Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Month: August, 2014

Kitties Behind the Screen

photo 2Okay, some might argue that my cats are culturally deprived — human culture, that is — as this is a house where television is not played. Given that, it was with great amusement that I recently thought I’d finally figured out why the Merkitty (in her guise as Annoying Cat) was trying to get behind my 27-inch computer monitor.  I had been watching a very-entertaining video compilation of cats being cats and doing all kinds of crazy things. I noticed her watching the animals frolicking about, so changed to full-screen view.  She sat mesmerized for 7 minutes while the video played, then tried her darnedest to figure out how to get over my keyboard and behind the screen where, I am guessing, she thinks all these playful cats and kittens are hiding.


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

A Personal Offering

photo 3

Caesar Tiger Bear has been especially generous most days of the past week.  After we have our breakfast and some play time, the human heads to the salt mines (aka the office) and pretty much is lost until late evening.  That means the kitties have to entertain themselves, or come visit the human if they want any fun.  Annoying Cat comes in and tries to stomp on the keyboard, and Fireball often makes a secret cave out of the space behind the other desk, but Caesar has a kinder, gentler way of letting the human knows he’s thinking about her.

Each morning, about 2 hours after the human enters her work cave, there is the resounding pitter-patter of big kitty paws on the stairs.  This is accompanied by a low soft cry. (Such a small voice for such a big cat!)  At first the human rushed out thinking someone had gotten hurt or was about to hurl his or her breakfast, but now she recognizes the sound as alerting her that a great jungle hunter has returned with meat.  Granted, this is the best kind of meat that a silly vegetarian could ask for:  a cat toy (with or without its string) is offered just outside the office door.

The human has learned to walk slowly and quietly to the edge of her door and peer our. There sits the recumbent emperor looking ever so proud for having vanquished yet another dastardly toy mouse. Such a good kitty!  He gets lots of pets and hugs and kisses. He then retires for the rest of the morning and most of the afternoon, his day’s work done.

This little game works great if all the human is doing is writing or editing. However, one day this past week she had an early morning conference call.  As she was talking to a number of serious business types around the world, that mournful cry was heard throughout the house. Since the human didn’t come to acknowledge the proffered gift, the cry just kept getting louder. <<Doesn’t she know what I’ve brought her?>> (I’ll just talk louder and hope the others don’t hear, thinks the human.)  Ah well, no harm done either way.



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

Return of Secret Schmoo

photo 1

The temperatures have been lower and the little Red Comet has returned to one of his favorite hiding places — under a big comforter that is tossed over the banister upstairs.

Actually at one time or another, all three of these cats love to go under there. You find yourself walking down the hall and you see a strange lump bulging out of the side of  the fabric, or an errant foot or tail sticking out from under the edge of the cloth and you know that some four-legged is hiding there.  If you really want to try your luck, as you walk downstairs, you quietly lift a corner of the comforter that hangs on that side of the banister and there you might see a secret schmoo, who generally will be greatly unhappy that his or her hiding place has been discovered — and by the silly human no less!  Macaroni, the Merkitty, has been known to hiss when her den has been invaded by the human’s face and fingers.

photo 2

Yesterday, I spied the tell-tale (or should that be tell-tail) lump, so snuck downstairs, grabbed my phone, and came back and caught Fireball in his hidey-hole.  He seemed to take his home invasion in stride.  On the other hand, he loves it when I play hide-‘n-seek with my fingers between the rails.  As you can see from the scratch marks in that ancient wood, many of my cat have enjoyed the same game over the two decades I’ve lived here.

photo 3



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

Revenge? Revenge!

photo 1Well, it took about a week, but the Merkitty has begun her revenge.  After much circling of both upstairs and downstairs elevated bowls on the soft grey mats, yesterday the first flooding was seen on the downstairs setup.  Fortunately, very little of the water ended up on the floor, so the mat is doing its job. What a character she is!


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


Return of the Uncaulker?

IMG_0474Uh-oh, a suspicious chunk of caulk was found in the tub.  That can only mean one thing:  the plumber has returned and has begun the tedious process of digging caulk out of the seams between sections of my shower’s backsplash.

The current caulk has been in place for just about a year.  Clearly, it’s time for it to be replaced.

Of course, the little red comet is not admitting anything!


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

Upping the Ante

new upstairs bowl and matOkay, so after half a week of upstairs water play at 4 a.m., the busy human broke away from the keyboard long enough to go purchase another elevated pair of water and crunchies bowls as well as another one of those soft grey mats to catch the water.  (Yes, that’s the Merkitty tail. She’s checking out the new gear. And it looks like I’ve got the mat upside down, but perhaps it will be even better at catching errant fountain flow.)

goofy pawOf course, as I was in the process of setting things up, the Merkitty had that crazy foot of hers going, scooping air along the outside of the old water bowl.  What in the world she thinks she’s doing is a mystery to me, but she does it every time she drinks water so at least she’s consistent.

confused catAnd once I got the new bowls set up and had emptied the old ones, the Water Monster had to go stick her face in the empty (but still damp) water bowl. Then she looked up as though confused as to why there was no water in it.

Clearly, it will be several days of walking around and around as the little wheels turn in her head. You can almost hear them creak.  I’m sure there will be retaliation…I just don’t know what she will do.  It will be clever and creative whatever it is.


