Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Cats

Little Toy Mice Practice their Yoga Skills

Over the last week, the kitties have brought down more and more toy mice and distributed them around and on the yoga mat during the night. The positions change, the color of the mice change, but the general trend is for there to be more rather than less toy mice arrayed around the yoga mat each morning. The record, to date, is 5 mice. Why do they do this you might ask? Because, in this house, everyone and everything needs a toy mouse or two for good measure. <<<Such thoughtful kitties!>>>

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

Prisoner Cat Receives a Consolation Prize

While Corky was recovering from his dental procedure and still in lockdown, the other kitties kept vigil outside the door to his room. The morning after he returned from the vet, the human found one of the kitties had thoughtfully brought a toy mouse upstairs and left it outside his door. <<<Awww!>>>

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

Disappointed!

The human picked the wrong type of crunchies for her furry masters. They were very disappointed and let the 2-legged know that. The chastened human went back to the store with a promise to do better.

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

When Box Inspection becomes a Family Affair

Sometimes, box inspection isn’t a solitary activity — even when it starts out that way.

Often, other cats wander over and decide to insert themselves into the middle of the action. Pepe rarely approves. <<<Amateurs!>>>

Of course, not every cat is as well trained and as professional about the inspection process. Some just take up space and don’t seem to know what to do. <<<Dilettantes!>>> Others have short attention spans and wander away. <<<Good riddance!>>>

Box inspection is always best left to the professionals.

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

Cats as Energy Harvesting Devices

Humans struggle to engineer photovoltaic cells that are more efficient at harvesting sunlight and converting it to energy. They really should talk with cats — especially cats who are largely black — as they’ve got the situation nailed. Here is Pepe demonstrating how efficiently he converts sunlight into energy that then causes him to run around like a banshee is biting his tail. Mac, in the background, takes a more passive (and dignified) approach to energy generation and storage.

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

Corky’s Adventures at the Vet

The bad human hasn’t posted in close to 2 months. That’s because we spent almost a month living a daily plumbing nightmare during a time when the 2-legged’s work schedule was really challenging. Nonetheless, the kitties, per usual, have been doing all sorts of cute things, which the human did record and now just needs to catch up posting about. Case in point, Corky had to go in for a checkup ahead of some dental work. He wasn’t very enthused about being put in a carrier and carted to the clinic, but he was a very good kitty nonetheless.

The first thing the vet tech did after we got him out of the carrier is put him in a curved tray and weigh him. The Corkster decided that he felt pretty comfortable in the tray and wouldn’t get out.

While we waited for the vet to come in, the human covered him up with the towel from his carrier, creating a burrito bear. The nice vet conducted his whole exam while Corky retained his spot in the curved tray of the scale. He even stayed there for his shot.

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

It was Bound to Happen Eventually

Mac loves solving puzzles, so the human knew that eventually she’d find a workaround for splashing water out of the tall, straight-sided water bowl. And right on time, she’s done just that.

It took a couple of months of frantic splashing, but she was finally able to toss water outside the water bowl the other day. It’s unclear if that’s because the human overfilled the water level, making the liquid easier to dislodge, or if the Merkitty has changed technique and found a way to lift the water out of the bowl and deposit it on the floor.

For now, the human has pushed the bowl further back on the rubber mat and dish drying pad. However, the 2-legged will need to ponder the latest development and see if she can think of another way to outsmart the Plesiosaurus.

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

What is Corky Doing?

The human had dried the bedding outside on the lines, which leaves them with a delightful “outdoor” smell. The 2-legged had subsequently stripped and remade the bed with the yummy-smelling sheets and duvet. The human thinks that Corky was running his nose along the edge of the fabric, much as he does to items that need a bit more drying inside and are draped over blankets on the upstairs bannister. Still, even for Corky, it was an odd sight.

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

Mac Discovers the New Giant Puff

Mac “owns” the two puffy, fluffy cat beds that were given to all the kitties last year…or at least she thinks she does. She regularly plays Brat Cat and chases another cat out of either the pink or beige puff so she can take it over. Despite being the smallest cat in the house, she’s a force of nature when she wants to be.

