Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Month: May, 2016

Burrito Bears

IMG_3609For some reason, the human got in the habit of calling the exalted ones “bears,” perhaps because they’re small, soft, and cuddly like teddy bears.  IMG_3608Fireball is the only kitty in the house who not only tolerates but actually likes being wrapped up in soft blankets while he’s snoozing.  In fact, the 2-legged adds extra fleece blankets to kitty beds, because he digs at the blankets to try and get under a lower layer so he’s covered up before falling asleep — and he does this winter and summer.  IMG_3617The other morning as the human got up just after sunrise and started her morning chores, she found the little orange kitty in some orange and brown blankets. He was so out of it, that she just couldn’t help but pull a layer of blanket back and wrap him up.IMG_3616The result resembled a little kitty burrito…or bearito.


(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Get up, Lazy Human! We want to Play!

IMG_3643The 2-legged is usually up early and going all day long.  This is supposed to be a long 3- or 4-day weekend for most in the U.S., but the human has been hard at work every day. <<It’s amazing what you can get done when clients aren’t calling and eMailing constantly.>>  Having accomplished most of what was on her ambitious TO DO list, the human decided she’d try to get a bit of extra shuteye this morning. After a week of hot, humid nights that aren’t to her liking, it was actually cool and comfy — perfect sleeping weather. However, the 4-legged overlords and overlady had other plans.
IMG_3648First, Pepe the Blanket Monster attacked the hapless human. He started by digging briskly at the blankets that draped the sleeping hominid. She reached a hand down and stroked his back, asking him to settle down. <<No chance! I’m jazzed. Whatchya gonna do about it?>>  Next he did his best impression of a mole. He dove nose-first into the blankets and pushed for all he was worth with his back feet, ostensibly to maneuver his way under the blankets so he could stick an ice-cold nose against warm human skin. That usually gets a shriek, but this time all she did was roll over on her side and face in the opposite direction — not the intended goal.  He tried more nose diving against her back, but she just pulled the blankets tighter around her. Next he jumped on top of her and balanced his 15.5 lb on 2 ribs.  Needless to say, that wasn’t pleasant. Good thing the yoga-practicing human has strong bones. Back down he jumped and flopped on the bed beside her legs. That led to more digging and pummeling her feet under the blankets. <<Sheesh!>> Frustrated he wasn’t getting anywhere, he jumped off the bed and went looking for more exciting things.IMG_3647Next up was Corky.  He too did the rib-balancing trick, but he only weights 13.5 lb, so didn’t make quite as strong an impression. He got pets and thanks for his visit. That was about as exciting as it got, so he left too.IMG_3642Caesar joined the parade at this point, sitting up near the human and staring at her. She got the psychic message and reached a weary arm out of the covers and stroked his soft fur. He purred contentedly, then flopped on his side so his tail was flicking against the human’s arm. She reached a hand over to be near him, but got too close to toes or tummy and got repaid with an attack by the claws and teeth of death. <<If you’re a small mouse, that’s really what they’d be.>>  The human shrieked, yanked her arm back, and rolled on her back. Fireball now joined the party, nuzzling the human’s arm as Caesar stood up again and washed the Copper Kitty’s fur coat. The human tried to pet both of them in her groggy state.  Fireball jumped on the human for more pets and got his downy-fluff fur all over her face. Caesar joined Fireball. so now there were 2 kitties balancing on the lumpy human furniture. Back up came Pepe, who flopped down in the spot recently vacated by Caesar and started washing his nether regions.  The human reached her hand over to pet him, but got attacked by cloud paws and teeth. She yanked her hand back, Fireball chirped and ran off for more interesting territory, and Caesar ambled down to the bottom of the bed by the human’s legs.  IMG_3649At this point, waking up seemed a reasonable act, so the frustrated human grabbed the cell phone and started checking eMail, news, and weather. Pepe bounded onto her abdomen and then proceeded to walk up her chest and stand with both forepaws on the very-sore pectoral muscles the human had torn last weekend. <<Argh!>> She finally got him to lay down (inches from her face), but at least that distributed the weight a bit and made the pain level in her pulled muscles back down to a tolerable range.IMG_3645Soon, Fireball was back draping himself over the human again and displacing Pepe, who by now was standing on the human’s legs.IMG_3654Que the Merkitty, who arrived for some pillow action. She flopped down and nuzzled the left side of the human’s head, mixing and purring, and generally being a cuddle bunny. However, she also was on guard for the human to sit up and grab her, as she still remembered that terrible tasting medicine. <<Blech!>> Fortunately for all, the medication is done so she had a nice cuddle session with the human’s face tucked into her tummy. Meanwhile the human’s allergies flared up and her eyes started swelling from all the up-close-and-personal kitty attention. <<Have I ever mentioned I’m off-the-charts allergic to cats? Who says the Universe doesn’t have a sense of humor?>> The human went back to reading news, and the Merkitty realized she wasn’t getting the lion(ess)’ share of the attention, so she jumped up on the human’s chest and literally drove Pepe and Fireball away (not an easy task).  Up jumped Corky to join the party on the lumpy human furniture, but the Merkitty beat back the opposition. Corky returned to the floor and complained quite loudly. <<Get up, lazy Human! The cellar beckons, breakfast is calling, and we want to play. Are you going to lay here all day?>>IMG_3660Finally, after attempting to take some photos of all the comings and goings, the human gave up and decided she might as well get up and start her day.  Her eyes were swollen and her nose was stuffy. Time to get some space from all that luscious fur.