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


IMG_0720Silly me thinking that I’d actually solved a problem by finding a nice big soft mat that would keep the water aerobics off the floor.  Admittedly, the household water-monster has not (yet) flooded the floor around the new mat nor has she flooded the mat itself. However, what she has done is move her antics upstairs to the water bowl on the second floor.

Pretty much all week around 4 a.m. the little vixen has pulled the water bowl around on the floor.  This is a heavy ceramic water bowl whose bottom is unglazed, so moisture can bleed through. I typically keep a washcloth or small towel under the bowl just to soak up the small amount of moisture that does seep through the bottom.  Well, the Merkitty has been hooking her claws into the fabric under the bowl and pulling the fabric, thereby dragging the bowl around on the floor. Yesterday she made a very serious flood, not only completely soaking the cloth but also spilling water on the whole floor surrounding the vinyl placemat on which the water and crunchies bowls sit.

So, for her redirect, she gets the point this week and that cancels out the point I got for finding the cute rubber mat.  I think I am going to invest in another elevated set of bowls and get another rubber mat for upstairs.

I wonder what her counter-move will be?



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

The Arrogance of Humans

new mat 2
Ha! The human thinks she’s done something clever, as though that was even possible.

First she puts a bright red bag under my water bowls. For a few days I let her think she’d won…as if!  Then I showed her that I can throw water way outside the confines of the bright red mat.  But mostly, I enjoyed how the water pooled up under the bowls on the plastic surface. It was loads of fun to stick my paws under the bowls and splash around in the water puddle.

Apparently, despite my showing her I could outwit her once again, the human came home the other night all excited. She had a new soft, rubbery mat as big as the red plastic bag that was shaped like a bone. It kind of matches our bowls.  The mat has a lip to keep water inside. Doesn’t she just think she’s smart. Ha!

I’m letting it sit there for a couple of days while I decide what I’m going to do. In the meantime, the insufferable human thinks she’s won this round. We shall see!


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

Water Aerobics (or Return of Splashasaurus)

photo 3This is always a tough time of the year work wise. I’m often on the keyboard from 7:00 am until 9:30 pm 7 days a week. Of course, that doesn’t always go over well with my feline captors, who think they should get some of my time and attention too.  And heaven forbid I be still working when the fur furs think that I should be dispensing the evening snacks.

The last 2 weeks have seen a very energetic return of Splashasaurus, the Merkitty. Instead of making small floods to the right of the water bowl, she’s been dousing the floor on 3 sides of the elevated bowls as though trying to bail water from a sinking boat.  And she does this 3-4x per day. Needless to say, the busy human is not amused.

Having tried towels and dish-drying pads of various sizes under the elevated water bowl to no avail, in exasperation and a small amount of desperation, I decided to recycle a large plastic bag that had held corn-cob litter. It’s not pretty, but it’s big enough to cover the area under the bowls and their rack, plus a good amount of space on all four sides around the bowls.  It’s also tough enough plastic that those clever little paws can’t drag the plastic out from under the bowls (as had recently been happening with the dish-drying pads, which I often found at right angles to their original position come morning).

For a few days, there was examination and contemplation and the area stayed pretty dry. (You can almost see the wheels turning in her head. If she played chess, she’d be a champion.) Then my clever little minx started climbing up on top of the rack (see her in action above) and bailing for all she was worth. I still have floods, but now the majority of the water stays on the plastic bag and puddles under the bowls.  And sure enough, the Merkitty will occasionally climb off the rack only to stick her wet paws under the rack and play with the water on the bag.  She is such a unique individual!

So, anyone else ever had a Merkitty?  What did you try to keep your floors dry?  Did anything work?  I’m looking for suggestions here.


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


Thunder Bear

IMG_1327Well, yesterday morning early, the long-promised rain arrived and brought with it thunder and lightening.  We were up early, but oddly enough the Big Guy just slunk along with tail and head down. He acted nervous and neither came for his morning snack (unheard of!) nor his breakfast (doubly unheard of!), but rather kept going into small places under furniture and laying down.  It finally occurred to me that he was nervous about the thunderstorm. Sure, I’ve had cats before that didn’t like the sound of a bad storm right overhead, but this was not one of those storms.  In fact, most cats I’ve had seemed aware of thunderstorms, but not terribly fussed about them, unlike dogs I’ve had that cowered in terror under the bed and whimpered dreadfully every time there was a storm.  These cats, after all, have to endure nightly fireworks going off close and loud from about 8 pm until 1 am pretty much from mid-June through the end of July. But yesterday I learned that Caesar, who seems nonplused about most things, is now afraid of thunderstorms. I wonder if they make thunder shirts in big cat sizes as they do for dogs? Might need to investigate.  Meanwhile, the Big Guy doesn’t want to talk about it.


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

The Challenges of Trying to Hold Bedding in Place

photo 2

The silly human has this annoying tendency to want to make a bed as soon as she vacates it.  However, we really like to lay down in the spot she has just left, which is still warm and smells like her.

photo 3

She tries to make the bed around us anyway, so sometimes we have to call in reinforcements.  It’s not easy holding the bedding in place. That’s when we try to look cute.

photo 1

It generally works as she’s easily distracted. Before you know it, she’s walking around, snapping pictures on that annoying phone of hers. We get to stay put, but we have to endure the flash going off.  However, before you feel any pity for her, don’t! She has her own trick for distracting us:  she walks out of the bedroom and downstairs. We follow, of course, knowing breakfast and our morning snack are forthcoming.


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