Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Food

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.

Defect in the Bowl

<<<For those with eyes and a willingness to see reality, there clearly is a defect in the bowl on the right. It is utterly empty…devoid of even the smallest crumb of food. You can tell this because of the gaping chasm at the bottom of the bowl. Those brown things? Not sure what they are. Not food anyway.>>>

(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.

Back and Forth

<<<Do you see the level of the crunchies in this bowl? It’s getting lower…much lower. Soon it will be empty.>>>

<<<But there are plenty of crunchies in that bowl. You have to eat them up before they get stale.>>>

<<<How do you expect me to function with the prospect of impending starvation? It’s all I can think about right now.>>>

<<<You’re hardly going to starve in this house! There are 3 other food bowls just around the corner. You’ve gotten so spoiled. This idea that you can’t eat if you can see the sides or bottom of the bowl, when it is otherwise FILLED with crunchies, is beyond silly.>>>

<<<I’m so disgusted, I can’t even look at you anymore.>>>

<<<Princess Pouty Paws, you’re being silly.>>>

<<<My trust is broken and my heart is oh so heavy!>>>

<<<You’re being a drama queen, Mac. I’m not going to encourage this activity any further.>>>

<<<You are pure evil, human! Wait until you’re asleep. I’ll get my REVENGE!>>>

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

Overturned Water Bowls

The human found this scene in the kitchen the other morning. Although she has no proof, she suspects Mac was involved, since the rear edge of the dish-drying pad was no longer tucked under but rather was sticking out of the boot tray. The human thinks that the Merkitty’s claws got caught in the pad — something that often happens, given her strange antics while drinking water — and in pulling her foot back, she overturned the rack, thus dumping both water bowls.

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

Faithful Guardian of the Crunchy Bowl

Mac is the official guardian of the crunchy bowl. Even when the bowl is full, she sits beside it waiting for more to be added. Heaven help the human if she refills the bowl with a type of crunchy that the cats don’t like.

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

I Have a Bone to Pick with You, Human

Four of the five cats were milling around in their early-afternoon foray asking for snacks. The human put down some dried catnip and silver vine.

Several of the meows checked out the catnip, then wandered over to sit and ponder the situation.

Undeterred, Mac walked over to tell the human just what she thought about the food offering.

<<<What part of ‘We want crunchies’ don’t you understand, human?>>>

(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.

Rabbit Treats

These are not treats for a rabbit but rather treats made from rabbits. The human thought it would be a nice afternoon snack for the monsters when they got hangry and ganged up on her asking for something to eat. Of course, the grain-free, high protein (and not inexpensive) treats sounded great to the 2-legged, but not to the 4-leggeds, who took a few nibbles and walked away. It’s not an easy task being the food buyer and preparer in this house.

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

Toys Need Snacks too

Sliced chicken. Check. Toy mouse. Check.

Clearly, that mouse needs a bath after frolicking in the food bowl. Good thing the human discovered (by accident) that the toy mice can go through a full load of laundry and not delaminate. Oddly enough, that’s not the case when they spend the night in one of the water bowls. <<<Sigh.>>>

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

Mousy Dental Treats

The human tried out a new-to-the-household package of dental treats for the cats. Despite being fish flavored, the monsters ate them up. So, encouraged, the human went back to the petfood store and bought several more packages. At this point, the monsters decided that they did not like the fish-flavored treats and stopped eating them. However, they did put one of their toy mice in the treat bowl just to see if it liked the snack. It did not. The human now has 4 packages of dental treats that are essentially unusable. <<<Heavy sigh…>>>

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

Help for Small Mice

During breakfast time, it’s common to find the cats’ food bowls spread around on the floors of 3 rooms so everyone has plenty of space to devour his / her chow. Not, mind you, that that stops them from switching bowls multiple times just in case another cat got a better portion or a different treat. The human puts Corky’s bowl farthest from the other cats, as he can be a timid eater. One particular morning, when the human went back to retrieve empty bowls after her own breakfast, she found this sight. It almost looks like one toy mouse helped the other one get up high enough to tumble into the bowl of food.  At least one cat liked the food that morning and finished the dish. Wouldn’t you just love to know what they were thinking when they did this with their toys?



