Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Corky

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.

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.

Strategic Utilization of Sunlight

The human walked upstairs in the middle of the afternoon and spied one of the cats strategically positioned to enjoy a spot of sunlight. At first the human wasn’t even sure which cat it was.

As the two-legged drew closer, she thought she saw a pair of little white feet, indicating it was Corky.

Sure enough, it was the little Banu Bear, who appeared to be in a good mood and not intending on moving anywhere anytime soon. <<<Can’t a guy relax and enjoy a little peace in this house?>>>

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

Brothers

This is a sight you wouldn’t have seen 6 years ago: littermates Corky and Pepe laying next to each other. In their previous home, bully-boy Pepe never let Corky sit next to their humans or sleep on the bed with the 2-leggeds.

In this house, that behavior isn’t tolerated. And with 3 other cats to share space with, Pepe has mellowed considerably and Corky has come out of his shell.

(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.

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.

An Even Smaller Box

The human had a cute box she thought the brothers would enjoy checking out. She put it on the floor and waited to see what would happen.

No surprise, Pepe sniffed it over, then climbed in. Unfortunately, his brother was also curious and got fairly close to the box, which he still occupied.

<<<Do I really have to share with my brother?>>>

(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.

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.

What do You Mean that’s Not Dignified?

<<<Complaints from the peanut gallery will not even be considered today.>>>

(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.

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.

Bowl or No Bowl?

Corky and Macaroni have a new “thing.” They cannot possibly eat out of a bowl of crunchies once a small section of the bottom of the bowl starts to show. No, it doesn’t matter how many crunchies are scattered all around the sides (as can be seen above). That bowl is now absolutely off limits, which means the human is in trouble and both cats are going to act out.

Interestingly, if the human just shakes the bowl and redistributes the contents so the bottom no longer shows, then the bowl is quite fine and the bad behavior stops — at least for a short time, until a small part of the bottom of the bowl shows again. Clearly, the human does not understand the need for such panic, so Corky and Mac amp up the mischief until the human can be persuaded to refill the bowl again.

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

Girl in Box

When new boxes arrive at the house, the human usually empties them out and puts them down for the kitties to explore.

Quite often, the cat who hops in and claims the box is quite predictable: Pepe or Corky (who is walking past on the right (above) and hoping that the box will empty out so he can get into it).

However, sometimes the cat you’d least expect is the one who hops in. That was the case when Macaroni claimed this big box.

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

How Many Times Do I have to Tell You, that Doesn’t Work?

Corky was flummoxed. The human had once again failed to do his bidding. The bottom of the crunchy bowl was showing. That meant that no matter how many crunchies remained in the bowl, it was no longer possible to eat anything out of that bowl. And Corky was hungry…hangry even. The fact that the human shook the bowl and redistributed the contents, hiding the bottom, did not solve the problem that the bowl’s contents were getting dangerously low.

(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.

Playtime for Corky

Corky is a big fan of the flat scratching disc with a single ball that rolls around it’s perimeter. He’s even a bigger fan of the 3-tiered tower with 3 different balls that can spin around the outside at the same time.

The Corkster hates it when the human catches him having a bit of fun by himself. If she’s not quiet while taking pictures, he stops what he’s doing and sometimes leaves the area.

Still, even when he’s aware that she’s watching, sometimes he’s just having so much fun that he forgets to be self-conscious and goes back to chasing the spinning balls.

He’s got the cutest little white paws and, when he’s into it, he really gets all 3 balls spinning simultaneously.

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

The Very, Very Bad Human

The very, very bad human is still alive and still living with us. Yes, we have been merciful, even though she hasn’t posted on our blog since late October. How are we supposed to keep up with our fans? Still, we’ve let her know in many ways that she continues to disappoint us. We finally had a breakthrough this afternoon when we guilted her into creating this post. How long the guilt will last is anyone’s guess, but at least we’ve made some kind of progress.

(c) Copyright 2021, 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.