Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Animal behavior

You WILL Let Me Wash Your Face!

This is Caesar in action.  Imagine having your head and neck mangled like that.Clearly Fireball had a dirty ear or face or whiskers that needed scrubbing.  Equally clearly, Caesar decided that the Little Red Bee wasn’t equipped to do the work on his own, so The Big Guy came to the rescue.It’s a wonder Fireball’s neck isn’t out of kilter after all of that mauling with those big paws. And of course with Caesar spit on him, his fur will be standing on end for hours.  However, at least it will be clean!

 

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

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Corky & Pepe Let Down their Guard

The human took the stack of rolling balls upstairs and put it beside the other scratching disc in the hopes of getting the kitties to play with it.
A couple of times different cats went and played with the old toy, but the new one got completely ignored. To encourage interaction with the toy, the human kept bending down and spinning the balls on the new toy either fast or slow for the kitties to see.  They looked at her blankly.  A couple of times she even spun balls on both the new and old toys at the same time. They were not impressed…nor were they going to show any interest in the new toy. Mostly they looked bored.A few days later, first Corky and then Pepe decided to play with the new toy.  They clearly slipped up because not only did the human witness them playing with the toy (and each other), but she recorded the experience on her camera.Could that possibly mean they were having so much fun, they didn’t notice the human or even care if she saw them?

 

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

The Queen

Beyoncé has nothing on this Queen B.  It’s the Merkitty and she doesn’t look happy that the human disturbed her paw dangling meditations to snap a photo. (The sneaky human added injury to insult by petting that dangling paw, which is so soft! The human has such poor impulse control, which is why she rated a scowl.)

 

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

 

New Toy Gets an Inspection

The human found the cutest toy on sale at a store. It’s a stack of 3 plastic rings that each holds 1 plastic ball that rolls around in a track on its level. It’s similar to the scratching disc with the one track on the side that holds a single ball. Given how much fun the cats eventually had with the scratching disc/track ball, the human figured the felines would absolutely love this toy. Boy was she in for a disappointment!The human proudly presented the toy to the meows.  First Pepe approached it and gave it a few sniffs.  He almost seemed a tad puzzled with it at first. Soon enough that little cuffy paw came up and started investigating. <<I wonder if there are secret eyes on the bottom of kitty paws?>> Pepe walked away.Corky showed up next and gave it a sniff. He didn’t seem very impressed. Of course, as soon as Corky showed up and started checking out the toy, his brother had to come back and claim it. Corky walked away.Next up, Caesar arrived. A quick sniff identified the item as not food. Since it wasn’t doing anything, he deemed it less than entertaining and just sat down to watch. In came Fireball and he too gave it a sniff. It goes without saying that no one seemed very excited. <<Showing the human she’d done something good breaks some unwritten kitty rule about how to properly train a human. Keep the 2-legged humble by rejecting nearly everything she gives you and that will guarantee the human will keep on trying.>>Cue the Merkitty, who also gave it a sniff while Caesar started grooming Fireball as he washed his side.  <<Ho hum, human.>>A quick circle around the toy and the Merkitty flopped on her side and lay there. <<You paid $6 for that? What a waste of money!>> The other cats started to disperse.Corky gave it one last sniff while the Merkitty did head rolls. <<Bah humbug!>>There’s a bar on the new toy that goes across the top to make it easier to carry, and you can look down to the floor below. Given the dismal reception the toy received, and to encourage further kitty interest, the human tucked some treats down inside.  When she came downstairs the next day, the stack had been moved way across the floor and there was only a single treat left inside, so someone had fun with it.  Of course, since the human couldn’t see the cats having fun, it was okay for them to go ahead and enjoy the toy…just don’t let the human see that happening!

 

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

Face Dirty with Electrons

The human was cranking away at the keyboard when Pepe showed up in the office the other day and promptly jumped up behind her on the chair. (She is well trained and obligingly bends forward so he can sit on the pillow between the chair back and her back, which turns out to be delightful as the warm, soft, purring cat nestles against her lower back.)  Before the human realized what was going on, Pepe had jumped from the pillow to the top of the chair back and was soon balancing half his 18-pound/8.2-kilogram body weight onto one of her shoulders.  He leaned fairly far forward, then turned his head and started washing the human’s face on that side.  Next he changed position and moved to the other shoulder, stretched forward, and washed the human’s face on that side too. It’s amazing how dirty the human gets typing on the computer all day. Must be all the electrons collecting on her face.

 

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

Chilly Sillies

No, the kitties have not gone on holiday and the human hasn’t either. The lazy 2-legged has just been very busy and has not made time to chronicle the adventures of the 4 leggeds. However, it’s been unseasonably cool for August and there have been some notable antics of late.  The human calls these the “chilly sillies” since we’re not quite in snow-silly season, and it’s definitely the cool weather that seems to be driving the humorous exploits.  (When it’s hot and humid, they just lay around in little piles on the floor and look miserable — much like the human who flops on furniture a few feet higher off the ground.)  Here are some of their recent adventures.

