Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Catnip

Corky Enjoys Plant Time for Kitties

Corky, who is usually shy and retiring — especially when his bossy larger but not older brother Pepe is around — occasionally cuts loose when there’s no one to see him. This time, fortunately, the human was nearby and equipped with her camera.

Since the Corkster had already been tossing a toy mouse around on the kitchen floor, the human figured he might enjoy some fresh greenery and ventured outside for a few leaves of Nepeta cataria (aka catnip or catmint).

Sure enough, the Banu Bear ate a few leaves, then began cuffing the remains of the plant top around on the floor.

The fact that no other cat was around to see him enjoy himself, and the human was quiet while snapping her shots, meant that Corky didn’t feel inhibited and had a grand time.

Eventually, he ate the last of the leaves and then just lay on the floor on his side with a slightly dazed look on his face. <<<Oh happy day!>>>

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

…Except Perhaps Piles of Crackly Paper!

The only “found” object that might be more fun to play with than a cardboard box is a pile of crackly packing paper….or a box stuffed with crackly paper.

Pepe, Corky, and even Mac have been having so much fun jumping into the growing pile of crackly paper and exploring.

Other than having a sniff to see where it’s been, the human has no idea why Pepe likes to stick his face into the paper.

Pepe’s technique for playing with the paper differs a bit from his brother or sister. He spins around and jumps on the pile, throwing paper this way and that. Corky likes to jump onto a piece and slide across the floor. And Mac likes it when the human sprinkles catnip on a sheet. She’ll flop down and roll back and forth until her fur is coated with the wildwood weed.

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

Brat Cat Takes all the Nippy for Herself

Mac has been outdoing herself lately. Apparently, she’s not into the generosity of the holiday season and is taking everything she can for herself.

Case in point: the human sprinkled catnip and silvervine on top of a sheet of crackly paper with which the cats had been playing. Mac immediately threw herself down on the sheet and started rolling all over the dried herbs.

Corky and Pepe wanted a sniff for themselves, but with Mac thrashing about with all of her sharp claws out, first Corky departed and then Pepe left. Brat Cat had it all to herself once again. And, no, she showed absolutely no remorse.

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

Corky & the Nippy

As a treat, the human brought in some fresh catnip leaves for the kitties.

Corky decided to have a bit of fun. First he stepped on the fresh nippy and whipped his head left and right — presumably checking to see if he had any kitty competitors who might try and steal his wildwood weed.

Content that it was just him and his leaf (the human and camera didn’t count), he started scooping it up in one and then another of his paws and tossing it around. Every so many tosses, he’s pull the leaf into his face, give it a good sniff, and then bite down on it before tossing it in the air again.

Eventually, he just ate it and retired with a nice mellow buzz.

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

A Recent Hit Toy

Not everything the human buys the kitties is a complete failure.

They’ve always loved laser pointers. However, the challenge with most of them is that they require a number of tiny batteries that cost more to replace than the laser pointer costs in the first place. The inexpensive laser pointer suddenly becomes far more costly, not to mention that they contribute toxic waste to landfills for those who have no way to recycle batteries locally.

The human recently found a great laser pointer that solves the problem by being rechargeable via a USB port hidden under a cap on one end. That makes the $10 USD laser pointer pay for itself by the second or third charge. Even better, this LED-based laser pointer has 2 additional settings that activate a flashlight, handy when stumbling around in the dark, and a blacklight, which is perfect for checking for urine (over)spray around litterboxes. Even better, the laser “dot” seems to be slight wider than that of previous laser pointers, and the kitties chase it day and night. In fact, this enrichment toy has proven so well loved that the human ended up purchasing a second one for upstairs as well as down.

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

Corky Strikes Gold

Corky was in luck. He got to play with catnip-laced crackly paper and the spinning toy all by himself. There wasn’t another cat in sight, so he could relax and play as much as he wanted. That doesn’t happen too often, so he made the most of it.

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

MY Catnip!

Corky was taking a trip without leaving the farm, enjoying a bit of the wildwood weed.

Mac, who’d already indulged, sat close by glaring at Corky, who was pretty much oblivious. It was almost like Mac resented seeing him have his fun. So intently were the cats focused on each other or the catnip that the human managed to get quite close without either of them paying her any mind. There were no scuffles, but Mac made no secret of the fact that she thought Corky should have waited until she was completely finished and had left the room before enjoying some nip. The funny thing is, that’s what he usually does. He’s not food aggressive like she is.

