Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Month: October, 2014

Cuckoo for Chicken Puffs


My fussy little fur friends have a favorite new morning snack:  freeze-dried chicken puffs. They’ve been having a good time munching down on these bite-size treats and retrieving them when I toss them around on the floor. It’s a good thing I finally found something they will eat as a snack, as in the last 2 months I’ve sent no less than 7 different containers of healthy treats off to friends with cats and dogs who are less discriminating than mine have become.  I do fondly recall when they first arrived and would eat anything I offered. Even Caesar and the Little Red Hoover don’t vacuum up food the way they once did.  Ah well, if you can’t spoil your kitties, what’s the point?


Look at those little faces…how can you bear to disappoint?


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

Cuddle Buddies


This was how I found Caesar and Macaroni the other afternoon, cuddling together in their kitty bed.  Can we hear a big AWWWW for these cuddle buddies?  Caesar finds a way to do a bit of paw dangling even while he comforts one of the younger kitties.  He’s the first male kitty I’ve known with such a strong “maternal” (or at least parental) instinct, even though he has no blood relation to Mac and Fireball.  How fortunate I am that these three get along so famously.


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

But Where did they All Go?

IMG_2072It occurred to me last night that in the last 2-3/4 years, I’ve easily purchased a 100 little toy mice for my fur friends, and I’ve already given out 75% of those to the kitties.  I used to buy the brightly colored “shakey” mice by the 8 pack and the cats would get a new set of 2 or 3 roughly every 2 weeks. (That’s how long on average it takes before they lose all of their toys.)  I bought a box of 30 of the grey, black, and white mice that Caesar seems to favor so he could join in the fun, and I went through several 3-packs of the mice wrapped in brightly colored cord — not that any of those lasted very long. When I found the slightly larger “sheepy” mice on clearance at 10 for a dollar at the end of last year, I must have bought 40 or 50 and handed them out with equal abandon.

As I prepared for bed and picked up kitty toys all over the house, I realized that none of their favorite toys were anywhere to be seen. Sure the fluorescent green mouse (she of ficus tree fame) can still be found, as can the small soft rainbow mouse, as both are now tied to long strings so are harder to lose.  Regardless, those toys don’t rank very high on the favorites list.  With none of the toys the cats really like in evidence, that was my cue to dole out some new ones, which I dutifully did.

Quickly, both Fireball and Macaroni found the new toys and had great fun cavorting with the sheepy mice, tossing them in the air, chasing them up and down the stairs, dropping them by (but not in) the water bowl, and generally making a racket accompanied by that characteristic low moaning sound they make when they’ve caught prey and I’m to come over and admire it.  In fact, here’s the Big Guy with one of the new mice, which he offered to me just outside my office door this morning.

IMG_2070As I lay in bed last night reviewing my day and listening to the kitties have so much fun with their toys, it occurred to me to wonder where on earth all those lost toy mice could be.  It’s not like I have a huge house or that it has an over abundance of hiding spots. Sure, a few of the mice that had one too many swims in the water bowl and delaminated have been recycled into mousy heaven.  And the previous year I did retrieve a treasure trove of toy mice that had gone down the air-intake grate for my furnace when I put my plants out in spring, but there was no such cache this year.  So what has become of them? Have the cats hidden them all away somewhere in order to lure me into breaking out a new stash?  With felines, one just never knows.



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

Why it’s Imperative to Stand Guard at the Window…

20141016_105341I’ve published numerous photos on this blog of the 3 cats cuddled up on the bench in my kitchen staring out at whatever creatures were visiting the feeders and lower deck.  Well, now you see why they stay glued to that window for hours every day. You just never know who might wander in.

Now mind you, that bowl is full of squash seeds from some recently roasted winter squash that I’d put out for the squirrels, chipmunks, and birds.  Little did I know that my pumpkin-eating-pal, Woodgie would come along and clean out that bowl in a short amount of time.  Clearly Woodgie has not yet gone into hibernation. Equally clearly, it was a good choice NOT to buy more pumpkins to decorate my stairs.



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

Caesar Tiger Bear: Vanquisher of (Toy) Mice!

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Caesar is very graceful. But lest you be fooled, he’s a fearsome hunter…

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And he’s very fast too!  It’s actually kind of scary how quickly he can move when he suddenly gets focused on prey.

photo 3Makes me really glad I’m a whole lot bigger than a toy mouse!


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

Water Monster has Fun

IMG_2036Guess who’s been here?


Yes, the Merkitty has been busy again.  Can you see those adorable little wet kitty tracks on my Pergo floor?  She’s not particularly good at hiding her indiscretion.  Worse, she probably doesn’t care if the human knows. After all, what am I going to do about it other than try to find a bigger mat to put under the water bowl?


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

Something’s Wrong with this Picture; Can You Tell what it is?

IMG_2031Alas, the unseasonably cold weather has prompted me to grudgingly move my houseplants back inside almost a month earlier than usual.  Of course, my furry friends think this is a great thing, even though it means their kitty condo gets moved away from the window in the stove room where they’ve had easy watching of all the fauna that has entered the deck on that side of their yard.

