Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Carnivores

A Leisurely Cat Fishing Session

Three of the felines were bored. They kept interrupting the human and her work. Finally, the 2-legged gave up and took a 15 minute break to play with the meows. The infamous (cat) fishing pole — arguably the most successful cat toy the human has ever purchased — came out and the kitties began to play.

First Caesar made a very energetic showing of chasing the little scrap of denim material at the end of the fishing line. So fast (and scary) is he when he’s jazzed up, that it requires both the human’s hands to keep from being run over or losing the entire pole to Caesar’s swatting paws and biting teeth (hence, no photos). However, his burst of energy depleted, the Big Guy laid down and watched Corky take over.

Corky, too, had a great time until big brother Pepe decided to get in on the action. At that point, the other two kitties looked away and the Pepster had the fishing pole all to himself. Eventually both 2-legged and 4-leggeds tired of all the action and retired to their respective corners.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Dereliction of Duty

<<<Clearly, even a human can see that the bottom is showing in this crunchy bowl.>>>

<<<You can’t possibly expect us to eat out of a bowl that’s almost empty. Why do you make us suffer so?>>>

<<<Really, you don’t plan to refill the bowl? We’ll starve!>>>

<<<Come on, there’s nothing worth eating here. Maybe we should advertise for a new human again?>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Bowl Patrol

It’s the afternoon. The human is cranking away on her keyboard and Bowl Patrol members are on duty.First, they visit the human in ones and twos to encourage her to take a break and give them a snack (or a full-blown meal).  If that doesn’t work, they intensify the pressure on the human by standing up and putting their paws on her desk or sinking their claws into her leg, scratching on items they know they shouldn’t, or jumping up and landing next to the keyboard.  The longer the human ignores them, the more intensely they act out. Finally, the silly human takes a break. There is great rejoicing right outside the office door. Of course, it’s important not to act smug like you think you’ve won the battle, so they quickly look away and participate in a bit of personal gratuitous grooming followed by a bit of community grooming.  It’s important to follow the human and make sure she is guided to the snack container or to the crunchy jar.  She often is distracted and completely forgets what you’ve worked hours to get her to do.  Such a silly human.

 

(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

“Tricksy” Human

The human did it again. She tipped over the “cookie jar” and stepped back to see if the kitties would participate in self-serve snacks. Pepe got right at it and stuck his paw in the jar. No matter how hard he tried with that clever little paw, he could not manage to pull a snack out.Finally, the “tricksy” human gave in and handed out snacks to all participants.

 

(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Happy Cats (or the Swirling Masses)

What to see what happy cats look like? This is a bag of pure, freeze dried raw chicken breast.  All the human has to do is shake the bag and they come running, plaintive cries and all.  And when the human opens the bag and puts it on the floor, everyone has to have a sniff. There is lots of extraneous grooming as they wait patiently for the human to stop taking pictures and start tossing treats for them to chase.Notice the laser eyes boring into the slow, lazy human who is still too preoccupied with photo-taking to do her job of feeding the meows? She would be fired if there were another human slave nearby who was willing (or could be forced) to assume her duties.  (Heavy sigh…)

 

 

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

 

Hello Little Friend! How Did You get there?

This is what the human spied tonight when cleaning litter boxes. It’s the cutest little felted cat toy. Sadly, it hasn’t gotten a lot of attention since it came home. Apparently that lack of interest changed today and the little orange mouse was carried around the house until someone felt the call of nature. Sadly, it’s back to being ignored again…hopefully not for long.

 

(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.

 

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.

Crunchies that Get No Love

IMG_3169The human has spoiled her 4-legged captors, she’s the first to admit. For example, in the food department, because she would hate to eat the same old thing day after day, she’s always seeking out new and interesting things for the kitties to eat.  Sometimes she’s successful, sometimes she’s not. The other day she brought home a bag of new crunchies. They were grain-free and featured wild boar. The kitties have had boar before and really liked it. These crunchies were from a good brand, no wheat, soy, or corn, and high in protein.  She’s not sure what the issue is, but these crunchies are getting no love from the meows. That bowl above has been out for 5 days and hardly anything has been eaten. Normally, that amount wouldn’t last 10 minutes in this house.IMG_3170Because the stubborn human doesn’t want to toss an $18 bag of crunchies, she’s been trying to coax the kitties to eat them by mixing them in with other crunchies that they like. As you can see from the shot above, the wily carnivores grab a mouthful of the mixed crunchies from the bowl, back up, and drop them on the floor. Then they carefully sort and eat only the “good crunchies” they like and leave the “bad crunchies” on the floor for the human to step on barefooted in the middle of the night. Alas, the human might as well give up and find a friend whose furry friends are less picky to pass these along to, as there’s no way they’ll eat this bag unless they’re starved.  It’s hard to forget what it was like when they would eat absolutely anything she put before them with appreciation and enthusiasm.  Where have those days gone?