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

Intoxication by Osmosis

Mac has an interesting dance with catnip. You never actually see her eat any of it. Any inhalation must occur while she’s rolling around on top of it in a wild frenzy. Although her coat ends up coated with catnip, she shakes it off as soon as she rises.

It’s as though she gets intoxicated by osmosis.

And woe to any human foolish enough to put a hand near the inebriated kitty.

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

The Things they REALLY Like to Play with

Notice that despite the fancy twirling toys, the things the cats most seem to enjoy playing with are crackly sheets of paper sprinkled with catnip and paper bags? It just goes to show that if the human buys a toy, they won’t play with it, but if they think they’re stealing something from the 2-legged, then it’s the best toy ever.

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

Turtle Much?

<<<Don’t say it. In fact, don’t even think it!>>>

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

Why Does She Behave Like that?

Caesar was stumped. Macaroni was flipping back and forth on top of the sheet of crackly paper with limbs akimbo. Her coat was coated with catnip. She was insensible to reason.

<<<Such a lack of dignity…and with the human watching….>>>

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

Second Kittenhood

Caesar Tiger Bear is very big and dignified kitty. (He’s not overweight, he’s just huge.) He’s the household peacemaker, when other cats have a dust up, but he’s equally judicious at administering paw bops when he thinks either four-legged or two-legged people aren’t behaving properly. In short, he’s the epitome of decorum and he rules the household with a velvet paw (but one equipped with sharp claws). The Big Guy must be feeling really good of late because he’s regularly been stepping out of character and acting positively silly. It’s like he’s enjoying his second kittenhood.

For instance, the human often gets out the laser pointer and runs the red dot around on the floor and up the walls in colder, darker weather when the dot shows up better. Caesar has sometimes stopped to sniff the dot, but in 8 years he’s never given it any more than a passing glance. However, a few months back, he actually chased it around on the floor and up the wall…several times. As big and powerful as he is, he’s kind of a scary dude when he gets moving fast like that.

And while Corky and Pepe love sliding around on crackly sheets of paper (repurposed packaging materials that get more play time than actual purchased cat toys), Caesar has never shown much interest.

Mac and Corky are real catnip enthusiasts and Fireball and Pepe can be talked into imbibing from time to time. While Caesar will happily eat a leaf of fresh catnip, and has been known to take a trip if the human sprinkles dried nippy on a rug, not so long ago he rolled around on a catnip-dusted sheet of crackly paper. He made a ton of noise and put a big rip down the length of the paper while flipping back and forth chasing an imaginary object. Even the other cats are careful not to get too close when the Big Guy is all wound up.

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

Corky Cuts Loose

Corky had all the tools of the cat entertainment trade before him. He had a box to climb into as well as a paper bag. He had a piece of crackly paper dusted with dried catnip and silver vine. (You can tell from his coat that he’d recently had a roll in the nippy.) And he had the spinning wobbly toy, which, despite all his best efforts to push it over onto the ground, always managed to stand back up again.

Unfortunately, before he had exhausted his appetite for self entertainment, an interloper appeared.

Yes, the Merkitty (aka Macaroni) had just entered the room. Talk about stealing his chill.

Since the Mer loves nothing better than jumping in the middle of whatever the other cats are doing — be that snoozing in one of the kitty beds, having a grooming party, noshing on snacks, or playing with toys she’d ignored for weeks until another cat decided to have a bit of fun — she hopped right into the middle of Corky’s game without even asking if he’d mind. He minded.

However, uncharacteristically, he didn’t leave the room. Instead, he skulked around the outside edges for a few minutes. Since Mac likes other cats to entertain her a whole lot more than she likes entertaining herself, she quickly tired of the toy and flopped down on the floor to take the measure of her situation. Perhaps she was hoping Corky would come over and lavish some attention on her.

And that was all Corky needed. Quickly he zoomed in and started cuffing at the wobbly toy again.

Mac looked a tad put out. Such is life in this house.

