Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Hunting

Pepe and the Cable Organizer

Pepe was bored the other morning and was complaining about the lack of entertainment while the human tried to eat her breakfast in peace. <<Not happening!>>So the human, who had been cleaning out her office and had some office supplies on the table, went looking for a toy. She found a package of nifty flexible plastic cable organizers. You twist the flexible device around power cords and cables to various electronic devices. Each organizer is a different bright color and has a flat area where you can write the name of the device.  They looked like they would roll, so the human pulled one out and tossed it to Pepe.As you can see, great entertainment began immediately. Pepe chased the gadget all over the kitchen, executing some rather remarkable tosses, jumps, and saves while he was at it.Eventually, he settled down for a bit of a rest. Meantime, the resourceful 2-legged was able to finish her breakfast. 


(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.



It’s the human’s fault.  She was trying to add variety and hunting opportunities to the kitties’ daily repertoire.  The meows were pestering for snacks, so the 2-legged flipped the much-beloved scratching disc upside down. On the reverse side, there is a maze-like structure with a ball inside — yes, a ball with a bell! — and a series of interesting holes on top that are just the perfect size for kitty paws to explore.To entice the kitties to investigate the holes, the human put a small pile of dried organic catnip on top and then carefully — while the felines were watching — nudged raw freeze-dried meat snacks from the surface of the maze into the holes.  The kitties watched with fascination and even went over and looked inside the structure. The Merkitty hopped up, took a sniff of the ‘nip, and immediately was overcome with paroxysms of delight.  The other cats had to move back or risk getting hit by her flailing limbs and rolling body.  As she thrashed about, she would bat the ball that rolls along the track on the outside of the toy sending it spinning around the track.  Pretty quickly, she cleared the deck of other cats. Over a period of several days, the human added more snacks and more ‘nip to the surface, but she never saw a single kitty paw raised to explore.  Eventually, she fished out the snacks and turned the disc back over so the scratching surface was face up. Some hunters they are!


(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Corky vs. the Orange Mouse

The human was cranking away at work the other day when she heard that distinctive moaning sound in the next room that always indicates one of the cats has “killed” a toy mouse and brought it to the human for praise and admiration.  Interestingly, the human found Corky and the orange felt mouse.  To show the human his hunting skills, the Corkster cuffed the mouse around a bit while the human poured on the compliments.  Hearing the human talking, Macaroni came over to see if anyone was getting fed. No one was, but she then inserted herself into the middle of Corky and his mouse. He gave her a sniff, but otherwise disgusted, he walked away.



(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.


<<Sure, I’m not supposed to get on the table, but you put the pen cap within easy reach. You’re just tempting me.>><<And if I decide to knock it off the table and chase it around the kitchen floor until I lose it, well that really just constitutes entrapment, since you planted it in front of me where you knew I couldn’t resist.>>



(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Self-Serve Cookies

Since the morning snack is one of the highlights of both the 4-legged and 2-legged people’s day, the human tried an experiment.First she took the lid off the kitties’ snack container (aka cookie jar), then stood back to see what would happen. Many noses (followed by kitty bodies) moved over to sniff at the interesting object.Next, the human tipped the container on its side to see what they would do.  She figured the three biggest snack monsters — Caesar, Mac, and Corky — would soon help themselves. At first everyone sat around looking at this unprecedented situation.  <<Is this for real? Can we really go fishing for our own cookies?>>Corky, always up for a game involving food, stuck his paw into the container and soon hooked a snack, flipped it out, and started eating it off the rug.  
Mac was fascinated and Pepe was right there watching his brother.  Initially Caesar appeared disinterested, but he soon got involved in the goings on. Fireball moved back to sit by a chair. Perhaps he thought it was a trap.  <<No way the 2-legged will let us eat all the snacks we want. She’s being a tricky human again.>>At first Corky was unstoppable, but then Pepe muscled in and started digging for yummies too.Interestingly, no member of the Trio reached in and helped themselves, although Miss Mac got mighty close. <<First time for everything!>> The same cannot be said for the Duo, who got busy pulling snacks out and eating them. Well, the human watched and took pictures for many minutes. The two brave kitties got a fistful of snacks. The others were given a few snacks handpicked by the human. All in all, an interesting experiment for one and all.


(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Goofy Girl & the Spin Cycle

We’ve once again had crazy ups and downs in temperature here and the last three nights we got snow — not a huge amount, but enough that the kitties got snow sillies out of it.Case in point: the Goofy Girl got all sillied up.  First she got into one of the kitty beds and started kicking around an adorable little felted toy.  Next she spun in circles chasing it around on her paws. You’d think she was in the spin cycle of a washing machine.Then she flipped upside down and gave it backfoot furnippies. And while she was kicking and biting the toy, she looked back and reached a fore paw over and bopped poor Fireball on the head. He was sitting in an adjacent kitty bed watching her antics.  She alternated kicking the toy and harassing her brother until she tired of her silliness and got up. Next she chased Fireball out of his bed, then she got into a flurry of fistacuffs with Big Caesar. Then she flew off the bed and went looking for a toy mouse to chase up and down the stairs. We could hear her making that funny moaning sound the kitties make when they’re carrying around a big “kill” (toy mouse) they’ve just vanquished. All of a sudden, Goofy Girl came flying through the air again and landed back in bed and began bothering Caesar and Fireball again, who’d returned to their soft warm beds when the little minx vanished. On and on they went for hours last night.  Of course, as soon as the human brought out the evil camera and started taking shots, Macadoodle got embarrassed she’d been caught being silly and began some gratuitous grooming. Mustn’t let humans see you being other than dignified….


(c) Copyright 2018, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

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.

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.