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

Party in the Bowl

Corky was being a bit of a brat one afternoon when the human was trying to work. He didn’t like any of the food that was out, he didn’t want to play with any of the toys, he didn’t want to go out on the catio, and he didn’t want to be brushed again. Finally, not knowing what else to do other than lock herself into her office, the human took out some dried catnip and put it in a bowl. It’s unclear if Corky ate any that afternoon, but later in the evening, as she prepared for sleep, the human put the bowl on the stairs figuring that someone might like a little nippy during nighttime adventures. When the human awoke the next morning, this is what she saw. As you know, it’s nothing in this house to find a toy mouse in a food or water bowl or both. However, it’s far less common to find 2 mice in a bowl at the same time. Interestingly, the human left the toy mice in the bowl with the catnip all that day and evening. When she awoke the following morning, both mice were gone and so was most of the catnip — although some had clearly been spilled on the stairs. What do you suppose that was all about?




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

Crunchy Guardian

One of the many interesting things that Mac does is stand guard duty next to the crunchy bowl. <<You just never know when the human might decide to refill the bowl.>> See those imploring eyes? Only a truly cruel human could resist. Also, note that you can see the entire bottom of the crunchy bowl. Playing tough love and not topping the bowl off every time a bit of the bottom shows and Mac and Corky start throwing temper tantrums has proven that the cats can eat crunchies as the level in the bowl goes down.




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

Intruder Alert!

Over the many decades that the human has lived at this house, she’s known some pretty cheeky wildlife.  In the old days, it was quite common to look out on the lower deck and see a woodchuck, a couple of squirrels, and some birds all sitting in a circle eating seed. For a few years, a woodchuck unaffectionately called El Destructo traumatized the plants growing in big pots on the deck. Nearly every day he’d walk past and pull over every pot that was light enough for him to move to see if there was anything good to eat in it. This repeated behavior caused enough transplant shock that some of the plants gave up the ghost. And then there are the deer that reach their necks over the deck railing to nibble some of the hottest peppers on the planet down to the soil.A few weeks back, the human happened to be in the kitchen eating lunch on a dark, dreary day when she heard a thud outside on the lower kitchen window. Looking over, she couldn’t believe her eyes: a young and smallish woodchuck had jumped up on the window ledge. This is something the human had never seen before, although it shouldn’t have come as a complete surprise. Several bird feeders hang just above this window and there is always seed on the deck below the window and sometimes on the window ledge itself. <<Those birds are such messy eaters!>>As the human stood up, grabbed her phone, and started shooting photos while walking toward the intruder, he or she looked in and decided it would be advisable to jump back down on the deck.  This intruder wasn’t terribly afraid, as he / she didn’t go far…at least not right away. Of course, was there a single cat in the kitchen at the time keeping watch for intruders entering the property? <<‘Fraid not. Bah!>>




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

Peculiar Things

Corky and Mac have a peculiar hang up involving the crunchy bowl.  They absolutely throw a hissy fit if, as they’re eating their way down through the contents of the bowl, they see a small space open up at the bottom of the container. Even though there are plenty of crunchies still in the bowl, it’s as though once they spy the bottom of the dish, that must mean the dish is empty.  This usually happens in the middle of the night when the silly 2-legged is trying to sleep. Corky yowls and starts beating up the curtains in front of the sliding doors and Mac does a variety of things ranging from scratching furniture to unplugging devices from the electrical receptacles. And both of the little darlings throw water all over the floor. <<You can see some in the upper right corner above.>>  The exhausted human wakes up, gets out of bed, looks at the crunchy bowl, points to all the crunchies that are still in there, and goes back to sleep. This goes on for several rounds a night until either the human gives in and refills the bowl or the cats give in and go to sleep. Well, last night, a very exciting thing happened. Apparently, they tried hard to wake the human, but she just kept rolling over and hiding under the covers. Apparently, in desperation, the cats actually ate almost all the crunchies out of the bowl. Now that’s progress!



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

Filet de Souris avec un Côté de la Souris

Yes, this morning the kitties opted for filet of mouse with a side of mouse to go with their fish-flavored dental treats. You just never know where you’ll find toy mice in this house.


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

Pepe has a Girlfriend

One of the feral kitties the human feeds outside has figured out how to jump up on the outside window ledge and look into the kitchen. Last week, she did this when Macaroni was sitting on the boot bench looking out, and Mac just about tore the glass out of the window frame trying to get at the interloper.  The outdoor visitor also hopped up when Pepe was on the bench, and received a better welcome. Pepe just stared at her through the window.



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


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.

When You Can’t Force Crunchies Out of the Feeder…

…<<Then pulling the feeder off the rug…and  popping the ball and cup out of the feeder…and pulling the rug up into crests and troughs helps you deal with your frustrations at the human who went to bed without refilling the puzzle feeder. Such a bad human!>>



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