Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Animal behavior

Oh Human, What have You Done?

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

A Gift for the Distracted Human

Fireball hopped up on the bed for one of his many short visits and lay down on top of the human, who was reading. She petted him in a distracted manner and then went back her book as the Little Red Bee proceeded to roll his head, lick her hand and fingers, and mix on the lumpy human furniture. Then he was gone in a flash. It was only after Fireball had departed and the human moved and heard a strange rattle that she looked and found that he’d left one of his toy mice behind when he departed. Such a thoughtful little boy.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Cold-Weather Cuddles

It’s been pretty chilly of late and the human has been leaving the far-infrared heated mattress pad on all day for the kitties and all night for herself. When you combine that penetrating heat with the soft pink puff, it’s kitty heaven as Fireball and Mac recently demonstrated.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Tummy Tuck

Corky has rules — a lot of rules — and one of them is that the human is NOT allowed to touch his tummy.

Now, mind you, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t regularly roll up on his back and show his soft white tummy to the human.

It just means the human is in a “look but don’t touch” sort of situation and must be on her best behavior.

Recently, as the 2-legged was trying to make her way from her office to the kitchen, an energetic Corky was trotting a few paces in front of the human’s feet. He flopped down on the floor and started rolling around.

Shockingly, the human was allowed to approach and pet his tum tum. She’s happy to report that it’s as soft as it looks.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Outsmarted by the Merkitty Once Again

Let’s be honest and acknowledge that the human isn’t very bright — not compared with the kitties. Still, it has taken the Merkitty a year to figure out a way to flood the floor since the human switched to the heavy, straight-sided water bowl in the kitchen. While the Little Mischief quickly learned to climb up on the lip of the bowl and stick both forepaws in the water (and taught Pepe to do the same), when she scooped water up in her paws and attempted to toss it out of the bowl, the tall straight sides of the ceramic crock frustrated her efforts. The human would walk by and note the multitude of water droplets still clinging to the inside walls of the container and chuckle under her breath. The Merkitty clearly heard and finally has figured out a way to get revenge.

The human isn’t sure if the reason she’s been outsmarted is that she’s gotten overconfident and started filling the water level up higher or if the Watery One modified her scoop & toss technique. Regardless of how she’s doing it, she’s been flooding both the boot tray with dish-drying mat as well as the kitchen floor multiple times every day during the past week. In fact, just to rub it in, after a flooding session, she seeks out the human seated at her computer typing away frantically and hops up on the desk surface, forcing the human to move her keyboard out of the way. Then she head butts things off the desk while standing there with soaking wet paws and at least one foreleg wet all the way from toes to chest and shoulder. She is such a Merkitty!

The human is not sure what strategy to adopt next but she really does need to focus on solving the problem, as Miss Macaroni will not stop her mischief. Still, this has been the longest period of time the human has managed to outsmart the little monster, so at least the 2-legged has that going for her.

It is possible to outsmart a cat, at least for a little while. <<<Don’t let me hear you say or even think things like that!>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Box Inspector Confiscates a Box

Pepe is the official box inspector in this house. No matter how large or small a box is, he insists on sniffing it inside and out and then standing in it — even if just with his forepaws.

A few months back, a large box arrived that was packed with big blocks of foamed styrene to protect the contents. After it passed the sniff test and the standing-in-box test, Pepe decided he really liked this box and climbed in and laid down. The human moved the box to an out-of-the-way location, and added blankets and a pillow to make it even more comfortable. It’s become his favorite downstairs snoozing location. In fact, some kitty has been putting toy mice in the box.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Blanket Sculptor

The bed really was made when the human left the room early in the morning. However, it’s getting quite chilly of late and Pepe the blanket sculptor likes to dig down and sleep on the softer, warmer blankets. And notice the twinky twins in the pink puff?

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Watering Can Inspectors

The human had filled her watering cans prior to going outside to give the tropical plants on the deck a drink. It was just too tempting indeed for the Water Monster not to stick her little head into the can and drink unfiltered water. There was a big ceramic bowl of freshly changed filtered water nearby, but that was no where near as interesting as the watering can. And since Mac the Merkitty had her head in the container, Pepe, who of late has become a water monster himself, had to join in and have a little drink.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

We Need a New Human

Our blog is languishing from lack of attention from the 2-legged. We’d sell her and buy a new human if we thought we could get a good price. Unfortunately, we tried that several years back and no one was interested. You can’t even give a human like that away.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com. File ID 28725707 © Stevanovicigor.

She Promised to Get Better

Have you seen any posts from her? Have you seen any cute pictures of us? Case closed.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com. File ID 16016049 © Robert Kneschke

One Bad Human

Our very bad human has not posted on our blog for over 90 days. We’ve tried guilt, punishment, acting cute, acting stern, bringing her toys, pouncing on her when she’s trying to sleep, walking across her keyboard when she’s trying to work, yowling when she’s on a conference call, and much more. Still, all she does is complain about her incredibly heavy workload. What does she think we do all day?

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Dreamstime.com. File ID 176510470 | © Yasir Khan.

