Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Month: January, 2017

Fluffernutter

juno2The human has been overly busy with work, which is why there haven’t been posts in 10 days. It’s definitely not that the furry people aren’t having fun and being exceptionally silly. While you wait for the 2-legged to get her act together, here are 2 recent photos of little Juno (aka Juni-purr). She’s a cousin of sorts to the penta pack.juno1Remember when she was just a tiny kitten taking her first steps out of her carrier into her new home after being adopted from a rescue organization? She’s all grown up now and quite adorable. Of course, anyone who has adopted a “rescue” animal knows that the rescuing goes both ways. What would we do without these furry people in our lives?

 

(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos courtesy of M. Ray.

Disco Inferno (or The Human Redeemed?)

img_4128The foolish human may have temporarily redeemed herself the other day. She stopped at her favorite pet-food store to get a bag of litter and grab a few cans of soft food that she hadn’t hauled home of late. Shockingly, they gobbled the first can down the very next morning. (Unfortunately, that pattern hasn’t continued with cans 2 and 3.)img_4130She got even more points because she picked up a cute cardboard scratching disc that is mounted into a plastic frame containing two interesting features. The first is a track between the upper and lower frame that holds a hard white plastic ball. The cats had no end of fun standing on top of the disc and cuffing the ball as it raced around in the track.img_4141In fact, the Merkitty stood off to the side and would dive forward holding both forepaws out to try and stop the ball as it whizzed past her in the track while Pepe stood guard from on high.img_4134The cats also greatly enjoyed the organic catnip that the human kept sprinkling all over the disc.
img_4133Several of the cats rolled on the disc while others wrapped themselves around the top and hung over the sides, impeding the movement of the ball racing along the track on the outside of the disc. No matter, they were not to be budged while they indulged in a little more catnip.img_4146Another feature that hasn’t yet captured the cats’ interest is on the bottom face of the unit. When you flip the scratching disc over and lay it on the floor, there is a series of holes that are just perfect for kitty paws to explore. Inside the maze of cutouts is another white ball, this time with a jingly bell inside. Hmm, perhaps there’s the problem — that bellimg_4180Never mind, the human is completely jazzed that at least they like the scratching disc and are having fun chasing the ball along the track on the outside. Getting them to like two out of three features is not an inconsequential feat when dealing with cats. Who knows, before we’re done, maybe they will no longer be afraid of bells…

(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

 

Table Thief

img_4105Pepe and the human have been going round and round of late on the matter of the silly rule that no cats are allowed on the table or the kitchen counter. They can visit almost anywhere else in the house, but not there.img_4106Unlike his brother Corky, who seems to have no problem with the rule change, Pepe has not adjusted since moving from next door almost 2 years ago.  He’s still testing boundaries on a daily basis.img_4111When the human is eating, she must pull “his” chair up beside her own and pet him while she tries to eat, read, journal, talk with someone on the phone, or catch up on news. There is no excuse for not giving him 100% of her attention. When her attention drifts, as often it does, he keeps things lively, as would be expected.img_4108For example, he is trying to convince the human that just having his front paws on the table doesn’t count as being on the table. After all, most of him is still in the chair.img_4110And leaning forward onto his paws so his chest is on the table still does not constitute a violation of that boundary.img_4114Just let the human leave her seat for a minute to pour a cup of coffee or grab a condiment and the seat stealer is right there sitting in her spot.img_4115And if she has to be gone more than a minute, watch out:  any small item of interest on the table within reach of those paws is fair game to be knocked off and chased around on the floor.img_4118Just before Thanksgiving, the human (who had been working late) decided to use up some leftovers. She poured some crackers onto a dish while she cut a chunk of cheese.  She ate her food while Pepe fussed around on his chair looking for entertainment. The human stood up and turned to the sink for just a minute only to hear Pepe hop into her chair, knock something off the table, and then start chasing it around the slippery kitchen floor like a hockey player.img_4123The human looked back at her spot but could not figure out what the little thief had nabbed. Round and round the kitchen Pepe ran at a faster and faster pace.img_4124The human followed him into a corner only to see the purloined object slide under a rack that holds heavy Dutch ovens. She gave up and went back to her meal only to have Pepe reappear at her feet and leave whatever had been pilfered.img_4121Looking down she saw that it was a broken cracker. Huh! At least he didn’t eat it.img_4120 She got up to put the cracker in the compost pail, then offered him a pen cap, which he usually likes to chase all over the floor — but not that night.img_4125Next the human offered him a nickel figuring it would slide along the floor really fast. Alas, since it was offered, not stolen, the coin held no interest for the feline either.
img_4126Later, after the human had had her meal and cleaned up, she came back down to the kitchen for something only to find that an AA battery that had been sitting in a dish on the table was now on the floor lodged behind a piece of furniture. Cats!

 

(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Canny Carnivores

img_3911Alas, all those packaging experts who claim that expensive, impossible to recycle multi-layer packaging keeps freshness locked into the bag and seals out oxygen that degrades food have never met my crew’s noses.  img_3912A few months back the busy human walked out to the kitchen while working late one evening. She’d barely crossed the threshold when she found a bag of crunchies laying on its side with kibble spilling out of a sizable gash.  Lest you think she temps fate often, she’d purchased the bag earlier that day and placed by the cellar door with the intention of carrying it downstairs and securing it in a heavy plastic container before she went to bed. She was too late.img_3913Clearly, the fancy packaging had not locked freshness (and the delicious odors) inside the bag and one (or more) of the cats had smelled them and decided to have a bit of an explore. Alas, with cats, there are so many lessons to learn…

 

(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

 

The One Toy the Cats will Play with from Christmas

img_4020It was part of a 2-pack of clearance squeaky mice for $2 from a discount store. The adorable little fake fur mice have Santa hats and a battery-operated squeaker inside. If you move them, they squeak. (The human found this out the hard way when pushing the shopping cart around the store before she checked out.)
img_4022One of the toys ended up in each bedroom. They’re getting a lot of action. Mac in particular loves to jump into a kitty bed and kick the kazimmies out of one of the mice every single night . . . several times every single night in fact.  The human is hoping for a greatly decreased battery life.img_4021Still, they seem to cuddle with these mice in ways they don’t cuddle with any of the other ones. (No, this isn’t a posed shot. They actually seem to sleep with these mice between their paws for some reason.)

