Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Food

The Plea

This is the Merkitty. She’s just chastised the human for not leaving her office and finding food for the meows…<<at 2:30 in the afternoon, mind you!>>. First she tried cuddles. Then she tried sass. And last she tried a throaty plea for compassion.  When none of those things worked, she looked daggers at the human and called her jailer names under her breath.



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



It’s the human’s fault.  She was trying to add variety and hunting opportunities to the kitties’ daily repertoire.  The meows were pestering for snacks, so the 2-legged flipped the much-beloved scratching disc upside down. On the reverse side, there is a maze-like structure with a ball inside — yes, a ball with a bell! — and a series of interesting holes on top that are just the perfect size for kitty paws to explore.To entice the kitties to investigate the holes, the human put a small pile of dried organic catnip on top and then carefully — while the felines were watching — nudged raw freeze-dried meat snacks from the surface of the maze into the holes.  The kitties watched with fascination and even went over and looked inside the structure. The Merkitty hopped up, took a sniff of the ‘nip, and immediately was overcome with paroxysms of delight.  The other cats had to move back or risk getting hit by her flailing limbs and rolling body.  As she thrashed about, she would bat the ball that rolls along the track on the outside of the toy sending it spinning around the track.  Pretty quickly, she cleared the deck of other cats. Over a period of several days, the human added more snacks and more ‘nip to the surface, but she never saw a single kitty paw raised to explore.  Eventually, she fished out the snacks and turned the disc back over so the scratching surface was face up. Some hunters they are!


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

The Human’s Cooking Skills

The human found this interesting surprise in a food bowl the other day. Do you think the cats are commenting on her cooking skills, or at least on the food she offered that morning?  They do leave their toy mice in the darnedest places.


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

Mer Smirks

This is Macaroni the Merkitty. She’s been giving the human a piece of her mind. (Sadly, the camera isn’t fast enough to capture those open-mouth plaintive cries.) The human has put the kitties on a diet. D-i-e-t is a 4-letter word and it isn’t nice. In the old days, there were bottomless crunchy bowls upstairs and down. Now food is only offered at certain times a day, and the crunchies are limited and only come with water in them. Blecht. <<Bad human!>>


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

Self-Serve Cookies

Since the morning snack is one of the highlights of both the 4-legged and 2-legged people’s day, the human tried an experiment.First she took the lid off the kitties’ snack container (aka cookie jar), then stood back to see what would happen. Many noses (followed by kitty bodies) moved over to sniff at the interesting object.Next, the human tipped the container on its side to see what they would do.  She figured the three biggest snack monsters — Caesar, Mac, and Corky — would soon help themselves. At first everyone sat around looking at this unprecedented situation.  <<Is this for real? Can we really go fishing for our own cookies?>>Corky, always up for a game involving food, stuck his paw into the container and soon hooked a snack, flipped it out, and started eating it off the rug.  
Mac was fascinated and Pepe was right there watching his brother.  Initially Caesar appeared disinterested, but he soon got involved in the goings on. Fireball moved back to sit by a chair. Perhaps he thought it was a trap.  <<No way the 2-legged will let us eat all the snacks we want. She’s being a tricky human again.>>At first Corky was unstoppable, but then Pepe muscled in and started digging for yummies too.Interestingly, no member of the Trio reached in and helped themselves, although Miss Mac got mighty close. <<First time for everything!>> The same cannot be said for the Duo, who got busy pulling snacks out and eating them. Well, the human watched and took pictures for many minutes. The two brave kitties got a fistful of snacks. The others were given a few snacks handpicked by the human. All in all, an interesting experiment for one and all.


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

Brat-a-Saurus Messes with the Silly Human

Of late, Cranky Corky (aka Brat-a-Saurus) has had a great game going with the human. He starts in anywhere from midnight on and wails plaintively about the lack of fresh crunchies in the food bowl. (No worries, he’s not sick, he just hates being on a diet.)  Never mind that there is soft food sitting in one bowl and crunchies that are now puffed up from absorbing water sitting in a second bowl right next to him. No, he wants fresh crunchies and he wants them now! If the human doesn’t respond, he literally jumps in bed and stomps on her body, then he pounces on Mac and bites her neck or he chases poor Fireball off the bed and all the way downstairs.  In short, Cranky Corky is a royal pain in the back side and a complete brat.  Only when the human gets up and dispenses a small amount of fresh crunchies does peace and quiet return — for a few hours at least. Unfortunately, the more the human acquiesces, the more frequently the Angry Ankylosaurus pulls this stunt. The other option is to lock the Crankster in the other bedroom, although then everyone has to listen to him whine and complain for several hours before he settles down.  Anyone interested in adopting cute, middle-aged male cat with grey & white tuxedo markings? I might know one who needs a new home.  (Said by a human operating on weeks of little sleep.)