Well, the human found giant puff kitty beds at a local store that are at least 3x the size of the originals. She thought about where she could place such a big bed if Sandy Claws were to bring it to the kitties this year. Finally, the elves broke over and brought home a giant pink puff. Here is Mac discovering the kitty bed.

Time will tell if Mac takes over this puff as well. It’s so large that hopefully she will learn to share.

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

Corky’s Turn at the Vet

This has been quite the year for big vet bills and frequent visits to places of torture. It was Corky’s turn to go to the vet. He was acting off and the human suspected a UTI. Unfortunately, as has been the case this year, after many expensive tests, nothing showed up. The little guy is acting better now, so whatever was going on hopefully is past and he’s on the mend. Still, he wasn’t a happy camper to be dragged out of the house only to be poked, prodded, and forced to give up samples of bodily fluids. <<<Never trust a human who pretends to be about to pet you!>>>

(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.

Not Quite Hidden

Sometime this spring, Fireball figured out how to open up the closet door in the big bedroom. He’s been hanging out there for months, completely abandoning his usual haunts under the blanket draped over the stairs. He’s often been joined in the closet by Caesar, Mac, and even Corky. Not wanting him to lay on the hard floor, the human put the pink puff in the closet to Fireball’s delight. Lately, the human comes into the bedroom only to find a little red tail peeking around the edge of the door. The rest of the red kitty is in the pink puff completely oblivious to the fact that he’s not quite as hidden as he thinks. <<<Ah, cats!>>>

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

Almost Back

Thanks to all the kind people who sent their condolances.

Life without Caesar takes some getting used to, but this house is slowly getting back to some semblance of normalcy.

The human was really worried about Fireball, as he was inseparable from Caesar. He’s spent a lot of the last week hiding, but he’s beginning to come out again for pets and cuddles. In fact, he’s been vigorously chasing the laser dot around in the morning. And little toy mice are starting to leave the toy boxes and work their way around the house, so the kitties are starting to play again.

The other cats too are back to flopping on top of the human and demanding cuddles. Cranky Corky has been amping up his demands for earlier and earlier crunchy bowl fillings in the afternoon. And we’ve had a lot of paw-dangling action going on as well.

We miss you terribly, Big Guy. Thanks for 9-1/2 great years.

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

The Missing Posts

<<<The bad human has been very busy at work…at least that’s the excuse she’s used when we’ve asked why there haven’t been any new posts added in almost a month. We’ve tried replacing her before, but had little success. Hence, we’ve decided we just have to live with it when she goes AWOL. We have been doing cute things and she has been taking pictures, not that anyone would know about it.>>>

<<<We also recently learned that Google was discontinuing Feedburner, a nifty free piece of software we’ve used for ages to ensure our fans receive emails when new posts go up on our site. The upshot is that we don’t know if anyone will get these emails anymore, but we’re giving it a try.>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image #103975655 from iStockPhoto.com.

Twinkies

Fireball and Mac were enjoying watching the goings on in the yard. The mean squirrels were chattering at them from the trees. Good things there was glass separating squirrels from cats.

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

The Evilness of Humans

According to both Mac and Caesar, the evilness of humans in this house knows no bounds. For instance, the human picked up Caesar while he was rubbing against her leg and spirited him off to the location of the nail clippers. She then proceeded to hold hm captive while she quickly trimmed all 5 nails on each of his front paws. No harm was done but the Big Guy was NOT pleased! He has made sure to sit down on the floor anytime he gets near the human during the past few days as that makes it much harder for her to pick him up.

Then, poor Mac was catnapped (while having a cat nap) yesterday morning, put in a carrier, and transported to the vet for a checkup. Exams always involve thermometers up the butt and bloodwork. Plus, then Mac was rendered a prisoner cat (isolated in a closed bedroom) for a couple of hours when human and kitty returned home in order to get a clean urine sample that had to be re-transported back to the vet’s office. And this morning, Mac was once again picked up against her will and transported for nail clipping, which the human did quickly and without harm, but completely against Mac’s wishes.

