Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Hunting

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.

Camouflage

When hunting the illusive red laser dot, it’s important to remember the art of camouflage.  You don’t want the dot to see you before you see it.  So find a rug that blends well with your fur coat.  Then wait patiently for the dot to reappear. When it does, pounce! And when you get bored, it’s okay to just get up and leave.

 

 

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

Peas and Quiet

Judging from this shot, the toy mice like shredded chicken but loathe canned peas.

 

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

Nocturnal Romps

It’s no wonder the human doesn’t get quality sleep at night given the number of toy mice that are scattered all around on the upstairs floors when she awakens.This haul represents a single night and a space of no more than 1 square meter. 

 

 

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

Ignored

To celebrate the kitties’ arrival anniversaries, which are less than 2 weeks apart, the silly human purchased two toys that were supposed to enrich their environment and stimulate both their problem-solving and hunting skills. Both toys have been pretty much ignored. For example, this cute one is a rectangular box covered with fake grass on top and with cutouts both on top and on the sides. It has 3 or 4 cute little blue balls inside (with bells) that the cats are supposed to cuff around by poking their paws through the holes. They can’t pull the balls out through the holes in the side of the box but they can scoop them out through the top.  Only Pepe plays with this toy and only when the human has run the laser pointer’s red dot along its surface.  So much for smart toys for smart cats.

 

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

Corky vs. the Blue Egg

The Corkster loves chasing the wobbly/spinny toys, especially when he gets to play with one alone, when his brother isn’t there to hog all the attention. He’s really far more patient than his brother, who has the cat equivalence of ADHD. He’ll quietly stalk the spinning, wobbling toy for several minutes before moving in on it. After checking it out to make sure there’s no danger, he’ll hit it with a soft paw to see what happens. Of course, one of the fun things about these toys is that they will immediately pop back up again and their top keeps spinning around even when they’re laying on their side.He hasn’t developed his brother’s technique of holding the toy down and letting the top spin itself off from the base, but he does enjoy the exercise. And it’s good to see him get some exercise while having a bit of fun too.

 

 

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

What Do You Think it Does?

<<When the human presents you with a new toy, you’re supposed to be super psyched.>><<Woohoo!  What do you suppose this one is supposed to do?>> <<Oh, it spins around. Am I providing sufficient positive reinforcement for the fragile human ego?>><<Whoohoo! This is so much fun!>> <<How long do I need to keep up the interesting banter?>> <<If you don’t make a big deal about whatever she dragged home for us, she gets all mumpy faced. Humans are such big babies!>> <<But really! How many times can you chase this silly thing in a circle and then knock it over before it gets to be very boring?>> <<If I brought such a thing to her, how long do you think she’d play with it?>><<I’ve seen how long she plays with the toy mice we bring her. Not long at all!>>

 

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

Beige Mouse Dangles into Food Bowl

Here’s something you don’t see every day:  a toy mouse in this house that still has its ears and tail. Those seem to disappear quickly, although where they go is a mystery to the human.  In this case, the mouse has been draped over the side of the food bowl. Because this toy was partially suspended by its tail, and the food had already had most of the delicious gravy removed by pink kitty tongues (which disparage chunks in the food bowl), it didn’t get very dirty and was able to be washed and returned to the collection. Interestingly, when the human first found the mouse-in-bowl, there was another toy mouse the same color sitting right beside the bowl. Over the last week, the beige mice have had a grand time at night and can be found nearly anywhere upstairs when the human awakens, including in her slippers or right beside them.

 

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