Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Month: February, 2015

Red Dot Special

IMG_2250Fireball is absolutely entranced with the laser pointer. Mac likes it too, but is nowhere near as crazy about chasing that red dot as the Baby Comet.

IMG_2251In fact, the little guy now has an adorable technique he uses with the human morning and night if the laser pointer gets put down for a while in order for the human to eat.

IMG_2252He comes over, bumps against the human’s leg, looks up and squeaks.

IMG_2253The squeak is the key addition:  when he does that, he wants to play.

IMG_2254The human usually obliges.  All is good in the world.


(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Happy 3rd Anniversary Kitties!

IMG_2243Today is the 3rd anniversary of the arrival of Caesar, Fireball, and Macaroni to my house.  What an amazing transformation those scared little kitties have made.  How grateful I am that their other Mom was so generous and let me take all three. I realized a few months into their stay that my face actually hurt from laughing so much at their daily antics.  I hadn’t realized how living without furry friends even for a short time deprives you of those daily giggles and happy sighs.


(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Another Day, Another Kitty-Bed Cuddle


If you look closely, you’ll see there are indeed three little kitty bodies in that jumble.  Some of the positions they get themselves into just don’t look comfortable.

IMG_2262Of course, the kitties find it endlessly annoying when the human sneaks up and tries to take a picture with that nasty camera. Bad human!


(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Pink Mousy Visits the Cacti

IMG_2229Honestly, I could never pose these toys as cutely as the cats do with a casual toss. I think this is the work of the Girly Girl, as she’s an inveterate toy tosser.  However, I didn’t see this happen, only happened upon it long after it occurred.  They are having so much fun with the return of all the prodigal mice they lost so many weeks and months ago.


(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.


One Plus One Plus One Equals W*A*R*M


It’s been brutally cold here in the mitten. While humans grouse about the wind and the snow, the furry people have it all figured out.  Cuddle up together in one of the kitty beds with lots of fuzzy blankets and you won’t mind winter at all.


(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.


Cinderella’s Mice

IMG_2231In the children’s fairy tale, Cinderella, the mice turn into magnificent horses and pull Cinderella’s pumpkin-turned carriage to the ball.  She needs to get herself and her carriage home before dawn as her enchanted finery will turn back into its more common form with the first rays of the sun.

In my house, I’m not sure what the kitty-mice turn into at night, but they go from cute but lifeless little toys piled in the kitty toy box to adventurers who gallivant all over the house in the dark. Some of the mice come up on the bed and chase the cats around.  Some of the mice go out as far as the kitchen and hide under the stove.  One or two mice might take a swim, or end up quite close to the water bowl.  Yet another mouse or two might end up in one of the potted plants.  And lots of mice will be found scattered up and down the stairs, all over the hallway, and next to my office.

Sadly, just like Cinderella’s horse-mice, as soon as the light of day arrives the kitty-mice flop on their sides and don’t move until I pick them up or the kitties grab them and run.  Still, it’s remarkable to find groups of them huddled in interesting patterns all over the floor.


(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

The Seriously Overflowing Kitty Toy Box

IMG_2234We may need to dig out another wooden box and split the cache of kitty toys.  It’s amazing what finding 25 lost toys will do for filling up the toy box. I just knew there had to be some place the kitties were losing their toys.  That was the only way to explain having over 60 of them disappear with no trace. Given the 25 I found last week and the 6 or 7 I found the week before, I’m well on the way to recovering all the missing toys. At this rate, I won’t have to dig into my secret stash for months!


(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Free Toys have Zero Entertainment Value

IMG_2220While at the pet-food store the other day getting yet another container of raw-meat snacks, I lucked out and had a coupon for a free toy (up to $7 USD value).  The assistant showed me all the toys that I could choose from for my darlings.  I passed up the small mice as they have lots of those.  I passed up any toy that had a jingly bell, as the cats are still scared of bells.  I passed up crackly balls, as we have plenty of those, and they don’t like hard-plastic toys at all.  I finally settled on a long log of a catnip-filled toy with a fluffy fake fur tail on the end.  My previous crew adored this type of toy and would kick and bite it with abandon.  It was one of their favorite toys.  Hence, I chose the thing, paid the difference, and brought it home all proud of myself for getting them something new and fun.


Alas, once I got it out of its package and tossed both toy and decorative ribbon to Mac, she immediately pounced on the ribbon and rolled and rolled on it. (It clearly smelled of catnip.)  However, the toy itself got a brief sniffing and that was it.  (How can she become crazed over the ribbon tied around the toy, but have no interest in the toy itself, I wondered?)

