Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Curiosity

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.

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.

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.

Are You REALLY Making Fun of My Face Again?

<<<That’s not even civil, let alone fair.>>>

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

A Meeting of the Minds

Caesar and Pepe were having a meeting of the minds. They were dividing up the territory and deciding who would govern each region. Of course, there was also the matter of the human, who needs constant supervision and frequent reinstruction. They concluded that task was too big a burden for any one cat to take on, even with all their superpowers, so they decided to share the responsibility.

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

Why do You Always Blame Me?

<<<Just saying…>>>

(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.

Pepe Flattens Aunt Nan’s Blanket Fabric

<<<It has come to our attention that fabric wrapped onto bolts is often wrinkled when purchased. If you don’t roll out the fabric and flatten the wrinkles, the blanket doesn’t look good when it’s shipped out the door.>>>

<<<Since we care about quality, we decided to help the human by rolling all over the fabric she was using to make a blanket for her 92-year-old aunt. Our goal was to reduce the wrinkles and improve the aesthetics of the blanket. If not us, then who?>>>

<<<Of course, we also have to watch the human and help her make straight cuts so the fringe turns out nicely. We enjoy playing with the fringe to make sure it has proper drape and positioning. These are not details you can leave to the human to work out on her own. Sad as it is to admit, she’s just isn’t good enough with her crafting. Fortunately, she has me!>>>

(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.

Intoxication by Osmosis

Mac has an interesting dance with catnip. You never actually see her eat any of it. Any inhalation must occur while she’s rolling around on top of it in a wild frenzy. Although her coat ends up coated with catnip, she shakes it off as soon as she rises.

It’s as though she gets intoxicated by osmosis.

And woe to any human foolish enough to put a hand near the inebriated kitty.

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

How to Annoy the Resting Human

The human was trying to read a library book. Pepe had other ideas and camped out on top of the book so the human couldn’t open and read it.

Not content just to stop the human from reading, the Pepster is always intrigued by the 2-legged’s odd-looking human face. He likes to reach out and poke her chin with his paws, then push hard and see what happens. <<<You practically dislocated my jaw, bud!>>>

However, since the human had grabbed her phone and was snapping photos, and the camera was in front of her face, he first stuck his paw on the phone.

The phone proved uninteresting, so Pepe put his paw down on the human’s chest.

At that point, he realized just how tired he really was and yawned.

Since he was so tired, and the human wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon, there was no sense pulling his foreleg back and poking her face again.

He just laid there, on top of the library book–which was no longer readable, given that his 17-pound gracile form was holding it closed–with his paw stretched out showing the human who was in charge and who was not. <<<Being in charge is exhausting, especially given how much reeducation the human always requires.>>>

(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.

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.

Cloth Bag

<<<A cloth shopping bag whose handle is sticking straight up in the air. I’m sure I can fit inside.>>>

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

Afternoon Migration

The human took a break from working in her office one afternoon and found not one, but two toys had been left outside the door for her entertainment. Such thoughtful cats!

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

Ander’s Blanket Gets Inspected

<<<That human needs to be closely watched every minute.>>>

<<<Did you see how crooked that cut was?>>>

<<<And just look at the way she tied off the fringe in that spot. Honestly, what would she do if I wasn’t here to give her lots of advice?>>>

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

A Thoughtful Afternoon Gift

Caesar, being the polite and thoughtful cat he is, likes to bring his human little toy mice as gifts several times per day. In the early morning hours, he hopes his gift will encourage the lazy human to exit the kitty nest and get going with her day (and the feeding of the meows). During the afternoon, when the human is often on conference calls, he likes to bring toys to the edge of her office in the hopes of getting her to wind up her day and feed the meows their dinner. The fact that his gifts are usually preceded by loud moaning sounds just adds to the interesting things that humans on the other end of the call get to hear.

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

New Arrival

<<<Hello, my pretty. Where did you come from?>>>

<<<Ah, a California box. You’ve traveled far.>>>

<<<What secrets do you hold?>>>

<<<Now, don’t move. Let me have another sniff.>>>

<<<Yes, a particularly nice size for a box too.>>>

<<<And I’m the first of my kind to conquer it. Hooorahhhh!>>>

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