Sometimes it’s unclear whether keeping the human around to pay the mortgage and utilities, open cat food cans, and scoop litter boxes is worth the hassle.

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

Enrichment Toy Failures

Knowing that her furry monsters have no opportunity to go outside, except on the “catio” (screened in porch), the human tries to keep them mentally stimulated and physically active. One way she does that is by purchasing so-called enrichment toys, which are supposed to make them think and move. Now, on balance, most of these toys have been a complete flop with a few exceptions. It’s not that the (completely unbiased) human thinks the kitties are not very smart, it’s that she thinks they are equal parts devious and lazy. Why go to the trouble of pushing the dome around on the puzzle feeder in order to get a few crunchies, when throwing a tantrum at 3 am almost always guarantees that the drowsy human will overfill the crunchy bowl? <<<So much more food for so much less effort!>>> And why run around chasing something when it’s clearly far more entertaining to make the human run around and retrieve things instead?

Here is a sad list of failed enrichment toy purchases that did not live up to their billing.

The flopping fish (too scary for big kitties)

The puzzle feeder (mostly the 4 that could operate it just sat around looking at the human and imploring her to turn the dome instead of doing it themselves)

And the newest flop? The (soundless) clear ball that flashes a sequence of colored lights when bumped (they just look at the toy, then at the human, as if to ask <<<Why? What were you thinking?>>>

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

Not Pleased with Our Human

We tried replacing our human a few years back when she completely ignored our blog for several months. Unfortunately, no other human seemed to want the job we offered. We adjusted our expections downward (by several orders of magnitude) and decided to chill when our 2-legged got really busy and didn’t make time to let our fans know what we’ve been doing. Still, that doesn’t make it easy and it certainly doesn’t mean that we have to like it when our blog gets ignored. (Don’t worry, our human is still doing all the important household tasks to keep us healthy and well fed.) Still, humans are really challenging pets to keep and they require constant training.

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

Toys for the Toys

In the “Gee, what were they thinking?” category, the human noticed that the new flapping fish toy had been brought 4 little toy mice of its own. In this house, everyone gets to have some toys. <<<Don’t you just wish you how your cats’ minds worked?>>>

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

Fishy

The silly human came home from the pet-supply store the other evening practically cackling with delight. She’d found a new “educational” cat toy — or, rather, one that promised mental enrichment for the cats. It was a sizeable “fish” stuffed with fluff, catnip, and a USB-chargeable unit that causes the tail to flip back and forth. This creates the effect of a thrashing fish, as if it had suddenly found itself out of water. The fish effectively flips itself across the floor while also making a clicking sound. The 2-legged had to charge the unit before first use, so she removed the innards and plugged them in, then brought the rest of the fish upstairs for the cats to check out. Both Caesar and Pepe gave it a sniff, and several times that evening Pepe gave it a good thrashing.

It’s probably appropriate then that as soon as the human and cats came down for breakfast, and the human reassembled the toy and put it on the ground, Pepe came over to check it out.

He was soon joined by Caesar, who rushed over to see what was up with this strange creature that had found its way into their house. It turns out that the fish is touch-sensitive, so after thrashing around and clicking for about 90 seconds, it lays still (and goes silent) until someone touches it with a paw or nose or hand in the middle section — not at the tail or head where the Big Boys were sniffing. By now, Corky had joined the team investigating the interloper.

The human has been moving the fish around the house for the last few days. In the long run, it may fail to hold their attention, but at least for now whenever Caesar hears that particular clicking, he rushes into the room and starts sniffing the creature. This morning, the human found the Emperor laying beside the fish toy, as though on guard. And when he got up, the human found 5 toy mice sitting beside the fish. Did he think the fish was hungry? Or did he think the mice would teach the fish some manners? It’s times like this that the human really would love to know what her masters were thinking.

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