Happy Memorial Day.


(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.


Medicating the Merkitty

IMG_3204It’s been a very long 2 weeks in this house, as both Pepe and Mac have required twice-daily doses of antibiotic to deal with a persistent cough they both had.  Pepe had already completed a 10-day stint with the meds about 2 weeks earlier, but then the cold weather (and snow!) returned and the coughs also came back.  Apparently, the liquid antibiotic, which has to be squirted into their mouths, tastes horrid.  Since the dirty deed has to be done morning and night, there’s little time for the human to be forgiven between one bout and another. Although Pepe hates the stuff too and does interesting little dances in the human’s arms while she’s trying to hold him and open his mouth, he at least doesn’t seem to harbor too much resentment 15 minutes after being medicated. Not so with the Merkitty who, as would be expected, carries grudges a mighty long time.  Twice during the period she was getting medicated, she hid so successfully during the evening that the human finally gave up at almost midnight and went to bed. That’s not a good thing with an antibiotic, as any bacteria that are still hanging on are likely gaining immunity to the meds and will breed prolifically between doses. It’s gotten so all that all she has to do is see the human moving toward her and a look that is both panic and exasperation flits across her face, resolving into one of those famous Macaroni scowls. The human has learned to moved both fast and decisively when medicating the Merkitty, or she’ll lose several hours as Miss Macaroni hides.  The human even has received a few hisses when trying to apprehend the Watery One.  Toward the end of the period, the only way to apprehend Mac was to regain senses as quickly as possible when the kitty returned to the human’s pillow at 4:00 am for snuggles and head rollies. (As soon as the hapless human was awake enough to grab the kitty and sit up, they headed for the refrigerator and the dreaded syringe.) Fortunately, the ordeal is finally over for both kitties and the 2-legged.  Now, of course, the question is how long it will be before the Girly Girl forgives and stops running away when the human comes into sight. (heavy sigh…)


(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.


But where is the Little Red Bee?

Little Red BeeFireball loves to play secret schmoo.  He tucks himself into some of the most interesting places when he wants to take a snooze.  Case in point, the human has for some time hung blankets and comforters over the upstairs banister handrails. He discovered them and started sleeping inside between the blanket and the handrails. The human thought that wasn’t a very comfortable or warm place to sleep, so started tucking fleece blankets on the floor under the blankets. That went over well and soon the Little Red Bee was joined by other cats. Deciding that was still not warm enough for winter, the human sought out and found 2 narrow but long pillows (with removable covers) that went under the blankets and were swaddled in fleece. That made the spot even more inviting. This morning the recently awakened human was wondering to herself where the Copper Kitty had gone. As she started down the hallway, she got her answer. And note the little pink mouse just beyond that dangling leg?


(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Paw Danging & Double-Paw Dangling

IMG_3456Not sure what it is about the cats in this house, but they do a whole lot of paw dangling — sometimes double-paw dangling.  IMG_3431Are their feet hot?IMG_3597Are they tired?IMG_3599Is this some form of cat-specific isometric exercise?


