Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Curiosity

Mystery Muddy Footprints

It’s been brutally cold of late. We had snow flurries on Halloween and last week  it dipped below freezing for the first time in half a year.  The human had to haul the houseplants in from the great outdoors a couple of weeks back, including the big ficus tree. For a while she had the large pot (and its plentiful supply of soft fresh soil) barricaded with some containers to keep little kitty feet out.  However, one of the barricades had to be moved and the repositioned items clearly did not dissuade kitty visitors.The human came downstairs the next morning only to see a whole path of dirty, muddy footprints coming out of the pot and moving across a runner on the (unused) woodstove. (They’re subtle, but clearly visible in both photos above).  While she cannot prove it, the human suspects the Merkitty made a nocturnal visit. The human has redoubled her efforts to build an effective barricade, and so far that seems to be working. Give her time and the Merkitty will find a way back into the pot just because she’s not supposed to be there.

 

 

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

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Corky & Pepe Let Down their Guard

The human took the stack of rolling balls upstairs and put it beside the other scratching disc in the hopes of getting the kitties to play with it.
A couple of times different cats went and played with the old toy, but the new one got completely ignored. To encourage interaction with the toy, the human kept bending down and spinning the balls on the new toy either fast or slow for the kitties to see.  They looked at her blankly.  A couple of times she even spun balls on both the new and old toys at the same time. They were not impressed…nor were they going to show any interest in the new toy. Mostly they looked bored.A few days later, first Corky and then Pepe decided to play with the new toy.  They clearly slipped up because not only did the human witness them playing with the toy (and each other), but she recorded the experience on her camera.Could that possibly mean they were having so much fun, they didn’t notice the human or even care if she saw them?

 

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

New Toy Gets an Inspection

The human found the cutest toy on sale at a store. It’s a stack of 3 plastic rings that each holds 1 plastic ball that rolls around in a track on its level. It’s similar to the scratching disc with the one track on the side that holds a single ball. Given how much fun the cats eventually had with the scratching disc/track ball, the human figured the felines would absolutely love this toy. Boy was she in for a disappointment!The human proudly presented the toy to the meows.  First Pepe approached it and gave it a few sniffs.  He almost seemed a tad puzzled with it at first. Soon enough that little cuffy paw came up and started investigating. <<I wonder if there are secret eyes on the bottom of kitty paws?>> Pepe walked away.Corky showed up next and gave it a sniff. He didn’t seem very impressed. Of course, as soon as Corky showed up and started checking out the toy, his brother had to come back and claim it. Corky walked away.Next up, Caesar arrived. A quick sniff identified the item as not food. Since it wasn’t doing anything, he deemed it less than entertaining and just sat down to watch. In came Fireball and he too gave it a sniff. It goes without saying that no one seemed very excited. <<Showing the human she’d done something good breaks some unwritten kitty rule about how to properly train a human. Keep the 2-legged humble by rejecting nearly everything she gives you and that will guarantee the human will keep on trying.>>Cue the Merkitty, who also gave it a sniff while Caesar started grooming Fireball as he washed his side.  <<Ho hum, human.>>A quick circle around the toy and the Merkitty flopped on her side and lay there. <<You paid $6 for that? What a waste of money!>> The other cats started to disperse.Corky gave it one last sniff while the Merkitty did head rolls. <<Bah humbug!>>There’s a bar on the new toy that goes across the top to make it easier to carry, and you can look down to the floor below. Given the dismal reception the toy received, and to encourage further kitty interest, the human tucked some treats down inside.  When she came downstairs the next day, the stack had been moved way across the floor and there was only a single treat left inside, so someone had fun with it.  Of course, since the human couldn’t see the cats having fun, it was okay for them to go ahead and enjoy the toy…just don’t let the human see that happening!

 

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

Chilly Sillies

No, the kitties have not gone on holiday and the human hasn’t either. The lazy 2-legged has just been very busy and has not made time to chronicle the adventures of the 4 leggeds. However, it’s been unseasonably cool for August and there have been some notable antics of late.  The human calls these the “chilly sillies” since we’re not quite in snow-silly season, and it’s definitely the cool weather that seems to be driving the humorous exploits.  (When it’s hot and humid, they just lay around in little piles on the floor and look miserable — much like the human who flops on furniture a few feet higher off the ground.)  Here are some of their recent adventures.

