Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Counters & Tables


It’s 4:00 in the afternoon and Cranky Corky is hangry. Yes, the hypoglycemic one is snarking about, throwing temper tantrums and yowling at the human. The 2-legged was supposed to dole out crunchies hours ago, never mind the fact that breakfast remains mostly uneaten and that most of the cats got to hunt for raw freeze-dried nuggets several hours ago. This is how the human gets in trouble with her 4-legged masters. She’d best do her duty lest she find her bed moved out into the snow piles again.



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

What Do You Mean, You Can See Me?

Apparently Pepe thought he was more hidden than he really was….



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

Any Guesses about Who Owns this Tail?

This tail can often be found poking out from beneath the tablecloth and the chair back in the kitchen. Do you know whose it is?  If you guessed the Merry Pepster, you’d be right.  <<Is the basic concept of privacy completely dead?>>


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

Pepe is Bored…Again

It was morning and the silly human, who’d already attended to the needs of the meows, was trying to eat breakfast and plan her day. Unfortunately, she wasn’t giving the Pepster 100% of her attention and, besides, he was bored. That usually leads to mischief.  Tummy pets didn’t help, they just got the human hand attacked. Cuddles didn’t help. Pepe quickly jumped back down in his seat. Eventually, the human went around the corner and secured one of the spinning wobbly toys. It captured his attention for less than 3 minutes. Then he was back to being the Pesterer again.



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

Hot-Weather Hiding Places

Here’s another of Pepe’s favorite hiding places, particularly in hot weather. See that bulge of fabric?  There’s a big B&W cat hiding under there.  In fact, here’s the monster himself, none too pleased with the human that she and her camera have invaded his secret cave.




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

I’m So Mad, I Won’t Even Look at You

It was time for a vet visit for Caesar. Caesar hates vet visits. The human had corralled him into a new kitty carrier, but that didn’t improve his mood. In fact, after unzipping the front and trying to coax him out onto the exam table, the Big Guy refused to budge. While 2-legged and 4-legged waited for the doctor to come in, the Emperor turned his face away and refused to give up the grumps for his human.


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


Sometimes Pepe is so quiet you’d never guess he was hiding under the tablecloth on one of the kitchen chairs. It’s only when you’ve been sitting there for a while and a nose suddenly pokes out that you realize he’s been watching you for the past 15 minutes.  <<Dude, that’s kind’a rude!>>

<<Don’t mention it, irksome human.>>


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

Cap(tive) Attention

Pepe loves pen caps. The human, who writes for a living, always has pens around. Sometimes Pepe is in the mood to chase the pen cap and sometimes he is not.  When he is in chaser mode, the pen cap pretty quickly gets lost. Then it’s the human’s job to retrieve it.  After a couple of rounds of knock-it-off-the-chair and wait for the human to pick it up, Pepe gets bored.  Really, how much fun is that anyway? The least she could do is throw it around or roll it across the floor.


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

Chair Gymnastics

The human got new ladder-back chairs for the kitchen last year.  Unfortunately, she unwittingly got some that have fewer back slats spaced further apart than the old chairs. That’s only a problem for the Merry Pepster, who loves to roll around on the chair seat and often ends up rolling off the back since there no longer is a slat to stop him. His morning calisthenics routine involves lots of rolling around and nuzzling the chair back,  often with an unplanned exit off the back or sides.  If the human is paying proper attention, she can often stop him from rolling off the chair.  However, if she’s busy checking email, eating breakfast, or otherwise preoccupied, Pepe either has to stand up and tap her on the arm or shoulder or risk a tumble.<<Silly human needs so much watching!>>



(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.


The human covered a tradeshow last week and picked up an assortment of giveaways as she walked through the exhibits in between attending technical sessions. When she got home, she unloaded her bag to see just what she had accumulated. <<More pens, great news!>>  Of course, Pepe came out to join the human and see what she was up to at the table.  One of the giveaways was a nifty, environmentally-friendly pen in a box.  Since the Pepster was watching the goings-on with great interest, the tricksy human pushed the empty box over to the edge of the table. Not surprisingly, Pepe grabbed the box and pulled it over onto his chair. It was a bit unwieldy, but he cuffed it around anyway.  That entertainment was short-lived as he quickly knocked the lightweight box off the chair and onto the floor. For some reason, entropy usually sets in as soon as a new toy leaves the chair and hits the floor. With that, the Pepster turned around and looked expectantly at the human asking for another toy with which to entertain himself.

(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Not a One-Trick Pony!