  • Macaroni is back to making her Merkitty messes, leaving big water puddles around the water bowls.  She also uncharacteristically has started chasing the red dot from the laser pointer around on the floor. Usually she’s w-a-y too sophisticated to stoop to such silliness. Additionally, she’s back to curling herself around the human’s head early in the morning and washing the 2-legged’s face while using her cute paws to pat the human on the face. (If only she’d fully retract those darned claws, the process would be quite relaxing. As it is, the human has to keep eyes open and face pulled back a bit to avoid getting hooked.)
  • Fireball is a master of “hit and run.”  He bounces up on the bed, squeaks, and lands on the human. Then he comes over and settles down sphinx style very close to the human’s face and looks at her. Or, he turns and faces the other direction leaving a bum in close proximity to the human’s face, which meanwhile is getting swished with a striped orange tail.  He stays about 90 seconds and then squeaks and runs off to something more interesting than a human…unless he thinks he can get her to give him some kitty toothpaste, which he just loves the taste of and will eat 10x a day if the human would let him.
  • Corky has been getting lots of exercise upstairs both morning and evening chasing the laser dot.  He also spontaneously chases balls around the tracks of two toys upstairs at all hours of the night. He’s very vocal at any hour and lets the human know what he thinks about the empty crunchy bowls at 2 am, at 4 am, and at 6 am. Then he keeps up a steady chatter trying to encourage the dawdling and half-asleep human to hurry up and put breakfast on downstairs. Unfortunately, Corky’s also been chasing poor Fireball, and Pepe is chasing both Corky and Fireball.  Anything that moves is fair game.
  • Pepe has been such a brat to Fireball that the human put him in a collar with a jingly bell. He thinks he’s hot stuff because he’s the only 4-legged with a collar and a bell, and the collar is quite sparkly.  He was so jazzed up this morning that he even chased the human, who then had to try not to step on the rapidly approaching creature.  In between, Pepe kept entertained by running from one bedroom to the other, jumping on the bed, spinning in circles, and then jumping off and running to the other room.
  • Even Caesar Beaser has been silly of late.  He bounces up onto the bed and runs over to get pets from the human. When he’s done being cooed over, he stomps across the top of the human’s pillow and flops down beside her and begins dangling paws and tail until Fireball or Mac decide to join him in the kitty bed. At that point he jumps down and seeks solitude elsewhere.

Looking in their eyes, you almost can see the wheels turning:  What can we do to mess with the human today?

 

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

Sit Down

<<The rule is that if you approach the human for a pet and a nuzzle — a necessary thing, to be sure — then you must keep the back end of your body angled away from her hands. Otherwise, being undisciplined, she’ll bend down and scoop you up and hug you. The hug’s no problem, but having feet off floor is definitely an issue. >><<If she slides forward in anticipation of picking you up, you must sit down and do so quickly. That way she can’t get her hand under you. If she tries, you must back away until you are out of reach. When she sits down and acts polite again, you can re-approach her, but be on guard and be prepared to sit down fast if she misbehaves again…and she almost surely will.>>

 

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

What Kind of Creature is That Anyway?

What is this mysterious creature frequently found casually sprawled all over the house? Is it a cat? A turtle? A mini-orca?  <<Your clue is the smirk!>> 

Ah, it’s a Merkitty.  

<<And, yes, she really lays like that…quite often and for quite some time.>>

Unlike the human, who thinks this is a very interesting way to present oneself, the other cats pay her no mind.

 

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

How Not to Strip a Bed

It’s not just bed making that’s fun in this house, it’s also bed stripping. The human went to change sheets on two beds last week and had loads of help from the Pepster for both jobs. As the human tried to roll and pull the sheets together, he had to jump into the middle of them and spin around. Pretty soon he was wrapped up in the sheets. Then the real fun began. There were lots of cuffy paws that attacked human fingers and hands. See, there really were monsters under the bed. And now they’re on top of the bed and hiding in the bedding.Of course, in between attacks, that silly face reappeared and dared the human to do something about the menace. This position (above) is called “sassy face.” It’s usually accompanied by much chattering. Yes, Pepe does feel good about himself.  Cute behaviors like these are definitely not conducive to getting an early start on the work day.  Ah well, eventually the silly 2-legged did get both beds stripped and remade.  Getting to work early is so overrated anyway.

 

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

Let Sleeping Cats Lie

After a week of horrid heat and humidity, we are once again back to unseasonably cool weather, and that means the meows have been feisty!  Caesar comes barreling up onto the bed at 5 am to greet and snuggle with the human. After proper obeisance has been paid, he either stomps across the human’s pillow and asks to be let under the covers on the human’s right side (never the left side, only the right side for Undercover Kitty) or he flops down heavily on the human’s left side and presses himself against her leg or hip (never on the right side for hip snuggling, only the left). It’s really sweet. He’ll stay for 20 minutes or so, but once Fireball shows up and demands attention from both the human and Caesar, the Big Guy is off again for parts unknown only to return around 6 am. At that point, he curls up in one of the kitty beds and becomes an insert lump of fur bereft of all dignity.  He’s so out of it that if the human starts petting and kissing him, he wiggles his paws a bit and whimpers pathetically like a human teen ordered out of bed before he/she has had enough sleep. <<Leave me alone or there will be hell to pay when I can finally move again.>> It’s like he’s in a coma and can’t be roused even by evil human fingers petting his paws or stroking his adorably soft tummy. If the 2-legged was genuinely kind and compassionate, she’d let the sleeping cat lie. But of course, having poor impulse control, those feet are just too tempting to let be. And then there are the annoying photos to take in low light (nearly guaranteeing there will be a bright flash of light to further disturb poor Caesar’s sleep.  See what he must endure in this house?

 

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