Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Macaroni

Cold-Weather Cuddles

It’s been pretty chilly of late and the human has been leaving the far-infrared heated mattress pad on all day for the kitties and all night for herself. When you combine that penetrating heat with the soft pink puff, it’s kitty heaven as Fireball and Mac recently demonstrated.

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

Outsmarted by the Merkitty Once Again

Let’s be honest and acknowledge that the human isn’t very bright — not compared with the kitties. Still, it has taken the Merkitty a year to figure out a way to flood the floor since the human switched to the heavy, straight-sided water bowl in the kitchen. While the Little Mischief quickly learned to climb up on the lip of the bowl and stick both forepaws in the water (and taught Pepe to do the same), when she scooped water up in her paws and attempted to toss it out of the bowl, the tall straight sides of the ceramic crock frustrated her efforts. The human would walk by and note the multitude of water droplets still clinging to the inside walls of the container and chuckle under her breath. The Merkitty clearly heard and finally has figured out a way to get revenge.

The human isn’t sure if the reason she’s been outsmarted is that she’s gotten overconfident and started filling the water level up higher or if the Watery One modified her scoop & toss technique. Regardless of how she’s doing it, she’s been flooding both the boot tray with dish-drying mat as well as the kitchen floor multiple times every day during the past week. In fact, just to rub it in, after a flooding session, she seeks out the human seated at her computer typing away frantically and hops up on the desk surface, forcing the human to move her keyboard out of the way. Then she head butts things off the desk while standing there with soaking wet paws and at least one foreleg wet all the way from toes to chest and shoulder. She is such a Merkitty!

The human is not sure what strategy to adopt next but she really does need to focus on solving the problem, as Miss Macaroni will not stop her mischief. Still, this has been the longest period of time the human has managed to outsmart the little monster, so at least the 2-legged has that going for her.

It is possible to outsmart a cat, at least for a little while. <<<Don’t let me hear you say or even think things like that!>>>

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

When Your Sister Steals Your Box

Leave it to the Merkitty to know just how to irritate another cat. While Mac’s favorite kitty beds are the pink and beige puffs upstairs, which she’d sleep in simultaneously if she could, she doesn’t usually have a favorite spot on the first floor, preferring to flit like a butterfly from one location to another.

Of course, when another cat shows a preference for sleeping in a particular spot, the Little Mischief has to plunk herself down in that location just for the annoyance factor. And so it happened that Pepe left his box for a while and Mac took over Pepe’s favorite bed. When he returned, an exasperated Pepe parked himself right next to his box and waited hours for Mac to exit.

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

Blanket Sculptor

The bed really was made when the human left the room early in the morning. However, it’s getting quite chilly of late and Pepe the blanket sculptor likes to dig down and sleep on the softer, warmer blankets. And notice the twinky twins in the pink puff?

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

Watering Can Inspectors

The human had filled her watering cans prior to going outside to give the tropical plants on the deck a drink. It was just too tempting indeed for the Water Monster not to stick her little head into the can and drink unfiltered water. There was a big ceramic bowl of freshly changed filtered water nearby, but that was no where near as interesting as the watering can. And since Mac the Merkitty had her head in the container, Pepe, who of late has become a water monster himself, had to join in and have a little drink.

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

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.

Wet Foot Syndrome

Mac the Merkitty is spreading her odd eating and drinking behaviors to the other cats.

Early on she taught Fireball that the best way to get access to the food bowl when Caesar was hovering over it was to pull the bowl out from under his mouth with a paw and then quickly scoop up a pawful of food before Caesar moved forward to hover over the bowl again. Even with Caesar gone, Fireball still eats crunchies, raw freeze dried food (rehydrated in water), and even soft food with his paws rather than directly with his mouth. And since Mac has long drunk water from her paws, Fireball does too.

Also, because Mac mucks up the water so often by playing in the bowls with her feet, Fireball has taken to sticking his own feet in the bowl to check that the water is acceptable before drinking.

However, wet foot syndrome has spread even further. In recent months, the human has observed Pepe stick one or both of his forepaws into the big water bowl to check that the water is there before bending down to drink. He will subsequently come lay down on his favorite chair and, when the human pets him, she finds wet feet. What is it about cats and water bowls in this house?

(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.

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.

Twinkie Twins

Mac and Fireball were chillin’ in the big pink puff when the human walked in. (Apparently, the Merkitty was feeling generous and decided to share the puff with the Little Red Bee.) The 2-legged started snapping photos in her usual annoying way.

Fortunately, no one was dangling their paws out of the puff, so the human and her camera posed little threat. (Note Fireball’s prehensile curled tail?)

A while later the human came back upstairs and found that the twinkie twins had changed places. However, this time someone had brought a little green mouse up on the bed and left it right beside the pink puff. Neither kitty looked like they were welcoming of attention, so the human left again.

(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.

How to Sit Like a Lady (Kitty)

Sit up straight, use good posture, arrange your forelegs just so. Don’t forget the sardonic glare lest the human think it’s okay to try and touch your paws.

(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.

Happy 10th Anniversary Trio

A decade ago this afternoon, Caesar, Macaroni, and Fireball made the journey from their foster mom’s home to the new human’s. The poor kitties were so skittish at first, but eventually they figured out the two-legged was a big pushover and they could easily boss her around, which they’ve done ever since. While the trio is now a duo (with Caesar’s unexpected passing last October), Mac and Fireball are still a cuddle pair. Happy anniversary kitties!

(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.