Little Toy Mice Practice their Yoga Skills

Over the last week, the kitties have brought down more and more toy mice and distributed them around and on the yoga mat during the night. The positions change, the color of the mice change, but the general trend is for there to be more rather than less toy mice arrayed around the yoga mat each morning. The record, to date, is 5 mice. Why do they do this you might ask? Because, in this house, everyone and everything needs a toy mouse or two for good measure. <<<Such thoughtful kitties!>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Yoga Mat as Cat-Enrichment Device

A few weeks back, the human finally got the last of her tropical plants dragged out onto the deck, which freed up lots of space in the “stove room” for her to layout her yoga mat, blocks, straps, and roller.

Of course, as these things go, the human hasn’t done much yoga, but the cats have been having a grand time with the mat, blocks, etc. In fact, Pepe so likes the feel of the sticky mat that he often can be found lounging on it.

It turns out that, after knocking over the formerly neat pile of blocks, the cats have been having a ridiculous amount of fun while the human flicks the small piece of fabric tied to the “fishing pole” in and out of the obstacles. They crouch down and pounce on their prey. They jump up on top of yoga blocks, and they even have figured out how to fish out the fabric on those rare occasions when the human manages to whisk it inside the roller. Mac, who usually is far too sophisticated to play with the rest of the cats has been inserting herself in the middle of the action and often has to be invited to share the toy with the others.

Sadly, the human has spent no small amount money on “expert-designed” cat enrichment toys over the years. However, most of those purchases have been consigned to the “what were you thinking?” pile that get recycled to other people with less fussy pets.

Still, the human is deeply pleased that her yoga blocks and mat are getting used by the kitties, who not only benefit by honing their hunting skills and keeping mentally sharp but also get some physical exercise as well. You just never know what will entertain a cat. <<<Certainly nothing you pay good money for will ever of interest for more than 10 minutes!>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Wet Foot Syndrome

Mac the Merkitty is spreading her odd eating and drinking behaviors to the other cats.

Early on she taught Fireball that the best way to get access to the food bowl when Caesar was hovering over it was to pull the bowl out from under his mouth with a paw and then quickly scoop up a pawful of food before Caesar moved forward to hover over the bowl again. Even with Caesar gone, Fireball still eats crunchies, raw freeze dried food (rehydrated in water), and even soft food with his paws rather than directly with his mouth. And since Mac has long drunk water from her paws, Fireball does too.

Also, because Mac mucks up the water so often by playing in the bowls with her feet, Fireball has taken to sticking his own feet in the bowl to check that the water is acceptable before drinking.

However, wet foot syndrome has spread even further. In recent months, the human has observed Pepe stick one or both of his forepaws into the big water bowl to check that the water is there before bending down to drink. He will subsequently come lay down on his favorite chair and, when the human pets him, she finds wet feet. What is it about cats and water bowls in this house?

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Recovery Time

Corky the Banu bear came through his dental procedure just fine. The human collected him and brought him home for a rest. He’d had some teeth extracted, so no hard food for a week (and no roughhousing with his brother). That meant more alone time. Fortunately, he had medication that made him sleepy. Plus, he got lots of attention from the human.

Still, there was only so much incarceration time Corky was going to tolerate. The other cats would have to deal with eating crunchies in water for a few days. After his third dose of medication, Corky was free.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Prisoner Cat Receives a Consolation Prize

While Corky was recovering from his dental procedure and still in lockdown, the other kitties kept vigil outside the door to his room. The morning after he returned from the vet, the human found one of the kitties had thoughtfully brought a toy mouse upstairs and left it outside his door. <<<Awww!>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Corky has an(other) Adventure

It was Corky’s turn for a dental cleaning. Since the procedure would be done under anesthetic, he wasn’t allowed any food after midnight. That meant he had to be quarantined from the others the night before his procedure. (The angry ankylosaur is hell on wheels when he doesn’t have something to eat that he likes.) The next morning, the evil human scooped him up and placed him in a carrier <<<Stuffed me in a fabric box is more like it!>>> Off they went in the vehicle. <<<Never trust a human!>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Disappointed!

The human picked the wrong type of crunchies for her furry masters. They were very disappointed and let the 2-legged know that. The chastened human went back to the store with a promise to do better.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Now Why Do You Think They Did That?

The kitties have been very busy carrying little toy mice all over the house. There even have been some visitors to the kitchen of late. However, their favorite location is the stove room, where the crackly paper resides. The other morning, the human came down stairs only to find on small black toy mouse partially covered over by a leaf from the Ficus tree.

Odds are good that the leaf didn’t just fall off the tree and land in such a way that it partially covered the toy mouse, since the mouse was halfway across the room from the tree. So what, the human wonders, could possibly have motivated a cat to move the leaf onto the toy him-/herself?? This is yet another of the grand mysteries of the feline masters.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Return of the Bag Babies

The kitties had eaten their own breakfast and the human was eating hers. She noticed a takeout bag within reach and tossed it on the floor. Sure enough, Corky and Pepe came over to investigate. Pepe made it to the bag first and stuck his nose inside. <<<Potentially roomy enough to investigate.>>>

Initially Corky was also headed straight toward the bag, but got side tracked by Pepe’s bowl of breakfast. Of course, as soon as Corky paid attention to his food bowl, Pepe suddenly lost interest in the bag and prepared to move over and claim his property. <<<What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine. You have a problem with that?>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.