 

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

Land of the Lost

IMG_2227Wow, the kitties’ toy box is overflowing today.

Last night the human was getting them some snacks at the pet-food store and found some soft-bite mice in metallic and fluorescent colors on clearance, so of course she picked 3 up.  It didn’t take Mac more than 5 minutes to lose the first one.

This morning as we were playing in the kitchen, I retrieved the other 2 new mice and Caesar and Mac knocked them around on the floor while I ate my breakfast.

Fireball was on the floor behind me doing his usual excavation work under the stove. He lays on his side, braces his back feet on the stove drawer, and sticks his front feet under trying to find something. Since I still had the fishing pole nearby from the cats’ play time, I got down on hands and knees and used the long pole to see if there was anything under the stove.  Sure enough, in 5 minutes’ time, I had a whole stash of 24 toy mice and a crackly ball. I even found one of the mostly-delaminated “shakey” mice that definitely has seen better days. Needless to say, the dusty toys have been vacuumed and deposited in the toy box, which is really quite full now.  No wonder their toy mice supply had been so low just a few months’ back. Glad the Baby Comet pointed me to the land of the lost.

 

(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

And from their Cousin, a Great Chasing Toy

IMG_2157The kitties’ cousin in Massachusetts sent them a great chasing toy. It’s a small piece of furry-looking fabric rolled and sewn together that has feathers (yes, feathers, Fireball’s favorites) and thin strips of raffia ribbon coming out one end, and a string with a plastic ring exiting the other end.

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The string and ring are just perfect to allow the silly human to spin the toy around. Even the Big Guy gets into the act with this toy. I’d say it’s clearly their favorite at the moment.

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Here’s a sequence of shots as Mac checks the toy out on its first adventure. She clearly has a great time with it (note how she’s curling up her lip and “laughing” after sniffing it?).

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After a few minutes of watching her roll around on the floor with it, Caesar stopped by to see what all the fuss was about.

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(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Hallalujah! New Breakfast Foods!!

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It appears that the silly human has finally managed to find some new breakfast foods that are not just “acceptable” but rather are “enjoyable” — extremely so.  Hallalujah!  The kitties have been enjoying them so much, that breakfast bowls have been flying across the floor more at the speed of a game of hockey than shuffle puck. And for better or worse, it appears that Macaroni has taught Fireball how to snag hunks of wet food directly from the bowl and eat them off his paws.  Of course, with both he and Mac repeatedly pulling the bowl out from under each other (and Caesar if he’s not at a different bowl), and then swiping a paw full of wet food out of the bowl, the kitchen floor quickly becomes a real mess.

Here’s a typical breakfast sequence. Fireball reaches in and snags a pawful of food.  (Note that the Big Guy has wisely chosen the less popular but uncontested bowl, so he gets to eat in relative peace while the other bowl goes whizzing around on the floor.)

IMG_2154_aAs Fireball eats the food off his paw,  Mac, who has just finished her own pawful, is dipping her foot back into the bowl  so she can pull it out of her brother’s reach and grab a new hunk to eat.

IMG_2153_aNext, Mac eats off her paw and Fireball pulls the bowl away from her.  With bowl repositioned, he reaches in for another fistful as Mac finishes her latest grab.

IMG_2152_aAnd on and on it goes while the bowl or bowls move all around the kitchen floor. Breakfast is so much fun in this house.

 

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Big Surprise

IMG_2133The silly human found a pile of old metal coat hangers in the basement and was on the way out the door to put them in the recycle bin. As she stepped out on the deck, what greeted her (quite close to the deck) but a large buck (male deer) with 8 points on its horns.  The deer and the human eyed each other, and the human blinked and returned to the house figuring the coat hangers could be recycled another time.  Of course, the human then tried to photograph the deer through the kitchen window, which did not work out quite so well as she’d hoped.

Nonetheless, the deer went back to eating some apples no longer in their prime that the human had put out for the wildlife, then it lay down by the deck and stayed for an hour or more.

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Let me tell you, the feline guardians were not missing any of this.  You can see Macaroni all jazzed up looking out at this large animal that has clearly invaded HER yard!

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Eventually, several hours later, the deer did get up and leave. And the kitty guardians prevented the silly large beast from entering the house.  Such good watch-kitties!

 

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

New Crunchies Sample

IMG_2126_LRGreat excitement! Within 10 minutes, there were nothing but crumbs left.

