Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Carnivores

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.

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“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.