Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Bad Behavior

The Devil Made Her do It!

So there we were, in the process of getting ready to start our days.  The human was trying to make the bed and the kitties were trying to prevent that. Caesar had been sleeping in the top of the kitty condo beside the bed, but moved over to luxuriate on the soft blankets the human had just smoothed out.  <<So much nicer on the body than blankets with hard wrinkles in them!>>  Meanwhile, the Merkitty was a bit further to the right doing somersaults and being silly.  There’s Caesar in all his dignity, stretched out in sphinx mode, the middle of his body partially covered up with another soft blanket the human had folded back over him, and with that big tail of his twitching out of the other end of the blanket. <<You see where this is going, don’t you?>>  All of a sudden Mac realized there was something moving in her vicinity.  I don’t think she even stopped to think about what it might be, she just went into predator mode and pounced…on Caesar’s beautiful, sensitive tail. When the Merkitty pounces, all her teeth and claws are out. First Caesar flicked the tip of his tail out from between her paws. He looked a bit annoyed, but kept his cool because he’s the Emperor Kitty.  But the Merkitty is never one to back down from a challenge, so she moved and pounced on his tail again, this time pinning it to the bed. That elicited an explosion out from under the covers.  The Big Guy turned around to face the little minx, who tried to con him with that look of innocence…except she never can quite get the look right with that permanent smirk she wears.  Caesar literally “huffed” and left the bed with his dignity in tact.  The Merkitty?  What’s dignity? (Pride? That’s a different matter.)

 

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

Advertisements

Meditating with Pepe

The human sets her alarm to go off early in the morning. That gives her time to wake up, catch up on email and news, and then meditate for 30-40 minutes before she has to get up and attend to morning duties. It’s a nice way to start the day.However, some mornings Pepe has other ideas. First he climbs up the human and alternately licks her chin and touches her face with his paws. <<Focus on the breath, focus on the breath…>>If that doesn’t catch her attention, then he begins digging vigorously on the blankets she’s wrapped in searching for….what? This is Pepe in full brat mode.If she manages not to laugh and break her focus, he then hops off her and starts burrowing like a mole under the blankets by her side.  If she wiggles her fingers while trying to remove a hand to pet him, he pounces for all he’s worth and attacks the menace under the blankets.  By then, the human has wisely concluded that meditation is over for the day.

 

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

Finding Your Own Entertainment…

img_4221The cats have been unhappy with their toy selection of late…well, all except the Merkitty and the round scratching disc featuring the ball that races around the outside.  No surprise, at least one of the kitties has decided to find his own entertainment. The human was sorting through mail and eating her breakfast recently. She’d crumpled up several small pieces of paper into a little ball and pushed it to the side as she worked on other things. The plan was to put it in the recycle bag as soon as she stood up from the table. Of course, the Table Thief immediately struck and cuffed the small paper ball onto the chair and then the floor. Off he ran scooting it around on the floor like a forward chasing a soccer ball down the field. Ooops, he scooped the ball up and it landed inside one of the human’s slippers. Well, that was inconvenient. img_4223Never one to give up on opportunities to play, Pepe first tried cuffing the ball out of the slipper. When that didn’t work and he just drove the ball deeper into the toe box, he adapted quickly and started cuffing the whole slipper around on the floor.
img_4226Admittedly, the slipper lacked the speed and maneuverability of the ball of paper. However, sometimes you just have to make do when the human doesn’t provide any better entertainment opportunities.
img_4227



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


 

 

 

 

 

Bad Crunchies Again

img_4231Well, the human is back in the dog house. She found a bag of crunchies on sale that she’d really wanted to try. They are only partially dehydrated, so in consistency they fall somewhere between a soft treat and the usual hard crunchy.  They also are grain free and didn’t have any undesirable ingredients other than a bit of potato. She nabbed a bag (now 1/3 off) and took it home to her kitties. Sad to say, the new crunchies didn’t go over well, as you can see from above.

The human’s theory is that the reason the whole feeding station is upended is that the kitties were trying to find some of the “acceptable” crunchies that inevitably fall underneath the rack and bowls. (They are very messy eaters!) In trying to pull the absorbent pad with the good crunchies on it closer to their mouths, the tray and bowls that were sitting on the pad flipped over in the other direction. This has all the earmarks of the Merkitty, who has been fairly mellow these last few months…as long as the human was supplying acceptable crunchies. Mess up in that critical department and there is always hell to pay.  Such a Merkitty!

By the way, if anyone can figure out what constitutes an acceptable and a not-acceptable crunchy, please let the human know. She’s sick and tired of paying good money for ultra-premium pet food that the overlords won’t eat. Maybe they need a week of Friskies and 9-Lives to recall that they get pretty good chow in this house.

 

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

Shell Game

img_4219The clumsy human knocked a small bottle off on the floor this morning while moving a box in search of some more shampoo before showering. Of course, the bottle went down between the wall and a cabinet, necessitating that she get down on hands and knees, move some items out of the way, and search for the bottle.  And what did she find on the floor besides the dropped bottle?  Why a whole collection of shells that normally sit in an iridescent bowl on top of the counter by the sink.  What were those shells doing out of the bowl and on the floor?  The human’s theory is that the Table Thief (aka Pepe) has moved operations and has been cuffing them out of the bowl.  They certainly LOOK like they’d be ideal for chasing around on the floor. He must have been so frustrated when he lobbed them over the edge of the counter and lost them between two cupboards. Actually, it’s a wonder they didn’t shatter when hitting the ceramic tile. Cats!img_4218By the way, happy Valentine’s day to 2- and 4-leggeds all.

 

(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.

 

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.

We’re Back!

img_3855No, the kitties haven’t stopped having adventures. It’s just that the silly human has been overly busy with work all summer and fall to transcribe their words and post their pictures. She has promised her keepers to do better now.  So what have they been up to?  Well, the Little Red Bee went on a 3-day rebellious streak where he stayed in the basement hunting regardless of how many times the human called him. As a consequence, the basement is now off limits to all the 4-leggeds, and needless to say that hasn’t gone over well. Pepe has a new habit of burrowing under the covers as the human attempts to make the bed in the morning. What would ordinarily take 5 minutes takes 15, but brings lots of healthy laughter and often some pictures.  The Merkitty hasn’t been much of a water monster of late, but has become the crunchy-bowl guardian. No one gets to have access to the bowl until and unless she’s had all she wants to eat. In warmer weather she camps on the floor beside the bigger bowl lest some crunchies fall into the container that she doesn’t know about. Corky has increased his vocal commentary on all the human’s many faults, particularly when the cellar door remains obstinately shut. The human increased the number of fleecy soft blankets she has on nearly all the surfaces where the cats frequent, and in all the kitty condos and beds, so Caesar has been reluctant to get up in the morning. On the other hand, at night, he’s usually first on the bed to greet the human and he quickly burrows down under the blankets beside her where he sleeps for an hour or two.  He also has returned to carefully climbing onto her recumbent chest and laying down to get pets, so that’s progress. And now that temps are getting quite crispy, the kitties are quite wild, galloping all over the house chasing each other and making the noise of a herd of wild horses.  In other words, things are much as they were.

 

(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.