Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Hunting

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.

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.

Red Dot Fun

Fireball was visiting the human downstairs so, after a snack, she led him out to the pile of papers and the laser pointer. (Note the green mouse the kitties had dragged out and played with the night before.)

After pointing the red dot on the floor near the Copper Kitty’s feet, he saw it and started attacking the floor, pouncing and spinning around and generally having a good time.

Soon, the human heard a pair of kitty feet coming down the stairs and Corky appeared.

Once she ran the laser dot over by his feet, he too started chasing the moving object.

Pretty soon, both cats were dashing this way and that.

Fortunately, they were paying attention to each other, so there were no collisions.

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

Tiger Boys go Fishing

The spooky and not-so-often-seen red tiger boy came down to play with his big brother. They had an early afternoon romp with the fishing pole.

There was much dramatic pouncing and leaping…

And astoundingly fast air-swats.

There was good ground action with rapidly moving paws…

And cuteness abounded.

There even was some skillful team action.

Eventually, the tiger boys tired and left to take a nap while the human returned to her keyboard and deadlines.

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

Play Station

The cats have a new “toy” to play with. It’s a tall cardboard box that the human turned on its side and has filled with sheets of crackly paper. Pepe and Mac are especially prone to leaping into the box and smunching down the paper, although Corky will chase the laser dot or the fishing pole lure in there as well. When the human walks by and feels as though she’s being watched, a quick peek into the front of the box often reveals a pair of eyes looking out at her. Of course, in this house, the most successful toys are not the ones the human buys but rather the found ones or the ones the human makes of unneeded materials otherwise destined for the recycle bin.

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

Torture from Above

<<<Where did that pesky toy disappear to now? When I catch it, I’m not going to let go!>>>

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

A Recent Hit Toy

Not everything the human buys the kitties is a complete failure.

They’ve always loved laser pointers. However, the challenge with most of them is that they require a number of tiny batteries that cost more to replace than the laser pointer costs in the first place. The inexpensive laser pointer suddenly becomes far more costly, not to mention that they contribute toxic waste to landfills for those who have no way to recycle batteries locally.

The human recently found a great laser pointer that solves the problem by being rechargeable via a USB port hidden under a cap on one end. That makes the $10 USD laser pointer pay for itself by the second or third charge. Even better, this LED-based laser pointer has 2 additional settings that activate a flashlight, handy when stumbling around in the dark, and a blacklight, which is perfect for checking for urine (over)spray around litterboxes. Even better, the laser “dot” seems to be slight wider than that of previous laser pointers, and the kitties chase it day and night. In fact, this enrichment toy has proven so well loved that the human ended up purchasing a second one for upstairs as well as down.

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

A Leisurely Cat Fishing Session

Three of the felines were bored. They kept interrupting the human and her work. Finally, the 2-legged gave up and took a 15 minute break to play with the meows. The infamous (cat) fishing pole — arguably the most successful cat toy the human has ever purchased — came out and the kitties began to play.

First Caesar made a very energetic showing of chasing the little scrap of denim material at the end of the fishing line. So fast (and scary) is he when he’s jazzed up, that it requires both the human’s hands to keep from being run over or losing the entire pole to Caesar’s swatting paws and biting teeth (hence, no photos). However, his burst of energy depleted, the Big Guy laid down and watched Corky take over.

Corky, too, had a great time until big brother Pepe decided to get in on the action. At that point, the other two kitties looked away and the Pepster had the fishing pole all to himself. Eventually both 2-legged and 4-leggeds tired of all the action and retired to their respective corners.

(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.

A Little Morning Exercise

The human was eating her breakfast and the Pepster was right beside her. For a while, he was content to just lay sprawled out on the chair, but then he got bored.

He started looking for something he could steal to entertain himself. The human pulled out a small piece of metallized film from a treat she’d finished and began waving the piece back and forth along the back of the chair.

The Pepster had a grand time attacking the shiny object the human was moving here and there.

Eventually he tired and left for the upstairs. At least he got a little exercise.

(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.

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.

While You Lay Sleeping

Sometimes the human thinks she doesn’t sleep much at night, but evidence to the contrary meets her eyes the following morning.  For example, three nights ago the two-legged woke to find not 1, not 2, but 7 tiny toy mice lined up beside her bed. She crushed a couple while climbing down from the tall bed in the dark the following morning. The cats always make that distinctive throaty moaning sound as they drag toy mice upstairs for the human and drop them on the floor. The fact that the human didn’t hear that happen 7 times in the same night suggests that she was out of it.

 

 

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

Fait Accompli

Whatever the cat was looking for in this toy box, presumably he or she found it.

 

 

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

Hangry

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.

Furry Little Mice

Since the kitties have almost solely been playing with their furry little toy mice, the human purchased two dozen brightly colored toy mice for her feline masters. She emptied one of the three toy boxes on the stairs and refilled it with the new mice, then she observed how the kitties responded. Over the past few mornings, there have been interesting little pairs of toy mice found in various places around the house. Don’t you wish you knew what they were thinking?

 

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

All the Tiny Little Mice

It’s been very hot during the day, so the cats have been low-energy and haven’t tormented the human much while she was working.  On the other hand, it’s been blissfully cool at night, and that’s brought out all kinds of silly behavior in all the cats.  There have been feisty chases up and down the stairs, there have been many sessions each night of 2 or 3 cats ganging up on the sleeping human by standing around and poking her in the face with their cute paws.  And there have been nearly nightly sessions of pulling all the cute little mice out of the 3 toy boxes on the stairs and carrying them all over the house. That pretty much guarantees that the silly human will step on or trip over at least one of them as she stumbles around early morning getting ready for her day. On this particular night, someone rummaged through several toy boxes and strategically selected the small mice while leaving the other toys to sit around with nothing to do.  Perhaps the human needs to go back to the kitty toy store and purchase another box of the toy mice, as many are starting to look pretty sad.

 

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

More Rummaging

After the triple toy box excavations several days back, the human put all the toys away.  The next morning, many of them were dragged back out.  Theorizing that the cats were really searching for those tiny toy mice they like so much, and that they have strewn throughout the house, later that day the human opened her stash of toys, pulled out a few she thought the cats would like, then leaned over the banister and dropped 6 new fake-fur mice into the toy boxes from upstairs.The next morning she found that during the night more toys were pulled out and dumped, including 2 of the 6 new mice.  Since the cats left those mice on the stairs, instead of carrying them around to all their favorite locations, presumably they were not of an acceptable color and type that the cats like.  It may well be time to visit the pet store to restock.

 

 

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

There Seems to be a Pattern Here

In the last week or two, the kitties have stuffed one or more toy mice into their soft-food bowls almost every night.  The two-legged isn’t sure what the four-leggeds are trying to tell her, but it seems they are trying to tell her somethingAt the rate they’re going, the human will need to go shopping for more fake-fur mice toys pretty soon.

 

 

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