(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Sleep is Hard Work

IMG_3594Here are Mac and Fireball snoozing in one of the kitty beds by a window around sunrise.  They’re up high enough to be in the tree canopy, so that means they can keep track of birds and squirrels who saunter by.  Doesn’t it look like sleep is hard work? Fireball barely opens an eyelid.IMG_3595Apparently tails make good pillows.IMG_3596And don’t you just wonder what kind of mischief the Merkitty is contemplating as she stares at the human with that smirk on her face?




(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Assisting the Forces of Gravity

IMG_3578It’s important to hold your companions down firmly while they sleep. If gravity slips for just a moment, they might go floating off to who knows where.IMG_3579If you manage your technique correctly and your companions are small enough, you can get a twofer (two-for-one/you can hold two down with one foreleg).



(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Corky the Quark

IMG_3583Since Corky’s urinary tract infection cleared up, he’s not Cranky Corky anymore. He’s more like Corky the Quark. His unique and sweet personality is back and he’s become quite playful. He now canters through the house many times a day playing butt tag with his brother and his adopted brothers, chases the red laser dot energetically, and tries to hump his adopted sister every chance he gets. (She wants nothing to do with this, and that does make him mad.) He’s also a lot more cuddly with the human and has rediscovered the pure joy of toys. He wakes the human up at all hours of the night chasing little fabric mice through the bedroom while squeaking excitedly. Of course, the human gets her revenge by waking him up and kissing him when he’s trying to get a wee bit of shut eye.IMG_3584

(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Morning Adorableness

IMG_3582<<The human is walking by. Stop, human, stop! I want more pets! I want to play some more.>>IMG_3585<<She’s actually getting away. I need to strettttttccccchhhh and touch her. Then she’ll see how cute I am. Am I losing my magical touch?>>IMG_3586<<No, look at that. She’s got the camera out, so she must be paying attention to moi! Now to bask in the glory…>>
IMG_3588<<I can’t believe she’s walking by. Look at my cute tummy. It’s soooo soft. Blow on my fur in that annoying way you do, human!>>IMG_3587<<Now that I’ve got your attention again, there are some things we need to discuss….>>IMG_3589<<Waaaaiiiitttt! What do you mean you’ve got to get going?  What’s the hurry when you have me to adore?>>IMG_3590<<Don’t you dare make me roll over and beg. Do you think I’m a dog who abases himself daily for your affection? I have my pride!>>IMG_3591<<You do know you’re going to pay for this later today, right?  When you want some attention yourself and seek me out, I’m going to have better things to do, just you watch. Don’t you know how emotionally destructive it is to make a cat beg?>>IMG_3592<<Hey! Do you even care what psychological suffering this causes me? I need your attention and I need it NOW! I don’t care if those other cats are hungry and you are too.>>IMG_3593<<This is it, it’s your last chance for redemption…make the most of it while it’s available.  Argh!>>


(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Palisade Fence

IMG_3374You may recall a few months back that Fireball decided to show the human his displeasure at being barred access to the basement by, ahem, using a large potted ficus tree as an alternate litterbox. After two rounds of that in two days’ time, it was time to nip that in the bud but erecting “the palisade fence,” which consists of about 15 pieces of tree branches broken into roughly foot-long lengths and pushed into the soil around the inside surface of the pot.  There are just enough smaller side branches here and there to have kept the cats out of the pot (previously a favorite access point to those delicious spider plant babies).IMG_3373Well, in recent weeks the human had once again been falling down on the job of supplying the kitty people with fresh organic wheat grass. It was unavailable at her local grocery store for three weeks running.  The cats got so desperate for greenery that a few weeks back while the human was making breakfast, she heard an odd noise coming from the edge of the next room where the jungle of houseplants resides during winter. Walking closer to see what was going on, the human was shocked to see Macaroni inside the palisade fence with her back to the kitchen noshing on spider plant leaves.IMG_3572Grabbing her camera and commencing to shoot photos, the human in exasperation said, “Macaroni!” The Girly Girl turned around and stared, but since this is the Merkitty, she showed absolutely no remorse. The other cats were clearly intrigued by the goings on. IMG_3573Since the human was too busy taking pictures to do much else, Mac clearly felt there was no threat, so started the process of turning around again so she could continue eating those trippy spider plant leaves.IMG_3575Not wanting to encourage this kind of behavior, the human made shooshing noises and the Merkitty did depart the palisade fence. The human then straightened and repositioned some of the sticks. Later that day the 2-legged went on a serious hunt for cat grass, lucking out and bringing home a nice fresh pot from the grocery store. The Merkitty has not been back…at least not when the human was watching.