All summer long, under the sun and rain, the spider plants (Chlorophytum comosum) have been busy regrowing their leaves and plantlets (spider babies). And now they are inside and their leaves are there for the eating.  The organic wheat grass I buy the cats each week and the fresh catnip I bring in from outdoors hold no attraction like the spider plants this time of year.  Soon, the spiders will be significantly trimmed and free of all their spider babies.  Fortunately, this plant is not poisonous and does seem to help with digestion.  I also was surprised to learn that its leaves contain a natural opiate that is mildly hallucinogenic (albeit not harmful) to cats. No wonder they prefer its leaves to wheat grass.


Oops, the Big Guy is busted!  At the sound of my voice, he hightails it out of the ficus pot.  Note the little ones looking on from a distance.


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



Woodgie the Woodchuck: Vanquisher of Pumpkins

IMG_2014And here is my round woodchuck pal eating away at my fall decorations.  As you can see, he or she has done a remarkable job in a short amount of time.


So much for him or her not liking the blue-grey warty pumpkin.


Given the rapacious way the wildlife has consumed my flowers, vegetables, fruits, and now decorations this year, it’s tempting to suppose we are in for another really hard winter.


While the kitties don’t care overly much about the pumpkins that are rapidly disappearing off my steps, they do care about what they perceive as invaders to “their yard.”


Let me tell you, this large, plump creature gets a lot of excited stares from the kitchen window beside the deck, particularly when he or she is right underneath them eating birdseed that has fallen from the feeders that hang next to the windows.



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

Cat Hammock: Preferred by Hidey Cats Near & Far


Of all the special purchases I’ve made for the kitties in the last two-and-a-half years, I think their favorite and my own has to be a cleverly designed cat hammock that attaches to the underside of 4 chair legs or possibly a small table.  One side of the hammock is rip-stop nylon and the other side is plush fleece, making it washable, soft, and nearly indestructible.  The roughly square fabric features a long woven nylon strap coming off each corner that has a rubberized elastomer on the end closest to the hammock and either Velcro hooks or loops on the other (depending on side of strap), plus a plastic buckle to help secure it. You simply decide which side you want up, lay the hammock under a chair that has 4 legs and no support structure in between. You then attach one strap after another until all are on tightly and your hammock is suspended.


I liked my first hammock so much that I ended up purchasing a second.  They even come in 3 different colors on the ripstop nylon side, should you or your cats care.  I know all cats use the hammocks based on the broad range of fur colors they leave behind.  I often find Mac the Merkitty hanging out there staring back at me — all the better when I’m willing to drape a towel or kitty blanket over the front edge of the chair so she can amuse herself with the idea that she is hidden.  The meows often drag their favorite kitty toys into the hammock and leave them there — presumably for safe keeping.  This is such a clever way to add excellent hiding spots for our fur friends in otherwise unused space.


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

Spontaneous Grooming

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I chanced upon the kitties having a grooming party.  While Fireball and Macaroni alternately groomed each other, Caesar was grooming Fireball.

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Of course, it didn’t take long before spontaneous grooming turned into spontaneous biting and wrestling.

photo 1And that, of course, sets off a round of self-conscious self-grooming.


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

Tiger Boys Vanquish Another Toy Mouse

20140917_083324Just in case you were worried about whether or not it was safe to come upstairs…the Tiger Boys have done the hard work and swept the treads clean of toy mice.  None will be nibbling at your ankles this night. Don’t you feel safe with the Tiger Boys on guard?


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

Paws Up!

photo 1

<<I was asleep. She thought I looked cute, so of course she woke me up.>>

photo 4

<<I’m not sure what’s worse:  the pets or the photographs. The camera makes noise and flashes a bright light. How are you supposed to sleep through THAT?>>

photo 2<<Ah well, she left again. Back to my ZZZZZZZZZZssss.>>


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


Uninvited Guest

IMG_2009I must confess that autumn has been my favorite season for ages.  And one of my favorite things to do this time of year is cook and eat winter squash and pumpkins. I also like to decorate inside and out with odd-shaped and -colored members of the Cucurbita family.  Not only does it make my house look seasonally festive, but either I or the wildlife get to feast on the decorations after awhile.

I generally purchase some fanciful pumpkins and winter squash or even odd gourds to put on each step of my deck stairs.  After several weeks, the squirrels and/or the chipmunks generally tunnel into the squash and eat all the seeds, much to the delight of the watching kitties, who follow their antics from a nearby window. Then the herd of deer, which daily wanders through my yard, eats the rest of the squash.  That means I can generally count on the wildlife to clean up my outdoor decorations for me.  But at least I have those decorations for 4-6 weeks to enjoy.

Well, a few days ago I purchased 2 fancy pumpkins (one white, one blue-grey) and a pink & blue-grey squash and placed them on 3 of my 4 deck steps. I was trying to decide if I was going to grace the top stair with a small orange pumpkin or go look for another strangely shaped warty squash.  However, before my aesthetic decisions were finalized, yesterday afternoon an uninvited guest who also visits my deck almost every day, came by and ate large chunks of the curcubits after dragging them off their steps. This is the work of a very — shall we say — Rubenesque woodchuck (groundhog) having a last hurrah before he or she goes into hibernation for the winter.  The kitties get very excited (or is that aggitated) every time he/she shows up to eat bird seed under my feeders and near their perch.


Looks like I’ll be buying more pumpkins for my deck.  Since the warty blue-grey one had the least amount of damage, perhaps it didn’t taste so good to the woodchuck. I’ll have to see about getting more in that color scheme


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