Cats . . . who can figure them?

 

(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

The Failures of Sandy Claws

img_4066This year, Sandy Claws and the human were just awful at finding gifts the kitties would enjoy.

The human proudly presented the 4-leggeds a collection of 7 (fake) fur mice. Half of them actually had feather tails.  No go!

The human bought them a new can of organic catnip, since the fresh stuff is frozen solid outside. Organic did you say? No go!

She bought a second can. Still no go!

The human passed along a bunch of corks from a friend and then spent days rolling and bouncing them across the floor to try and interest the cats. No go!

She even bought them a draft snake (cedar-shavings filled long tube that’s normally put under drafty doors to keep the cold out but in this house is placed in front of the stove, the black hole that swallows cat toys on a daily basis). They sniffed it cautiously, but so far aren’t saying anything.

What DID they like for the holidays?img_4036The crackly paper from a box.

The ribbons from another box.

The smells on a third box.

The blanket the human got as a gift. <<It’s REALLY soft.>>

Pen caps and wrapped candies and fortune cookies stolen from the table.

Argh!

 

 

(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Bad Food Choices

img_4025The human has been in trouble for the whole month of December and continuing into the early weeks of January. She made some poor food choices and the cats have been letting her know how unhappy and disappointed they are. Three guesses who’s the worst food critic of all?  <<Am I supposed to be hurt by your criticism? Am I supposed to be cowed into pretending to be happy about the miserable food you’ve been offering us to eat?>>img_4026First the human bought a 15 lb/7 kg bag of an even more costly crunchy food than she usually gets them. This one featured a bunch of different kinds of free-range and wild birds, eggs, and some stream-caught fish.  There’s no grain, no potato, and no legumes. The food is caught and processed into kibble on the same day in the wilds of Western Canada. What’s not to like?  The human isn’t sure what makes it so undesirable unless it’s the shape. It’s a flat disc and a bit bigger than the tiny Xs she’s been feeding them from another company, although 2 months back they devoured another big bag of a fish blend from this same Canadian company and apparently loved it. As far as I recall, the kibble shape was the same. Unfortunately when you buy a 15 lb bag, it takes a bit of time to get through it even with this crew. And when they aren’t gobbling it all down within 15 minutes of filling the bowls, it’s amazing how much longer a big bag lasts. <<And that’s the point, isn’t it? We’re fairly begging for some variety. Why do you feel the need to torture us? Isn’t it enough that you keep us prisoners and play with our feet — even when you know we hate it?>>img_4028And then there’s been the issue of the canned foods. It’s gotten so they only want to eat 2 flavors from 2 different companies. That’s 4 flavors all month. Their narrow food choices actually made things easier, as the human was able to buy cases of the 4 kinds they’ll eat at a little savings. Of course, now that she’s got a lot of cans of the (formerly) favored foods, the cats are sick and tired of eating them. Over the past few months, she’s tried all kinds of other interesting things, from kangaroo to alligator to wild boar to rabbit to venison to beef and sheep tripe to organic chicken with carrots. Again, no grain, no potato, no legumes. What’s not to like? Apparently everything. Argh. <<You’re completely insufferable. Do you really think you’re the only one suffering here? I’m putting you on notice:  this is not all about you! >>img_4027The last few weeks, the human has changed her feeding philosophy. Before, it was “what can I give you that you would like (today)?” but now it’s “Tough love baby. Eat it this morning or it’ll be back for dinner tonight.” Remarkably, when the human isn’t overly generous with the kibble they don’t like anyway, they manage to eat (if not like) the canned food. She’s throwing away far less than she was. Maybe there’s something to be said about tough love. <<You are SO lucky you’re a lot bigger than we are or we’d teach you a lesson you’d never forget. We’ll see how fast you can type when we chew off your fingers while you sleep. Come to think of it, we can wake you up all night long so you get no sleep. A couple of days of that and I’m betting you’ll break out the good stuff for us.>>img_4031If they’ll only finish up the old stuff, she replenished supplies this week and bought a 15 lb bag of the game bird crunchies they adore. She ventured out and tried some different cans from different companies too. We’ll see how sick and tired they really are of the old stuff once we start serving them the new. <<Be that way. See if I don’t chew up the cord on your stupid phone since you’re being so mean to me.>>

 

(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

A NEW Mama-Fur Blanket

img_4094The human’s friend gave her some gifts for the kitties:  a bag of corks and a piece of Berber fabric (which she’d previously used to sew cat and dog beds).img_4090When the dim 2-legged got home, she tossed all the corks out on the floor and waited expectantly to see if anyone could be coaxed into playing with them. Fat chance!img_4091However, when she put the fabric on the floor . . . well, you can just see how that went over.img_4093Clearly, the fabric arrived with some interesting scents.img_4095And the kitties were keen to explore this new object.img_4096Later, the human draped it across the bottom of the bed. The kitties have been taking turns laying on it, mixing and singing up a storm. I think we’ve found another Mama-Fur blanket!img_4097Oh, and the corks? They’re starting to get some attention, but only at night when the human can’t see the cats playing.

 

(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.