(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Too Good to Behave for Very Long

IMG_3503The non-functioning slate & copper fountain in the living room had already been trashed by Mac.  The stones were gone, the bowl was emptied, but the fountain was still sitting where it had been before she discovered this entertaining diversion.IMG_3504The other day, the human was cranking away on the keyboard in her work cave when she heard that awful sound of metal plates being moved around. She tiptoed into the living room with her camera in hand. Sure enough the Merkitty was busy at work in the fountain.IMG_3505She’d discovered that the small flat plate on top could be moved around. What fun!  And she had an audience to boot.IMG_3506A bit of work with the clever paws and pretty soon she figured out how to move the round “collar” underneath out of the way as well.IMG_3507<<You have an issue, human?>>IMG_3508The collar hid a plastic tube that used to hook to the water pump.  She decided she HAD to get that tube out and investigate.IMG_3509The evil human nabbed the clear tube as soon as the Merkitty had excavated it. It was just the right size to bite and run around with, and possibly to swallow. After $1000 USD of vet bills in one month, the human had had enough unexpected expenses for a while.IMG_3510The Merkitty went back to her digging.  The human put the flat plate on the bottom of the big bowl and the collar on top of that. While it was harder to move the pieces around now, the Watery One was not discouraged so easily.  IMG_3511Those clever little paws are just always up to no good! Besides, the pieces still moved and that was good for messing with the human.IMG_3512Eventually, the fun wore off and the Merkitty climbed into the fountain to see what fun that would bring. The slate piece slammed down and the bowl tipped up on its side. That made enough racket that she scooted away and the human ran out once again to see if she could fix the fountain.IMG_3513So far so good:  there have been no return visits since the fountain ended up on its side. The human knows better than to think that will last, but at least for now it’s quiet again.


(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

New Entertainment Box

IMG_3514The kitties lucked out a couple of weeks back when the human happened upon a nifty entertainment box on clearance at a store she was in.  It’s just a cardboard box with 3 big holes on each side, a sisal scratching surface on top with a funny little sisal-wrapped ball plus feathers attached to a long stiff spring that in turn is pressed into the top of the box. Inside the box (accessed through the holes on the side) is a sisal-wrapped ball that the cats can bat around and pull on, but don’t seem to be able to pull outside.IMG_3519Needing to make up for having offered several bags of cat crunchies that did not pass the kitty taste test, the human brought the box home and set it down on the floor. Pepe and Corky were the first to try it out.IMG_3521They enjoyed sniffing the new catnip supplied by the manufacturer to cover the scratching surface on top of the box. They also used their faces and paws to push around the funny little ball mounted to the spring that sticks straight up from the center.
IMG_3525Pepe was the first to discover the holes on the side and set to work trying to figure out what was in there.IMG_3527Macaroni showed up shortly thereafter and took over the box — quite literally!IMG_3530She climbed on top, pushed the others out of the way, and scratched her way to contentment.  She also forcefully attacked the ball-on-spring in the center.IMG_3533Caesar and Fireball showed up before long, but they couldn’t get much action on the play box because the Merkitty wouldn’t let them.IMG_3534Not long after, they wandered off to do something else.IMG_3538Before long the human noticed that one of the cats had broken the springy thingy in the center. They’d had the toy for less than 15 minutes at this point. Fortunately, an overnight application of some tough glue solved that problem and the gadget was back better than ever the following day. (Pepe says he didn’t break it but was just letting the human know that someone else with a B&W coat did the dirty deed.)IMG_3518Since then the box has been moved to their cat tree. The human wanders by once or twice a day and stuffs new items into the holes.  She then waits to see how long it will be before Mac and Pepe and perhaps others fish around inside the box and pull out the toys.  So much fun for $8 USD.


(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.