Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Cats


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.

Back and Forth

<<<Do you see the level of the crunchies in this bowl? It’s getting lower…much lower. Soon it will be empty.>>>

<<<But there are plenty of crunchies in that bowl. You have to eat them up before they get stale.>>>

<<<How do you expect me to function with the prospect of impending starvation? It’s all I can think about right now.>>>

<<<You’re hardly going to starve in this house! There are 3 other food bowls just around the corner. You’ve gotten so spoiled. This idea that you can’t eat if you can see the sides or bottom of the bowl, when it is otherwise FILLED with crunchies, is beyond silly.>>>

<<<I’m so disgusted, I can’t even look at you anymore.>>>

<<<Princess Pouty Paws, you’re being silly.>>>

<<<My trust is broken and my heart is oh so heavy!>>>

<<<You’re being a drama queen, Mac. I’m not going to encourage this activity any further.>>>

<<<You are pure evil, human! Wait until you’re asleep. I’ll get my REVENGE!>>>

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

Yes, You Really Are Seeing What You Think You’re Seeing

If you think you see the Merkitty with her head in a watering can drinking water, then that is exactly what is happening. Mind you, there are several dishes filled with nice clean filtered water sitting not 10 feet away in the kitchen.

It makes you wonder what the Tiger Boys think of the Watery One’s latest antics.

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

Corky Helps with Blanket Making

<<<I really don’t understand why my brother makes such a big deal about these blankets.>>>

<<<The cuts seem straight enough to me.>>>

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

Happy 6th Anniversary Duo!

Six years ago today, the Duo — brothers Corky and Pepe — came to live with the human and the Trio, when their previous human (the 2-legged’s neighbor of 20 years) moved away. After a bit of a rough start, everyone has settled in beautifully and there is much mischief, merriment, and comradery among the 4-legged people, who continually delight in finding ways to mess with their current human’s head…admittedly, not a challenging use of cat superpowers. <<<Happy anniversary, boys!>>>

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

Big Red Crackly Bag

The human placed a big plastic bag from a takeout meal on the floor. Pepe, Mac, and Caesar all came over for a look and a sniff.

<<<Nah, we’ll pass. This isn’t so very interesting after all.>>>

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


<<<Just my sister and I having a nice little snooze. Although, I was first in this bed, so why has she pushed me out onto the lip and taken all the soft blankets in the middle?>>>

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

Mousy Dental Treats

The human tried out a new-to-the-household package of dental treats for the cats. Despite being fish flavored, the monsters ate them up. So, encouraged, the human went back to the petfood store and bought several more packages. At this point, the monsters decided that they did not like the fish-flavored treats and stopped eating them. However, they did put one of their toy mice in the treat bowl just to see if it liked the snack. It did not. The human now has 4 packages of dental treats that are essentially unusable. <<<Heavy sigh…>>>

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

Feeding Your Toys

The care and feeding of your toy mice is an important aspect of being a responsible feline master. We didn’t like this food anyway, so we put our toy in the bowl to see if the mouse would like it. It didn’t. Still, it’s important that we offered.

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

Almost Made it…

We got to day 4. The human even managed to clip Cocoa’s front claws without bloodshed. However, late that evening, the human stepped out of the big bedroom for a nature break and was a bit too careless when returning to bed. Fireball made a major jail break and spent that night and the next day out. First thing he did was run across the hall and start pushing first his nose and then those clever red paws under the door. Fortunately, Cocoa must have been in her kitty bed and not watching. If there were any altercations on opposite sides of the door during the night, the human didn’t hear them…and she didn’t fall asleep until after 1 am, so upset was she that she’d let Fireball escape. The next day, the Little Red Bee was missing his best buddies, Mac and Caesar, but there was little chance he’d let the human pick him up and return him to the bedroom, so he had to live with the choices he made in the spur of the moment. There were 5 happy cats when Cocoa’s family returned and she went back to her house.

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

No One is Happy in this House

<<The human has let another cat in the house. It’s in the other bedroom right across the hall. Corky made a jail break for 30 minutes and confirmed this arch betrayal. We also feel resentful that we should all be locked up. It’s our house. Whatever was that human thinking?>>

This is Cocoa. Her humans next door had to go out of town for 5 days. The easiest and kindest thing was to bring her here. However, no one is happy about this situation, Cocoa included. That’s a bit scary, as Cocoa is a big girl with all of her claws. She has a fearsome growl too.

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


There are four kitties in this picture. Can you find all of them? Of course, as the human and camera moved closer, heads rose to observe her approach.And that made Corky nervous, so he departed the bed. Eventually, Mac did raise her head, so now you know where she was hiding. 



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

Every Yogi Needs a Toy

The human rolled out her yoga mat and did some stretching. After a bit, she stood up and went into the kitchen for a drink of water. When she came back, an orange toy mouse was sitting on her pale blue yoga mat and a big mackerel tabby was beating a hasty retreat into the next room.


