Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Food

Wet Foot Syndrome

Mac the Merkitty is spreading her odd eating and drinking behaviors to the other cats.

Early on she taught Fireball that the best way to get access to the food bowl when Caesar was hovering over it was to pull the bowl out from under his mouth with a paw and then quickly scoop up a pawful of food before Caesar moved forward to hover over the bowl again. Even with Caesar gone, Fireball still eats crunchies, raw freeze dried food (rehydrated in water), and even soft food with his paws rather than directly with his mouth. And since Mac has long drunk water from her paws, Fireball does too.

Also, because Mac mucks up the water so often by playing in the bowls with her feet, Fireball has taken to sticking his own feet in the bowl to check that the water is acceptable before drinking.

However, wet foot syndrome has spread even further. In recent months, the human has observed Pepe stick one or both of his forepaws into the big water bowl to check that the water is there before bending down to drink. He will subsequently come lay down on his favorite chair and, when the human pets him, she finds wet feet. What is it about cats and water bowls in this house?

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Return of the Bag Babies

The kitties had eaten their own breakfast and the human was eating hers. She noticed a takeout bag within reach and tossed it on the floor. Sure enough, Corky and Pepe came over to investigate. Pepe made it to the bag first and stuck his nose inside. <<<Potentially roomy enough to investigate.>>>

Initially Corky was also headed straight toward the bag, but got side tracked by Pepe’s bowl of breakfast. Of course, as soon as Corky paid attention to his food bowl, Pepe suddenly lost interest in the bag and prepared to move over and claim his property. <<<What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine. You have a problem with that?>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Corky Enjoys Plant Time for Kitties

Corky, who is usually shy and retiring — especially when his bossy larger but not older brother Pepe is around — occasionally cuts loose when there’s no one to see him. This time, fortunately, the human was nearby and equipped with her camera.

Since the Corkster had already been tossing a toy mouse around on the kitchen floor, the human figured he might enjoy some fresh greenery and ventured outside for a few leaves of Nepeta cataria (aka catnip or catmint).

Sure enough, the Banu Bear ate a few leaves, then began cuffing the remains of the plant top around on the floor.

The fact that no other cat was around to see him enjoy himself, and the human was quiet while snapping her shots, meant that Corky didn’t feel inhibited and had a grand time.

Eventually, he ate the last of the leaves and then just lay on the floor on his side with a slightly dazed look on his face. <<<Oh happy day!>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

How Could You Let this Happen?

As you can see from Mac’s exasperated look, during the night the evil human failed to respond to multiple kitty pleas for more crunchies, since there was plenty of other kinds of food around the corner in other bowls. By refusing to wake up and refill the bowl, the 2-legged servant has let a catastrophe unfurl once again. There are only 3 pieces of kibble in the crunchy bowl. How it happened that Mac and Corky were able to eat kibble out of the bowl when the sides and bottom started becoming exposed is a mystery in itself. (Perhaps all the food was eaten by Pepe and Fireball, who don’t seem to have such qualms about eating out of a partially empty bowl.)

Still, if the human knows what’s good for her, she’d best get that bowl replenished — and fast! The kitties are not quick to forgive such malfeasance.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Corky & the Nippy

As a treat, the human brought in some fresh catnip leaves for the kitties.

Corky decided to have a bit of fun. First he stepped on the fresh nippy and whipped his head left and right — presumably checking to see if he had any kitty competitors who might try and steal his wildwood weed.

Content that it was just him and his leaf (the human and camera didn’t count), he started scooping it up in one and then another of his paws and tossing it around. Every so many tosses, he’s pull the leaf into his face, give it a good sniff, and then bite down on it before tossing it in the air again.

Eventually, he just ate it and retired with a nice mellow buzz.

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

The Human Spies a Reclining Corky

Even after 6 years of living here, Corky still acts like he’s not supposed to be sitting or laying anywhere when the human pokes her head around the corner. That makes it quite hard to get photos of the little guy, who is cute as can be when he’s not having a meltdown over one or another food issue.

At least this once, the human had the camera in hand and got a couple of shots in before Corky abandoned his comfy bed.

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

Allowing the Unthinkable to Happen

<<<Did you see the state of the crunchy bowl? It’s a CDD cat-tastrophy!>>>

<<<The bottom of the bowl is showing again. Why does she do this to us? Does she want us to suffer?>>>

<<<After we figure out a way to get her to refill the bowl, I think we should plot our revenge.>>>

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

Crunchy Deficit Disorder

A terrible thing keeps happening every night. We call it Crunchy Deficit Disorder or CDD. It occurs when Corky or Mac eat enough of the kibble in the community food bowl that a tiny bit of the bottom of the bowl shows through. Yes, they can see it even in the dark.

Once that happens, neither cat is able to eat any more crunchies. They literally just stand around and stare at the bowl as though they can’t believe this has happened again. When the crisis doesn’t quickly resolve, the temper tantrums ensue.

Corky beats up the drapes and yowls or alternately jumps on the tummy of the human if she is reclining in bed. If she’s not laying down, Corky tracks down the human and yowls at her until she gets up and does something about the CDD. (He may be a little guy, but he’s fiercesome when he’s mad!) Mac, being less angry and more scheming, goes under the bed and starts carving up the mahogany legs with her claws. The only solution to CDD is for the human to go over to the bowl and either shake the crunchies back into place so no bottom shows, or to refill it. <<<It is so challenging being a woefully outmatched and outnumbered human in this house.>>>

(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.

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.