Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Household pets

Little Toy Mice Practice their Yoga Skills

Over the last week, the kitties have brought down more and more toy mice and distributed them around and on the yoga mat during the night. The positions change, the color of the mice change, but the general trend is for there to be more rather than less toy mice arrayed around the yoga mat each morning. The record, to date, is 5 mice. Why do they do this you might ask? Because, in this house, everyone and everything needs a toy mouse or two for good measure. <<<Such thoughtful kitties!>>>

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

Yoga Mat as Cat-Enrichment Device

A few weeks back, the human finally got the last of her tropical plants dragged out onto the deck, which freed up lots of space in the “stove room” for her to layout her yoga mat, blocks, straps, and roller.

Of course, as these things go, the human hasn’t done much yoga, but the cats have been having a grand time with the mat, blocks, etc. In fact, Pepe so likes the feel of the sticky mat that he often can be found lounging on it.

It turns out that, after knocking over the formerly neat pile of blocks, the cats have been having a ridiculous amount of fun while the human flicks the small piece of fabric tied to the “fishing pole” in and out of the obstacles. They crouch down and pounce on their prey. They jump up on top of yoga blocks, and they even have figured out how to fish out the fabric on those rare occasions when the human manages to whisk it inside the roller. Mac, who usually is far too sophisticated to play with the rest of the cats has been inserting herself in the middle of the action and often has to be invited to share the toy with the others.

Sadly, the human has spent no small amount money on “expert-designed” cat enrichment toys over the years. However, most of those purchases have been consigned to the “what were you thinking?” pile that get recycled to other people with less fussy pets.

Still, the human is deeply pleased that her yoga blocks and mat are getting used by the kitties, who not only benefit by honing their hunting skills and keeping mentally sharp but also get some physical exercise as well. You just never know what will entertain a cat. <<<Certainly nothing you pay good money for will ever of interest for more than 10 minutes!>>>

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

Recovery Time

Corky the Banu bear came through his dental procedure just fine. The human collected him and brought him home for a rest. He’d had some teeth extracted, so no hard food for a week (and no roughhousing with his brother). That meant more alone time. Fortunately, he had medication that made him sleepy. Plus, he got lots of attention from the human.

Still, there was only so much incarceration time Corky was going to tolerate. The other cats would have to deal with eating crunchies in water for a few days. After his third dose of medication, Corky was free.

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

Prisoner Cat Receives a Consolation Prize

While Corky was recovering from his dental procedure and still in lockdown, the other kitties kept vigil outside the door to his room. The morning after he returned from the vet, the human found one of the kitties had thoughtfully brought a toy mouse upstairs and left it outside his door. <<<Awww!>>>

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

Disappointed!

The human picked the wrong type of crunchies for her furry masters. They were very disappointed and let the 2-legged know that. The chastened human went back to the store with a promise to do better.

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

Now Why Do You Think They Did That?

The kitties have been very busy carrying little toy mice all over the house. There even have been some visitors to the kitchen of late. However, their favorite location is the stove room, where the crackly paper resides. The other morning, the human came down stairs only to find on small black toy mouse partially covered over by a leaf from the Ficus tree.

Odds are good that the leaf didn’t just fall off the tree and land in such a way that it partially covered the toy mouse, since the mouse was halfway across the room from the tree. So what, the human wonders, could possibly have motivated a cat to move the leaf onto the toy him-/herself?? This is yet another of the grand mysteries of the feline masters.

(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.

Afternoon Delight

Here are Mac, Corky, and Pepe enjoying an afternoon sun-soaked snooze. There was lots of paw dangling going on, but the human restrained herself and didn’t go near. Mac hasn’t figured out yet how to occupy both puffs at the same time, although she does hop between the two of them. Fortunately, at that moment, Corky was able to enjoy use of one of the fluffy beds as well.

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

When Box Inspection becomes a Family Affair

Sometimes, box inspection isn’t a solitary activity — even when it starts out that way.

Often, other cats wander over and decide to insert themselves into the middle of the action. Pepe rarely approves. <<<Amateurs!>>>

Of course, not every cat is as well trained and as professional about the inspection process. Some just take up space and don’t seem to know what to do. <<<Dilettantes!>>> Others have short attention spans and wander away. <<<Good riddance!>>>

Box inspection is always best left to the professionals.