Just for the record, Pepe is not a one-trick pony.   Let the critics be warned that he has mastered entertaining himself with more than just a pen.  Once in a while, he gets the human to share a rubber band with him for a few minutes.   First, he snags it from the edge of the table. <<Really, this is a form of entrapment by the human, who claims she doesn’t want me on the table but then tempts me with toys on the table! See what I go through?>>  Once it lands on the chair, it’s important to assess its probable level of aliveness.  That usually entails cuffing it around a few times to see if it will move on its own. Nope, seems like it’s dead.  That doesn’t mean it’s not cuffable of course.<<Okay, but after cuffing it for a few minutes, if it just sits there like a lump on a log, then it loses its entertainment value. Time to implore the human to give me another toy.>>  




(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Messy Eaters

The human made the cardinal sin of dolling out soft food this week that was chunky.  These kitties have texture issues with chunky foods, even when they are served slathered in gravy, so the 2-legged has to mash up the chunks to get them smooth like a pate. However, being a silly human, she wasn’t as focused on the mashing part as she should have been and she left some chunks.  (It’s hard to be super focused on creating a perfect pate when being assailed by Pepe, who is convinced he’s speeding up food prep by trying to get on the counter and at the food and nutrients she’s adding, and while the others sit around and sound off about just how slowly the human is moving.)  Because there were chunks, the Pepster dragged them out of the bowl and deposited them (and the gravy they were drenched in) on the kitchen floor. Just what the human needed: to have to pick up that mess and wash that section of the floor before she started work.


(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.



The human was minding her own business having lunch and taking notes. All of a sudden, her foot nudged the chair next to her’s and out popped the Pepster, who had been sleeping on the chair hidden by the fall of the tablecloth.  The nudge scared the Pepster and his popping out from under the tablecloth scared the human. That made them even.



(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.


<<Sure, I’m not supposed to get on the table, but you put the pen cap within easy reach. You’re just tempting me.>><<And if I decide to knock it off the table and chase it around the kitchen floor until I lose it, well that really just constitutes entrapment, since you planted it in front of me where you knew I couldn’t resist.>>



(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

The Afternoon Greeting Party

This is the afternoon greeting party. Two of the cats are waiting patiently…well, somewhat patiently…outside the human’s office for their afternoon snack.  When she takes a short break, they’ll follow her into the kitchen and remind her of what’s really important in the moment.They come downstairs in ones and twos all afternoon to cajole the human into doling out something to eat. If she ignores the head bumps to her legs and the plaintive cries delivered by kitties standing on hind legs and reaching up to touch her or her desk, or the more insistent attempts to jump onto her keyboard, then most of them will move out into the living room and wait…on the good days. Occasionally there will be some sassy faces and some sassy sounds, and of course there will be Mer-smirks, but for the most part, they’ll leave the human be after a while. Maybe they know when she’s on deadline.


(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Finding Your Own Entertainment…

img_4221The cats have been unhappy with their toy selection of late…well, all except the Merkitty and the round scratching disc featuring the ball that races around the outside.  No surprise, at least one of the kitties has decided to find his own entertainment. The human was sorting through mail and eating her breakfast recently. She’d crumpled up several small pieces of paper into a little ball and pushed it to the side as she worked on other things. The plan was to put it in the recycle bag as soon as she stood up from the table. Of course, the Table Thief immediately struck and cuffed the small paper ball onto the chair and then the floor. Off he ran scooting it around on the floor like a forward chasing a soccer ball down the field. Ooops, he scooped the ball up and it landed inside one of the human’s slippers. Well, that was inconvenient. img_4223Never one to give up on opportunities to play, Pepe first tried cuffing the ball out of the slipper. When that didn’t work and he just drove the ball deeper into the toe box, he adapted quickly and started cuffing the whole slipper around on the floor.
img_4226Admittedly, the slipper lacked the speed and maneuverability of the ball of paper. However, sometimes you just have to make do when the human doesn’t provide any better entertainment opportunities.

(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.






Shell Game

img_4219The clumsy human knocked a small bottle off on the floor this morning while moving a box in search of some more shampoo before showering. Of course, the bottle went down between the wall and a cabinet, necessitating that she get down on hands and knees, move some items out of the way, and search for the bottle.  And what did she find on the floor besides the dropped bottle?  Why a whole collection of shells that normally sit in an iridescent bowl on top of the counter by the sink.  What were those shells doing out of the bowl and on the floor?  The human’s theory is that the Table Thief (aka Pepe) has moved operations and has been cuffing them out of the bowl.  They certainly LOOK like they’d be ideal for chasing around on the floor. He must have been so frustrated when he lobbed them over the edge of the counter and lost them between two cupboards. Actually, it’s a wonder they didn’t shatter when hitting the ceramic tile. Cats!img_4218By the way, happy Valentine’s day to 2- and 4-leggeds all.