IMG_2124 - LRAnd need I mention that the bowl was not placed in that location on the floor? Yes, it moved this way and that as one after another of the cats hooked a paw into the lip of the bowl and pulled it out from under the other two to get a bite to eat. They are so entertaining in the morning!

 

 

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Cuckoo for Chicken Puffs

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My fussy little fur friends have a favorite new morning snack:  freeze-dried chicken puffs. They’ve been having a good time munching down on these bite-size treats and retrieving them when I toss them around on the floor. It’s a good thing I finally found something they will eat as a snack, as in the last 2 months I’ve sent no less than 7 different containers of healthy treats off to friends with cats and dogs who are less discriminating than mine have become.  I do fondly recall when they first arrived and would eat anything I offered. Even Caesar and the Little Red Hoover don’t vacuum up food the way they once did.  Ah well, if you can’t spoil your kitties, what’s the point?

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Look at those little faces…how can you bear to disappoint?

 

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Tiger Boys Vanquish Another Toy Mouse

20140917_083324Just in case you were worried about whether or not it was safe to come upstairs…the Tiger Boys have done the hard work and swept the treads clean of toy mice.  None will be nibbling at your ankles this night. Don’t you feel safe with the Tiger Boys on guard?

 

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photo by G. Karan.

Up Close & Personal

IMG_1999The little red bee climbed on top of me last night while I was trying to read a book. When he wants attention, he wants attention:  pets, fur brushing, hugs, cuddles, cooing, the works.   He curls up and is such a little cuddle muffin, often falling asleep millimeters from my face so that his curly whiskers tickle me as he breathes.

I apparently did not pet-brush-hug-coo for long enough to cause him to nod off. Instead, I had the audacity to return to the book I was reading.

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Up bounced the baby comet trying to get my attention again. I tucked the book away and wondered if I could photograph him that close to my face.

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Sure enough, as soon as I took it out and activated the photography app, he started nuzzling it.  Well, I did manage to get a couple of cute images before he was in motion again, checking out other more interesting things than a recumbent human.

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(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Tiger Boys Take a Rest

Tiger Boys take a rest

Awww, don’t they just look so cute?

 

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photo by G. Karan.

Venus Fly Trap Kitty

IMG_0531In nature, there are warning signs of danger.  For example, the Black Widow spider sports a red hour-glass mark on her abdomen — a reminder for those in the know about her venomous bite.  Macaroni has a white hour-glass pattern on her tummy and when that pretty mark is showing, there is danger too for hands and fingers that stray into her tummy parts for a pet.

Actually, I think of her more as a Venus Fly Trap than a Black Widow spider.  She flips onto my bed with a flourish at night, then hops into the kitty bed closest to my head and torso. She then proceeds to chase her tail, spinning around and around like a young kitten while I try to read.  When she tires of that, she flips upside down and shows her tummy.  She will lay spread-eagle on her back for 20 minutes or more. However, let a human hand come in to pet her pink toes or her soft tummy and pow, the Venus Fly Trap closes around the unsuspecting meal with claws and teeth.  It’s not a pretty picture as my poor hands will attest.

 

 

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Working for Your Snack

photo 1I read in some holistic pet blog that for all our efforts to feed our pets species-appropriate foods, give them lots of fresh water, exercise and entertainment, and of course tons of love that the biggest thing missing from their meals and their lives is the opportunity to hunt for their food. The blogger recommended hiding bits of their food and letting them go hunt for it.

Well, hiding food while they watch kind of defeats the purpose, and sneaking around and hiding tidbits when they aren’t around requires more planning and time than I have at this time of the year. Besides, I don’t want to create a vector for insects to venture forth and carry off kitty snacks.  Nonetheless, ever the faithful servant, I thought and thought about how I could add a little exercise and hunting opportunities for the fur-furs.

photo 1What I decided to do was to toss their freeze-dried meat snacks around during breakfast snack time and let them chase them down. Fireball, who’ll do nearly anything for food, got into the game right away, but the other two simply stared at me in disbelief. Caesar Tiger Bear was almost indignant. <<You want me to do what?>> Macaroni decided she wasn’t going to get a snack and left in a huff to eat from the soft-food bowl.

I’ve been playing this game now for several weeks and I must say that everyone has adapted and gotten into the spirit of things. Fireball still gets the most snacks, as he dashes ever so competitively after anything that’s tossed and quickly inhales it in typical Little Red Hoover fashion. I’m happy to report that Caesar is getting quite competitive himself and competes with Fireball to chase tossed snacks or to take snacks away from the still not so excited Merkitty.  Nice to know they can burn some calories and have a bit of fun while entertaining the human as well.

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(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.