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

Turtle Cat

Mac was having a great time rolling around on some crackly paper sprinkled with catnip. She looked a bit like a turtle on its back.  She was wound up and pretty wild looking. The human wisely resisted the urge to pet that soft tummy. Mac thrashed back and forth until she was coated with catnip.  Then she got up, shook herself off, and departed to enjoy her buzz somewhere the human and the camera were not.

 

 

(c) Copyright 2020, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image my own.

Corky has a Little Roll

Corky loves playing on crackly paper and in paper bags, just like his brother Pepe.  The human had sprinkled some dried catnip on the crackly paper, so the Corkster decided to have a little sniff and roll.  He flipped from side to side, making the cutest squeaky noises. Since he was clearly having a grand time, and he’s hard to photograph, the human moved in quickly with her camera to gets some pics. That killed the mood and the Banu Bear got up and walked away.  <<That human spoils everything!>>

 

 

 

(c) Copyright 2020, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image my own.

Fisticuffs

The human brought home a new pot of live catnip and presented it to her overlords.  Caesar and Pepe happened to be there at the time and both dove toward the pot and started noshing.  Caesar is happy to let another cat eat beside him as long as he/she is content to nibble around the edges while the Emperor devours what’s in the middle. Pepe doesn’t share well in most instances, but he’s not food aggressive. Hence, the human was a bit surprised when a crouching Caesar and a sitting Pepe exchanged a couple of mild fisticuffs over the pot of nippy. After a couple of cuffs, Caesar left and Pepe got the pot to himself.  Meanwhile, the Merkitty, who’d already had some nippy, rolled around on the floor in the next room oblivious to it all.

 

 

(c) Copyright 2019, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Pillows

Caesar is a big fan of pillows.  He’s very fond of the human’s pillow (but only when the human is using it) and he likes blanket pillows. He also enjoys laying his head on a human leg or arm and making it a pillow. However, his favorite head supports are his Kickapoo pillows (catnip- and fiber-stuffed logs with fake-fur “tails”).  They’re just the perfect size for a kitty head.  He also loves to play with them by holding one end between his forepaws and kicking the other end for all he’s worth with his rear paws. This very morning he tumbled off the bed while wound up on catnip kicking at that pillow.  After his exertions are over, he loves to lay his head down on his little pillow and catch up on his well-deserved rest. Of course, when the human sees him do something embarrassing…and, worse yet, when she laughs about it, it takes a bit of time for him to get his composure back again.

 

(c) Copyright 2019, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

At Last: Greenery We’re Allowed to Eat!

The lazy incompetent human has been unable to find cat grass at a multitude of stores. Her attempts at growing grass in pots has been fair-to-middling at best. <<Advanced Master Gardener, my eye!>>Her normally robust supply of outdoor catnip seems not to have come back with the cool, wet spring.  That’s especially puzzling given that catnip is a member of the mint family, which loves water.However, the other day she hit the jackpot and found healthy looking pots of both grass and nippy.  Corky was most pleased as these pics show. He was the first, but certainly not the last cat to nosh down on the new greenery. Sadly, the plants no longer look quite so pristine.

 

(c) Copyright 2019, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Show Us Some Tummy

Corky does lots of cute things, but he does them quickly. Unfortunately, he rarely hangs out in the cute position long enough for the human to find her phone and snap a few pics. However, the other day, she managed to walk in and find him laying on the floor on his back with his cute, soft tummy showing. (He was laying on a sheet of crackly paper, so it’s possible he had just enjoyed some catnip and that’s why his reactions were a bit slower than usual.) He laid there looking at her while she snapped away, then rolled to his side and got up and swiftly left the room. Guess that was all the cuteness the human was going to see for the day…at least from the Corkster.

 

(c) Copyright 2019, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Risking Life and Limb

Mac is usually a mellow creature unless there’s a bowl of crunchies nearby… or, unless she’s gotten into the Wild Wood Weed…note the glint of mischief in her eyes? Then she becomes a menace to society, or at least a danger to the human’s hands and fingers.  Interestingly, she never actually eats catnip. Rather, she rolls in it and gets her coat absolutely coated. Nope, she doesn’t lick it off, she just shakes her coat and tosses the fine particles all over the room, but only once she’s finished thrashing around and is trying to find her dignity again.

 

 

 

(c) Copyright 2019, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.