(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Table Thief

img_4105Pepe and the human have been going round and round of late on the matter of the silly rule that no cats are allowed on the table or the kitchen counter. They can visit almost anywhere else in the house, but not there.img_4106Unlike his brother Corky, who seems to have no problem with the rule change, Pepe has not adjusted since moving from next door almost 2 years ago.  He’s still testing boundaries on a daily basis.img_4111When the human is eating, she must pull “his” chair up beside her own and pet him while she tries to eat, read, journal, talk with someone on the phone, or catch up on news. There is no excuse for not giving him 100% of her attention. When her attention drifts, as often it does, he keeps things lively, as would be expected.img_4108For example, he is trying to convince the human that just having his front paws on the table doesn’t count as being on the table. After all, most of him is still in the chair.img_4110And leaning forward onto his paws so his chest is on the table still does not constitute a violation of that boundary.img_4114Just let the human leave her seat for a minute to pour a cup of coffee or grab a condiment and the seat stealer is right there sitting in her spot.img_4115And if she has to be gone more than a minute, watch out:  any small item of interest on the table within reach of those paws is fair game to be knocked off and chased around on the floor.img_4118Just before Thanksgiving, the human (who had been working late) decided to use up some leftovers. She poured some crackers onto a dish while she cut a chunk of cheese.  She ate her food while Pepe fussed around on his chair looking for entertainment. The human stood up and turned to the sink for just a minute only to hear Pepe hop into her chair, knock something off the table, and then start chasing it around the slippery kitchen floor like a hockey player.img_4123The human looked back at her spot but could not figure out what the little thief had nabbed. Round and round the kitchen Pepe ran at a faster and faster pace.img_4124The human followed him into a corner only to see the purloined object slide under a rack that holds heavy Dutch ovens. She gave up and went back to her meal only to have Pepe reappear at her feet and leave whatever had been pilfered.img_4121Looking down she saw that it was a broken cracker. Huh! At least he didn’t eat it.img_4120 She got up to put the cracker in the compost pail, then offered him a pen cap, which he usually likes to chase all over the floor — but not that night.img_4125Next the human offered him a nickel figuring it would slide along the floor really fast. Alas, since it was offered, not stolen, the coin held no interest for the feline either.
img_4126Later, after the human had had her meal and cleaned up, she came back down to the kitchen for something only to find that an AA battery that had been sitting in a dish on the table was now on the floor lodged behind a piece of furniture. Cats!


(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.


IMG_3147Okay, it only took the Water Baby 2 days to figure out that it would be exceptionally entertaining to lob stones out of the fountain and onto the floor. (Maybe she’s reading these blog posts after all….)

The human was in her work cave toiling diligently. All the furry people thought they should have dinner early.  One by one they came in to torment the silly human, who still was unwilling to get up and serve food so early in the day. Then the Girly Girl got it in her head that the one sure way to get the human out of the chair was to return to the site of her earlier adventures. After all, the human chuckled and took pictures of her two days ago. That’s no way to dissuade a cat.  IMG_3149Soon the human heard the distinct sound of stones being dragged over metal, then hitting the floor and bouncing. By the time she bounded out of her chair and arrived with camera, there were quite a few stones under the couch. Busted, the Plesiosaurus jumped off the couch and onto a specimen table.  The human got down on hands and knees (not quite proper obedience, but getting there!), picked up the stones, and laid them down on the table. Then she started talking to Princess Scoopy Paws about how it wasn’t a good idea to toss heavy stones onto the floor. <<Ha! Just watch me!>>  The Merkitty immediately began scooping and sliding stones along the top of the glass table. (Oh nooo!) Realizing what a dumb idea it had been to put the stones on a glass-topped table, the human returned them to the fountain and went back to the work cave leaving Mischief #1 without an outlet for her energies. 
IMG_3152M.K., not in the least discouraged, returned to the fountain and started chasing stones around in the bowl again. The human got up, camera in hand, and decided that the only way to end the fun was to cover up the whole fountain, bowl of stones and all. She found a kitty blanket that wasn’t getting much love and wrapped the fountain. Of course, that made it irresistible for the Water Baby, who returned to the bay window with her pal, Mischief #2 (aka Pepe).  IMG_3163Both investigated the mysterious brightly colored object that now was sitting in the window. Not to be outdone, M.K. started poking with face and paw trying to unfold the edges of the cloth. Sure enough, she did get one corner open, but not in a particularly accessible side of the fountain.IMG_3162She looked around. <<What else is up here that I can have fun with while annoying the 2-legged?>> She found a stone bowl holding some large stone specimens. She tried cuffing them, but fortunately they were too heavy to move so she lay down on top of the bowl to ponder her next move. Chess anyone?IMG_3160At last she got up and left the bay window. However, like the Terminator, the human is sure she’ll be baaack!



(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Table Manners

IMG_3047The kitties know they’re not supposed to get up on the kitchen table or the counters.  However, if they decide they want to get up there, they get up there even if the human is sitting right in front of them with her lower jaw gaping open (not an attractive look). Normally, she quickly regains her composure and shoos them off, but they just grin insolently over their shoulders as they depart as though to say, “we’ll be back!”IMG_3048The other day, the human was trying to have her breakfast while opening and sorting through mail she’d retrieved the previous evening.  She opened one particular letter and set it aside to remind herself to check on something.IMG_3049Pepe, who’d already had multiple rounds of play with his toys that are tied to the back of “his chair” and was sitting up watching the human (on the off chance food might appear). Suddenly, he inched his way across the table toward that letter and started sniffing and nuzzling it.IMG_3046He managed to move the letter all around on that side of the table as he explored its bouquet.IMG_3045It must have had some interesting odors, because he gave it quite the investigation, as you can see. (Perhaps someone had worked on it while eating lunch at his/her desk.) The human, too entertained watching to chase him down off the table, just took out the evil camera and started snapping.


(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.