(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.

Cats as Energy Harvesting Devices

Humans struggle to engineer photovoltaic cells that are more efficient at harvesting sunlight and converting it to energy. They really should talk with cats — especially cats who are largely black — as they’ve got the situation nailed. Here is Pepe demonstrating how efficiently he converts sunlight into energy that then causes him to run around like a banshee is biting his tail. Mac, in the background, takes a more passive (and dignified) approach to energy generation and storage.

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

Happy 7th Anniversary Corky & Pepe

The dynamic duo arrived at this house 7 years ago today. They definitely have stirred things up and kept things very interesting. Here they are chasing the laser dot amidst the pile of crackly papers, which are among their favorite playthings.

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

A Change in Technique

The human has been noticing that Mac the Merkitty has been walking around lately with not just a damp paw but two sopping wet paws. <<<What in the world is she doing?>>> the human wondered. Well, now the human knows.

During breakfast this week, the Mer came to get a drink in her splash pool. Instead of doing her usual routine of climbing up on the rim of the big bowl, then reaching a paw in and swishing it around to make sure there’s water inside, then stepping down and putting her face in the bowl to drink while running one then the other of her forelegs around the outside curve of the bowl, the Girly Girl has developed a new technique.

She still climbs up on the rim of the bowl, but now she puts both forepaws in the water and stands in the bowl while drinking. Maybe it makes her feel one with the water. This may also explain the puddles in front of the boot tray the human has been finding. Perhaps it’s those dripping paws leaving the water behind as the Mer swims away from her splash pad.

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

It was Bound to Happen Eventually

Mac loves solving puzzles, so the human knew that eventually she’d find a workaround for splashing water out of the tall, straight-sided water bowl. And right on time, she’s done just that.

It took a couple of months of frantic splashing, but she was finally able to toss water outside the water bowl the other day. It’s unclear if that’s because the human overfilled the water level, making the liquid easier to dislodge, or if the Merkitty has changed technique and found a way to lift the water out of the bowl and deposit it on the floor.

For now, the human has pushed the bowl further back on the rubber mat and dish drying pad. However, the 2-legged will need to ponder the latest development and see if she can think of another way to outsmart the Plesiosaurus.

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

‘Stache

The human walked by the bed, glancing in to see if anyone was in the big pink puff. Mac and Fireball were there.

From the angle the human first glanced at the cats, it looked like the ginger tabby had grown a black mustache.

Alas, it was just Mac’s whip-thin and long tail wrapped up, around, and front of the Little Red Bee’s face.

<<<The real questions is, what is the human going to do about it and do I need to prepare to make a hasty retreat?>>>

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

How Did this Happen?

You’ll note that Fireball is cuddled up in the big pink puff and Mac is in an adjacent kitty bed. It doesn’t matter who is in one of the puffs when Mac wants to sleep there; she pushes her way in, often pressuring the other cat to leave. Hence, it puzzles the human that she is not in the puff. Regardless of who got to the puff first, it must be that Mac wanted to sleep in the other bed.

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

BBPP (Before Big Pink Puff)

Before the big pink puff, Mac and Fireball cuddled together in a rather crowded fashion in one of the “smaller” cat beds, which was still fairly large. (Yes, that black and white patch in front is the Pepster.)

Now with the BBPP, there is plenty of room and no one needs to feel crowded. If Mac would allow it, two more kitties could easily fit into the bed. <<<Follow my lips: not happening, human!>>>

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

Soggy Fur

See that adorable paw? It’s soaking wet. So is the foreleg to which it is attached. In fact, the leg is damp all the way to the shoulder. Same deal with the other foot…leg…shoulder.

Why is this significant? It means the Merkitty has been swimming in the downstairs water bowl again…or, if not swimming, then definitely wading in her splash pool.

See that smirk? It’s the look of supreme satisfaction when the human realizes you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing.

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

What is Corky Doing?

The human had dried the bedding outside on the lines, which leaves them with a delightful “outdoor” smell. The 2-legged had subsequently stripped and remade the bed with the yummy-smelling sheets and duvet. The human thinks that Corky was running his nose along the edge of the fabric, much as he does to items that need a bit more drying inside and are draped over blankets on the upstairs bannister. Still, even for Corky, it was an odd sight.

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