Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Hunting

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.

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Corky & Pepe Let Down their Guard

The human took the stack of rolling balls upstairs and put it beside the other scratching disc in the hopes of getting the kitties to play with it.
A couple of times different cats went and played with the old toy, but the new one got completely ignored. To encourage interaction with the toy, the human kept bending down and spinning the balls on the new toy either fast or slow for the kitties to see.  They looked at her blankly.  A couple of times she even spun balls on both the new and old toys at the same time. They were not impressed…nor were they going to show any interest in the new toy. Mostly they looked bored.A few days later, first Corky and then Pepe decided to play with the new toy.  They clearly slipped up because not only did the human witness them playing with the toy (and each other), but she recorded the experience on her camera.Could that possibly mean they were having so much fun, they didn’t notice the human or even care if she saw them?

 

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

New Toy Gets an Inspection

The human found the cutest toy on sale at a store. It’s a stack of 3 plastic rings that each holds 1 plastic ball that rolls around in a track on its level. It’s similar to the scratching disc with the one track on the side that holds a single ball. Given how much fun the cats eventually had with the scratching disc/track ball, the human figured the felines would absolutely love this toy. Boy was she in for a disappointment!The human proudly presented the toy to the meows.  First Pepe approached it and gave it a few sniffs.  He almost seemed a tad puzzled with it at first. Soon enough that little cuffy paw came up and started investigating. <<I wonder if there are secret eyes on the bottom of kitty paws?>> Pepe walked away.Corky showed up next and gave it a sniff. He didn’t seem very impressed. Of course, as soon as Corky showed up and started checking out the toy, his brother had to come back and claim it. Corky walked away.Next up, Caesar arrived. A quick sniff identified the item as not food. Since it wasn’t doing anything, he deemed it less than entertaining and just sat down to watch. In came Fireball and he too gave it a sniff. It goes without saying that no one seemed very excited. <<Showing the human she’d done something good breaks some unwritten kitty rule about how to properly train a human. Keep the 2-legged humble by rejecting nearly everything she gives you and that will guarantee the human will keep on trying.>>Cue the Merkitty, who also gave it a sniff while Caesar started grooming Fireball as he washed his side.  <<Ho hum, human.>>A quick circle around the toy and the Merkitty flopped on her side and lay there. <<You paid $6 for that? What a waste of money!>> The other cats started to disperse.Corky gave it one last sniff while the Merkitty did head rolls. <<Bah humbug!>>There’s a bar on the new toy that goes across the top to make it easier to carry, and you can look down to the floor below. Given the dismal reception the toy received, and to encourage further kitty interest, the human tucked some treats down inside.  When she came downstairs the next day, the stack had been moved way across the floor and there was only a single treat left inside, so someone had fun with it.  Of course, since the human couldn’t see the cats having fun, it was okay for them to go ahead and enjoy the toy…just don’t let the human see that happening!

 

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

The Devil Made Her do It!

So there we were, in the process of getting ready to start our days.  The human was trying to make the bed and the kitties were trying to prevent that. Caesar had been sleeping in the top of the kitty condo beside the bed, but moved over to luxuriate on the soft blankets the human had just smoothed out.  <<So much nicer on the body than blankets with hard wrinkles in them!>>  Meanwhile, the Merkitty was a bit further to the right doing somersaults and being silly.  There’s Caesar in all his dignity, stretched out in sphinx mode, the middle of his body partially covered up with another soft blanket the human had folded back over him, and with that big tail of his twitching out of the other end of the blanket. <<You see where this is going, don’t you?>>  All of a sudden Mac realized there was something moving in her vicinity.  I don’t think she even stopped to think about what it might be, she just went into predator mode and pounced…on Caesar’s beautiful, sensitive tail. When the Merkitty pounces, all her teeth and claws are out. First Caesar flicked the tip of his tail out from between her paws. He looked a bit annoyed, but kept his cool because he’s the Emperor Kitty.  But the Merkitty is never one to back down from a challenge, so she moved and pounced on his tail again, this time pinning it to the bed. That elicited an explosion out from under the covers.  The Big Guy turned around to face the little minx, who tried to con him with that look of innocence…except she never can quite get the look right with that permanent smirk she wears.  Caesar literally “huffed” and left the bed with his dignity in tact.  The Merkitty?  What’s dignity? (Pride? That’s a different matter.)