  • Macaroni is back to making her Merkitty messes, leaving big water puddles around the water bowls.  She also uncharacteristically has started chasing the red dot from the laser pointer around on the floor. Usually she’s w-a-y too sophisticated to stoop to such silliness. Additionally, she’s back to curling herself around the human’s head early in the morning and washing the 2-legged’s face while using her cute paws to pat the human on the face. (If only she’d fully retract those darned claws, the process would be quite relaxing. As it is, the human has to keep eyes open and face pulled back a bit to avoid getting hooked.)
  • Fireball is a master of “hit and run.”  He bounces up on the bed, squeaks, and lands on the human. Then he comes over and settles down sphinx style very close to the human’s face and looks at her. Or, he turns and faces the other direction leaving a bum in close proximity to the human’s face, which meanwhile is getting swished with a striped orange tail.  He stays about 90 seconds and then squeaks and runs off to something more interesting than a human…unless he thinks he can get her to give him some kitty toothpaste, which he just loves the taste of and will eat 10x a day if the human would let him.
  • Corky has been getting lots of exercise upstairs both morning and evening chasing the laser dot.  He also spontaneously chases balls around the tracks of two toys upstairs at all hours of the night. He’s very vocal at any hour and lets the human know what he thinks about the empty crunchy bowls at 2 am, at 4 am, and at 6 am. Then he keeps up a steady chatter trying to encourage the dawdling and half-asleep human to hurry up and put breakfast on downstairs. Unfortunately, Corky’s also been chasing poor Fireball, and Pepe is chasing both Corky and Fireball.  Anything that moves is fair game.
  • Pepe has been such a brat to Fireball that the human put him in a collar with a jingly bell. He thinks he’s hot stuff because he’s the only 4-legged with a collar and a bell, and the collar is quite sparkly.  He was so jazzed up this morning that he even chased the human, who then had to try not to step on the rapidly approaching creature.  In between, Pepe kept entertained by running from one bedroom to the other, jumping on the bed, spinning in circles, and then jumping off and running to the other room.
  • Even Caesar Beaser has been silly of late.  He bounces up onto the bed and runs over to get pets from the human. When he’s done being cooed over, he stomps across the top of the human’s pillow and flops down beside her and begins dangling paws and tail until Fireball or Mac decide to join him in the kitty bed. At that point he jumps down and seeks solitude elsewhere.

Looking in their eyes, you almost can see the wheels turning:  What can we do to mess with the human today?

 

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

How Not to Strip a Bed

It’s not just bed making that’s fun in this house, it’s also bed stripping. The human went to change sheets on two beds last week and had loads of help from the Pepster for both jobs. As the human tried to roll and pull the sheets together, he had to jump into the middle of them and spin around. Pretty soon he was wrapped up in the sheets. Then the real fun began. There were lots of cuffy paws that attacked human fingers and hands. See, there really were monsters under the bed. And now they’re on top of the bed and hiding in the bedding.Of course, in between attacks, that silly face reappeared and dared the human to do something about the menace. This position (above) is called “sassy face.” It’s usually accompanied by much chattering. Yes, Pepe does feel good about himself.  Cute behaviors like these are definitely not conducive to getting an early start on the work day.  Ah well, eventually the silly 2-legged did get both beds stripped and remade.  Getting to work early is so overrated anyway.

 

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

Double Trouble

The two tuxedo kitties were found sitting together on the top level of the downstairs kitty condo the other day. Clearly, something interesting must have happening out on the deck.  You just never know what nefarious creature might show up.  There are frequently squirrels, chipmunks, and birds. Less often there’ll be a woodchuck or a raccoon or even an opossum looking for something edible in the potted plants (or just being plain old destructive for the fun of it).  And it’s not unheard of for the herd of deer that wander through the yard each day to have a member stick a head over the railing and eat some tasty flowers or vegetables. Fortunately for the human, there are 4-legged guards on patrol at all hours. <<It’s handled, human. Be off and let us do our job!>>

 

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

Can You Identify this Mystery Creature?

It was found on the kitchen floor one evening. At first the creature appeared shy because it hid in a bag, but soon a head appeared much like a turtle leaving its shell.Later, the creature emerged, then reentered the bag head first.
Still unsure what kind of creature it is?
After checking out the bag thoroughly and completely, the creature conquered the bag by smashing it down and laying on top of it. Ah, the feeling of satisfaction that comes from a job well done!
Have you guessed yet? It’s the Pepe Meister, of course!

 

 

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

What have we here?

The human was picking up the other morning and noticed that something was sticking out of the track on the side of the upstairs scratching disc. Upon closer inspection, it became obvious that one of the cats had pushed a relatively new catnip-stuffed toy, which hadn’t seen much action, into the track. (Those are Corky’s cute toes in both photos, by the way.)Now why do you suppose they did that? It actually must have taken some work to stuff the toy into the track. And why? They love chasing the ball around the track.  Cats…they truly are such mysteries.

 

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

Attack of the Fluffernutter!

<<I tolerated that new human last night, but this is too much. >>
<<My own human has abandoned me for work and left this stranger in my house.>><<Ah, she’s playing with me. >><<Well, if she dangles the strap from her phone I’m certainly going to chase it.>><<Maybe she’s not so bad, but I’m still mad at my human for bringing her here without asking me.>><<I hate being left alone and I hate not being consulted. What does she think I am — a dog?>>
<<Don’t answer!>>

 

 

(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.