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

Cookie Jar

The kitties each get 2 raw freeze-dried treats from the “cookie jar” in the morning. This temporarily fills big holes in little tummies and buys the human a bit of time to get their soft food prepared before the yowling begins.  Originally, the human used to toss treats around on the floor and invite each cat to go chase down the snacks. Most would literally hunker down and stare at the human as if she was crazy. Even when the human managed to successfully get a snack to land right beside a cat, the cat usually could not be bothered to turn and nibble. However, if the human kneels down on the floor and puts all the treats out in front of the cats, then they are happy to eat. While one could never really say they are well behaved as the human prepares to divvy up snacks, they are remarkably restrained given how they act at other times.The trick is not to stay and enjoy watching them nosh on their nibbles, but to quickly put the lid back on and run to the kitchen and get the soft food prepared as soon as possible. Some mornings the human remembers the bigger goal; some mornings she just enjoys watching the penta pack enjoy their treats. Those days she deserves the yowling that follows.



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

How to Help a Sick Human Recover

Ah, your human is waylaid with influenza? That’s bad luck on your part as that means she’ll be focused on her own survival and not on your whims and desires.  The trick is to help your human recover so quickly that she once again returns to her role of faithful servant.  Here are some pointers.

  1. Do settle your 18 lb bulk on the human’s ribs and chest — all the better if you’re pressing down on one lung. The human will thank you later for helping strengthen her breathing.
  2. Push your face up really close to the human’s. Make sure your whiskers tickle her face.  Breathe on her (even if it means she breathes on you too). Reach out and lick her chin.  If she still doesn’t respond, step on her chin with one of your paws and press down. Guaranteed that will make her sit up.
  3. If she’s whimpering in a fetal curl, walk up and down her achy hips and legs. That may help ease some of her joint pain. Or not.
  4. If you can get her to lift the covers so you can slide under, fall asleep in her arms. When you wake up, make sure to reach up and poke her in the face. You want to make sure she’s still breathing.
  5. Human not doling out snacks and pets? Jump up on her and push your fluffy fur into her face.  That will help her breathe better.  Try clawing the pillows around her face to see if she responds.
  6. Yowl every 3 hours for food even if there are 3 kinds of food already laid out on the floor. (You can’t seriously be expected to have to eat old food from dirty bowls.) This way she doesn’t fall into a coma (or get much sleep).  If she cusses and snarls from her deathbed about all the food that’s out on the floor, jump up on her in bed and sing a song.  She’ll relax and stop the bad behavior. Just as she’s about to fall asleep, jump on her bladder or walk on her head. The latter is always helpful with influenza, since her head feel like it’s caught in a giant pair of vice grips anyway. Yelling will make her headache worse and will intensify the pain in every corner of her skull, including her teeth.  You’ve done your job. She’s still alive!
  7. Tag team her with your best pals.  Make sure she is surrounded and that everyone is singing songs to help her feel better.  Lull her back to sleep…for the moment.  Then repeat the above.

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

New Fuzzy Blankets are Well Received

Well, the human did one thing correctly for the holidays. She picked up 2 more fleece remnants at the fabric store and put them in the main kitty beds on the human’s bed. The new fuzzy blankets are colorful and fluffy, so everyone seems to like them a lot.  In fact, between the extra layer of blankets and the far-infrared mattress pad, it’s hard to get the cats out of the kitty nest in the morning for breakfast. Of course, if they hadn’t gotten the human up at 3 am for food, they probably would be hungrier and therefore more incentivized to eat at the proper time (and the human would be better rested).

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

White Mousy goes Dumpster Diving

The toy mice have been having great parties at night this week.  The human is greatly entertained with the places she finds them when she picks up each morning. Pink mousy showed up beside the smaller crunchy bowl upstairs, while orange mousy was close to climbing into the medium-sized litter box. Back into the toy box they go, only to reemerge for new adventures the next night. The other morning, white mousy went for a dive in one of the food bowls. The cats had nothing good to say about that meal offering, so hopefully at least someone enjoyed the food. Unfortunately, after sitting in a bowl of soppy soft food all night, white mousy is looking a bit worse for wear — even after a bath. Time for the human to clean out the three kitty toy boxes and see what else might need to be recycled.


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