.  Risk your hand!>>

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<<You know I’m very fast. Go on, see if you can pull the wrinkle out before I get your fingers.>>

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<<Drats, snagged again. Okay human, your fingers live another day…>>

 

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

Kālī the Destroyer

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Being very clever as well as devious, Macaroni (aka Kālī the Destroyer) has devised a new way to torment the human, who is working long hours with no break.  There’s a soft kitty bed with an even softer blanket  just to the left of my keyboard on my desk. The kitty bed looks out on the yard and all its wildlife.  Mac often curls up with her unicorn toy and sleeps there for hours at a time…or at least she used to do that.

Recently, she’s been wandering over to my work area — ostensibly to get a hug and a cuddle.  However, once here, she wants to stomp on my computer keyboard and phone keypad, and head-butt piles of paper that surround my work area. She also has shown keen interest in exploring the area behind my flat-screen monitor and the area where one of my power strips/surge protectors and modem reside — decidedly NOT good ideas!

No matter how many times I pick her up and hug her and try to type 1-handed, she wants to get down and explore the environs and generally wreck havoc. It seems to be in her DNA.  I can temporarily distract her by getting up and going out to the kitchen for a drink of water or opening up the door to the screened-in porch, but that only buys me a few minutes to a few hours of quiet. Before I know it, she’s back doing her best Annoying Cat impression.

Ever resourceful, a few days back I picked up a large CD carrying case and set it (as a barrier) between her area and mine.  For a few days, that worked well. Unfortunately, as you’ll see in the images below, she has simply learned to scale the precipice.

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First, she pretends to sniff the CD case. <<What is this interesting obstacle in my path?>>

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Note how she tries to distract me as she climbs up the side of the case by pretending to look outside? <<HA! I know just what you are about, Missy!>>

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See the mischievous glee that lights up her face as she turns back to the work at hand?

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Quick as a wink, she’s over the barricade and heading off to stomp on my keyboard.  <<Argh!  So much for that brilliant idea. I guess I’m going to have to create a better barricade!>>

 

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

The Paw that Refreshes

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A little Merkitty came for a visit. She jumped up and wanted to cuddle. Alas, as I was petting her, I felt a damp paw. And then I felt a damp foreleg. Argh, I thought. She’s clearly been engaging in some water aerobics.

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Sure enough, when I got up to look, the floor was flooded.  Such a Merkitty!

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

Caesar & the Little Rain Room

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Nearly all of my cats have been fascinated by the shower.  As I showered, Winston, my first red tiger, used to walk around the rim of the ancient claw-footed tub that was in a great Victorian-era house I lived in and once slipped off and fell into the shower with me. Now that was a scary experience. The water was pouring from the shower head, and I was unclothed with a thrashing, sharp-clawed cat in the tub between me and the faucet I was trying desperately to shut off. He was unable to figure out how to get away from the water and I was scared of being sliced while I tried to help him find an exit.

Tiggin, my sweet mackerel tabby, used to wait right outside the shower. When I’d emerge with a towel wrapped around, I was expected to pick her up and hold her while she scrubbed the skin on my shoulders vigorously with her tongue. Honestly, it’s a wonder I still have any skin left in that part of my body.  I guess she felt that soap and water were a poor substitute for cat spit.

And now dear Caesar Tiger Bear sits outside the shower while I clean up. If the shower curtain is a little open on the side away from the spray, he will stand up on his back legs, put his paws on the edge of the tub, and peer in.  I suppose it must be a really puzzling thing that humans have somehow managed to bring rain INSIDE the house.  He seems fascinated with “little rain room” although mercifully he’s not one to lick me clean after I emerge.

 

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

 

 

 

 

Squirrel Patrol

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A couple of years ago, the road in front of my old farm house was torn up all summer for a major construction project.  With all the humans and excavation equipment and traffic and dust and noise and smells, my squirrel and chipmunk populations just completely disappeared.  Last summer, the fox squirrels returned, followed by a couple of the smaller red squirrels.  This year the chipmunks returned and a less common black squirrel arrived.

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The feisty red squirrels have been having a field day tormenting my cats. They will scamper up close to the windows in the kitchen or on the upper deck and will just chip and scold the cats relentlessly for 15 minutes at a time, all the while shaking their tails. The cats, to their credit, simply watch and whimper, only occasionally pawing the glass and throwing themselves against the barrier when their tormentors get really close.

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It’s a good thing these are indoor cats or they’d be enjoying squirrel-burger sandwiches every night.

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

Cats can Spell English

Lake Superior

Oddly enough, the Merkitty has been quite well behaved on balance the past few weeks, at least with regard to aquatic activities.  There has been very little water splashing. My floors have stayed dry, the notorious elevated water bowl has had nary a puddle under it, the cats have had clean, fresh water when they were thirsty, and all has been well.  Then my friend happened to jinx things by asking two days ago if there had been any more incidences with the w-a-t-e-r.  (Yes, she spelled the word out quietly.)  I equally quietly told her n-o.  Barely an hour after that conversation, I happened to be heading to the kitchen for a coffee refill when I chanced upon my own version of Lake Superior on the floor.  Since then, there have been several major floods per day.  Last night, I saw Fireball splashing water in the upstairs bowl, and this morning I found one of the pink mice beside that same bowl soaking wet. The Plesiosaurus has clearly returned from the watery depths and recruited allies…and Macaroni must be able to spell English too…  No more whispering, spelling, or even thinking about flooding!

 

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

Curiosity & the Cat

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The cats absolutely love this time of the year. It’s warm enough that windows are open nearly all the time and all those annoying, albeit somewhat tasty, houseplants are outside for the season. That means that window ledges are fair game pretty much anywhere in the house.  Oh, they so love to check out the property to see what miscreant creature might be slinking around outside.  And all the better since the human seems not to object.  Last week I managed to catch the Baby Comet in the midst of inspecting his realm.

 

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

Put Your Hand there at Your Risk!

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The Big Guy and I have developed a new game.  Each morning as I try to make up my bed (with 2-3 cats sprawled out on top of the covers, attacking anything and everything that moves), I playfully wiggle my fingers in front of those big Caesar paws.  At first, he just looked at my quizzically.  <<What is that human doing? Ah, she’s trying to distract me so she can pet my paws. Best to keep them hidden.>> Next he got curious enough to sniff my hand.  Since I exercised tremendous restraint several days in a row and did not pet his paws, he let his guard down.

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Eventually, the Big Guy got into the spirit of the game and each time I’d wiggle my fingers in front of him, he’d take a playful swipe at me.  The other morning, I both pulled on the covers — and irresistible treat for all the cats — and I wiggled my fingers.  The Emperor threw himself forward with great enthusiasm, actually sliding across the sheets, and got to the hand tugging the sheets faster than I could withdraw it.  Ouch!  Those were not entirely fully sheathed claws.

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We’ve been playing this game all week and I have the battle scars on both hands to prove it.  He’s not doing it to hurt me, but once he gets his play on, his excitement does tend to take over.  <<Silly human!>>  But who could resist such big soft paws?  Pas de moi!

 

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