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

The Merkitty’s Guide to Taking a Drink of Water

Marcaroni, the Merkitty (mermaid kitty) has the oddest way of drinking water of any cat this human has seen in six decades. Whether a bowl of water is sitting on the floor or it is elevated above the floor in a rack, she seems not to understand what it is. With bowls on the floor, if she crouches down to take a drink, she’s always got one paw and then the other snaking around the outside diameter of the bowl…reaching for what is anyone’s guess.  If the bowl is on an elevated rack, then she’s got her paws under the bowl reaching around as though trying to grasp something. Because the Merkitty loves few things better than tossing water out of the bowl and onto the floor and all surrounding surfaces, the human has long ago had to adopt a multi-tiered, multi-layered protection scheme.  The water bowl in the rack sits over a folded microfiber dish-drying mat, which is excellent at absorbing water. And that mat sits on a large rubber mat, which, in some cases, sits on a rug. This setup is duplicated in several locations in the house. As Mac reaches under the bowl scooping with her paw, she often catches the microfiber mat in her claws and pulls, moving the mat out of position.  By switching paws and continuing to hook the mat — whether accidentally or on purpose — she manages to move the mat into all kinds of crazy patterns and quite often pulls it entirely out from under the rack where it ceases to absorb the prodigious amount of water she often tosses out of the bowl. Of course, since most of the cats who visit the adjacent crunchy bowl take a mouthful from the bowl and drop the crunchies either on the rubber mat or on the floor before starting to eat, the presence of all the water that is no longer being absorbed by the microfiber mat mixing with leftover crunchies on the mat or floor makes for an even bigger mess. Miss Mac is definitely a very unique kitty with a very interesting mind. If only the silly human understood her better.



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

Party in the Bowl

Corky was being a bit of a brat one afternoon when the human was trying to work. He didn’t like any of the food that was out, he didn’t want to play with any of the toys, he didn’t want to go out on the catio, and he didn’t want to be brushed again. Finally, not knowing what else to do other than lock herself into her office, the human took out some dried catnip and put it in a bowl. It’s unclear if Corky ate any that afternoon, but later in the evening, as she prepared for sleep, the human put the bowl on the stairs figuring that someone might like a little nippy during nighttime adventures. When the human awoke the next morning, this is what she saw. As you know, it’s nothing in this house to find a toy mouse in a food or water bowl or both. However, it’s far less common to find 2 mice in a bowl at the same time. Interestingly, the human left the toy mice in the bowl with the catnip all that day and evening. When she awoke the following morning, both mice were gone and so was most of the catnip — although some had clearly been spilled on the stairs. What do you suppose that was all about?




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

While You Lay Sleeping

Sometimes the human thinks she doesn’t sleep much at night, but evidence to the contrary meets her eyes the following morning.  For example, three nights ago the two-legged woke to find not 1, not 2, but 7 tiny toy mice lined up beside her bed. She crushed a couple while climbing down from the tall bed in the dark the following morning. The cats always make that distinctive throaty moaning sound as they drag toy mice upstairs for the human and drop them on the floor. The fact that the human didn’t hear that happen 7 times in the same night suggests that she was out of it.



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

Pepe Demonstrates Self-Isolation

In the spirit of “flattening the curve,” Pepe demonstrates the technique of self-isolation early in the morning.



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

In the Category of “But Why?”

The cats have a cute toy that looks like a tiny chinchilla. A few weeks ago the human spied the chinchilla balanced precariously between a bottle of filtered water waiting to be carried upstairs and the stair railing.  It would have taken incredible skill to toss the toy up in the air and have it land (and stay) there deliberately, so the two-legged figures this was an unintended consequence of a night of frivolity while the human slept. Still, it made for an interesting discovery.


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

Social Distancing in the Time of Covid-19

Anyone know what the proper social distancing is for cats? They’re much smaller than humans, so presumably it’s way less than 6 feet/1.8 meters.  Still, one does think that this is probably too close.


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

The Understudy

Turns out that Ms. Mac may have been justifiably offended when the human accused her of tossing water out of the bowl and flooding floors on several levels of the house the past few weeks. It’s not that the human hasn’t caught her red-handed with her paws in the water bowl.  However, she’s apparently been busy training understudies. Now, Fireball and Corky are also drinking oddly out of the bowls and tossing water around. In fact, splashing water out onto the floor has become Corky’s go-to form of throwing a tantrum. He’s come to understand that the human merely laughs when he stands up behind the curtains and pummels them.  Hence, he’s adopted one of Mac’s more annoying behaviors to get the human to respond to whatever it is that he wants in the moment. How the human is going to respond to this situation is a matter of great discussion at the moment.


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