With slightly wounded pride, I brought the new toy upstairs to the bedroom and put it beside their kitty beds. So far, the best attention it seems to get is if I wave it back and forth, silly tail wiggling. The cats will make a half-hearted stab at the tail with their paws. However, no one so far seems to think the rest of the thing is worth the effort to kick it or lick it — unlike the similar but smaller toy their cousin got them weeks ago. The new toy must not have much catnip or very good catnip.  Harrumph!  Maybe it’s time I got out my needle and thread, opened a seam, stuffed it full of good potent “nippy” and sewed it shut. Then maybe the toy will get a bit of love.

Moral of this story?  If the human gets a free toy, the toy provides the cats with zero entertainment value.  Harrumph indeed!


(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Snow Sillies

IMG_2210It’s been cold and snowy for days, so of course the 4-leggeds have had the snow sillies.  They’re far better forecasters than the pros on the weather channel.  The other night, Mac hopped into one of her kitty beds on my bed while Caesar snoozed and I read.  At one point goofy girl was actually playing with 3 toys at the same time, flipping them around and tossing them in the air.  Remarkably, as I lay reading, a small pink mouse Mac was tossing around suddenly and quite literally went whizzing by my ear to land in the pocket of one of those bed pillow chairs next to my pillow.  Nice shot!

And the other morning, not only did the Mac and Fireball have a grand time chasing the red dot (from the laser pointer), but even the Big Guy got involved chasing it.  That was a first.  While he definitely watches the red dot as it moves around on the floor and occasionally will stoop to sniff it as it trundles by his front feet, he has always been way too sophisticated to chase such a silly thing…but not that day. He got as silly as the little ones do chasing it around and attacking the rug on which the dot momentarily took rest. Even more remarkable, he puffed up his tail — something I’ve never seen from him before.


Mac has developed a new technique for chasing the laser pointer dot.  She makes big dramatic moves and literally throws herself on top of the spot where the dot was moments before, as though trying to trap it via belly flop.  Fireball, on the other hand, has perfected the art of hitting the dot repeatedly with both front paws (a la whack-a-mole).  He gets fairly incensed when the dot lands on his tail and starts working its way up his back. He rolls halfway over like a harbor seal and literally tries to attack his own tail or hip.

And Caesar gets a fairly menacing look when that ragged piece of denim cloth at the end of the kitty fishing pole starts hovering over him in the air. You can almost see him clench his jaws as he makes remarkably graceful leaps in the air trying to attack it.  The ultimate insult is, of course, when the darned thing lands on his back and he can’t reach it.  He gets his revenge when he does catch the silly thing by trying to chew through the thick black string that holds it to the pole.  Hence, the human has to pay attention to what she’s doing when the kitties have their morning constitutional.


(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Enhance Your Furry Friend’s Life: Commit to Play with Him/Her More in the New Year

IMG_2190Okay, the silly human read some end-of-year compilation that purported to be resolutions to make if you wanted to enhance the quality of your furry friend’s (friends’) life/lives in the new year — and who doesn’t want that?  One of the items on the list was a commitment to actively play with the 4-legged ones for an extra hour each week, because the best gift we can give them is ourselves (for dogs, yes; for cats, maybe). The author noted that it didn’t really represent a lot more time, as you could break this down into an extra 10-15 minute chunks a few times / week.  That seemed like a reasonable proposition, since it didn’t mean getting up before dawn in the cold and dark time of the year.

Well, given that 2 of my 3 darlings are on reduced rations at the moment, the idea of some extra exercise seemed to be a great idea for burning calories and having fun. So the human dug back out the laser pointer (Fireball’s obsession) and the kitty fishing pole (which Caesar loves so dearly) and she’s been having early-morning play time after breakfast and before the trio heads upstairs for some sack time. They have enthusiastically embraced the extra playtime as these photos show.


The two little ones are completely captivated with the red dot that runs along the floor and up walls. While Caesar clearly sees the red dot, and upon occasion will bend down to sniff it, he’s way too sophisticated to be caught chasing a thing such as that. But let that ragged old piece of denim fabric tied to the fishing pole suddenly appear overhead and he abandons all pretense of dignity and is quickly making impossibly graceful leaps into the air or rolling around on the ground biting it for all he’s worth. The human has to keep an eye on him as he likes to chew through string (and has done so once on the fishing pole).  Now the real trick is to operate the laser pointer with one hand, the fishing pole with the other, and then try and figure out how to take photos at the same time…silly human.


(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.