 

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

Happy Cats (or the Swirling Masses)

What to see what happy cats look like? This is a bag of pure, freeze dried raw chicken breast.  All the human has to do is shake the bag and they come running, plaintive cries and all.  And when the human opens the bag and puts it on the floor, everyone has to have a sniff. There is lots of extraneous grooming as they wait patiently for the human to stop taking pictures and start tossing treats for them to chase.Notice the laser eyes boring into the slow, lazy human who is still too preoccupied with photo-taking to do her job of feeding the meows? She would be fired if there were another human slave nearby who was willing (or could be forced) to assume her duties.  (Heavy sigh…)

 

 

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

 

Pepe vs. the Pink Worm

Pepe has a cute little catnip-stuffed pink worm toy that’s tied to “his” chair in the kitchen.He spends a goodly amount of energy batting the poor thing around, kicking it for all he’s worth and, of course, biting it.  In fact, it’s one of the human’s tasks each morning to hold the toy in the air and dangle it over Pepe while he’s upside down so all 4 legs can attack the toy. This job is not without its risks — teeth and claws notwithstanding!On the other hand, it also has many rewards — not the least of which is great entertainment for cat and human alike.And at least it gives the big guy some exercise.Although that too comes with risks, as sometimes Pepe so vigorously chases the toy worm that he ends up rolling off the chair.At least it burn off some of his excess energy and reduces his boredom level a bit.And that means that 5 minutes of energetic dangling of toy-on-string means the human gets 5-7 minutes of peace and quiet to eat her breakfast, plan her day, and enjoy her coffee.Well, at least on some days.This is Pepe we’re talking about.Ah, cats…

 

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

 

 

Orange Mousy Gets a New Friend

A day after the orange felt mouse ended up sitting beside one of the litter boxes, he or she got a new friend. Lest you think the silly human never picks up the cat toys, she does, but she was conducting an experiment. She wondered how long orange mousy would sit there before one of the cats retrieved him/her.  After the second toy arrived, she picked both up, her experiment terminated early in case even more toys were deposited there. So far, no new toys have appeared beside any of the litter boxes. (Whew!)

 

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

Hello Little Friend! How Did You get there?

This is what the human spied tonight when cleaning litter boxes. It’s the cutest little felted cat toy. Sadly, it hasn’t gotten a lot of attention since it came home. Apparently that lack of interest changed today and the little orange mouse was carried around the house until someone felt the call of nature. Sadly, it’s back to being ignored again…hopefully not for long.

 

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

GooGoo Girl goes Gaga

Who knew that round disc with a ball on its side and a scratching surface on top would offer so much fun?The GooGoo Girl has made it her own. While most of the others will climb on for a scratch and to imbibe in some catnip, Mac has mastered the art of knocking that ball around alone or with company. She favors two techniques.In the first, she lays on her side close to the disc and alternately kicks the ball with her back feet and swats it with her front.That way she can can have a good extended play, although the ball really only rolls around on about half the track before she bats or kicks it in the other direction again.As you can see from that face, she’s having a really good time.  Here’s betting she imbibed before she started kicking.In the second technique, she will play opposite another kitty (often Corky) or while another kitty is sitting on top of the disc.She dives forward with forepaws out and knocks the ball forward. In fact, she tends to put both forepaws inside the track so she can stop the ball regardless of which direction it’s traveling, then sends it back in the opposite direction.When the ball returns to her other paw, she swats it again, unless the other cat redirects it.Nice to know that at least one cat toy in the last year has met with (limited) feline approval.

 

 

 

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

What do You Think Happened Here?

The human happened upon this sight the other evening as she went to clean litter boxes.  It prompted her to wonder what was going on.Did the little mouse decide it needed to use the box?  Or did a playful kitty running around with the mouse in his or her mouth suddenly heed the call of nature and then forget to retrieve the toy?

In this house, almost anything is possible…

 

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