Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Mammals

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.


Taylor & Ng Kitties Redux

IMG_1469Let’s hear it for the snuggle kitties.  It’s a rare sight to see only one of the kitties sleeping alone somewhere. There usually are two close together and often three.  I guess it’s nice to share!Snuggle Kitties


(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Feisty Beasties

Big Mouser
The human had back-to-back conference calls for close to 3 hours this morning. Meanwhile, it was a rainy day and the temperature was plunging. It was warmer last night than it probably will be for the next 3 days.  Since it was warm when she got up, the human had the house opened up and the kitties had access to the screened in porch. When we have a rapid change in temperature, particularly when it gets chilly, the furry folks get feisty.  That means that while the human was listening to colleagues around the world talk, in the background there was the delightful pitter-patter of fluffy feet racing up and down the stairs, and the crazy moaning sound that always presages someone finding a cat toy and dragging it around on the floor.  (Thank heavens for the “mute” button.)

When calls were over and the human vacated the work cave for a few minutes, there relined the Big Hunter, crooning over not 1 but 2 toy mice he’d captured and laid outside the office door.  He graciously received lots of praise and pets for his hunting prowess.

Meanwhile, having already flooded the floor in the next room, the Merkitty found a clear glass marble — the new in toy.  After a serious round of batting and chasing, she lost the silly thing.  In a desperate bid to find out where it’d rolled, she literally turned back the entire corner of a large floor rug, which was now sticking up in the air.

Ah, life with carnivores!


(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Uninvited Visitors

IMG_2615Mamma Raccoon has been coming by early morning and bringing along her rapidly growing babies to play on the upper deck. They climb the tall spruce tree right by the lower deck and just walk along a branch to get over to the upper one.IMG_2612Then they run around, wrestle, find small sticks to kick and bite, try to pull the tablecloth off the cafe table, and generally make a ruckus. If human or feline are asleep when the raccoon family arrives, they don’t stay that way for long.IMG_2613To the silly human, there are some similarities between the raccoons and cats, striped tails not withstanding.  However, the cats apparently don’t think they have anything in common with these uninvited visitors. They don’t react the way they do when a cat or dog comes into the yard — very territorial — but rather just sit and stare wide-eyed at the raccoon antics.IMG_2614



(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

The Monster Under the Table

IMG_2569It’s the worst fear of small human children that a monster lives under their bed and will come out and get them while they sleep unawares.

IMG_2570Well, in this house, we don’t so much worry about monsters under the bed — the monsters are usually on top of the bed stretched out in luxury leaving the human very little space.  However, we’ve recently become aware of monsters that occasionally take up residence under the kitchen table.

IMG_2577You see, the human always has tablecloths covering the kitchen table. That means that 4-legged monsters can sit or lay on the seats of any of the chairs and pretty much be assured of being hidden from view.
IMG_2586In a moment of inspiration the human tied one of the rainbow mice, which already was attached to a long string, to the finial on top of one of the chairs a week or so back.

IMG_2580That’s proven to be a very entertaining spot for kitties who like to get in the chair and bat the mouse around. Of course, it’s also immensely entertaining for the human who is sitting nearby trying to eat her breakfast.


<<Just who are you laughing at, Human?>>



(c) Copyright 2015, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Big Surprise

IMG_2133The silly human found a pile of old metal coat hangers in the basement and was on the way out the door to put them in the recycle bin. As she stepped out on the deck, what greeted her (quite close to the deck) but a large buck (male deer) with 8 points on its horns.  The deer and the human eyed each other, and the human blinked and returned to the house figuring the coat hangers could be recycled another time.  Of course, the human then tried to photograph the deer through the kitchen window, which did not work out quite so well as she’d hoped.

Nonetheless, the deer went back to eating some apples no longer in their prime that the human had put out for the wildlife, then it lay down by the deck and stayed for an hour or more.


Let me tell you, the feline guardians were not missing any of this.  You can see Macaroni all jazzed up looking out at this large animal that has clearly invaded HER yard!


Eventually, several hours later, the deer did get up and leave. And the kitty guardians prevented the silly large beast from entering the house.  Such good watch-kitties!


(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

New Crunchies Sample

IMG_2126_LRGreat excitement! Within 10 minutes, there were nothing but crumbs left.

IMG_2124 - LRAnd need I mention that the bowl was not placed in that location on the floor? Yes, it moved this way and that as one after another of the cats hooked a paw into the lip of the bowl and pulled it out from under the other two to get a bite to eat. They are so entertaining in the morning!



(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Return of my Pillow Pal

Red Ruu - LRThe human had a hard time falling asleep last night, so wasn’t terribly energetic about getting up early this a.m.  That means that when my Little Red Ruu bounced onto the bed to wake me up this morning, he decided to stay and cuddle instead.  With the colder weather, I coaxed him off my shoulder (I was lying on my side) and onto my pillow, where he proceeded to curl up around my face and began washing my fingers energetically. (It’s a wonder I have any skin left.)  After he’d assured himself my fingers were clean, and after I’d petted him sufficiently, he curled up around my head, licked my eyebrow, and then put his head on mine and sang me a song.  It was a very sweet 15 minutes with my face buried in his soft tummy fur.  Of course, the Baby Comet is quite energetic and doesn’t sit (let alone lay) still for very long.  All too soon up he bounced ready to check out other interesting things besides the boring recumbent human. Just before he dashed off for adventures on his own, I snapped this pic.


(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Cuddle Buddies


This was how I found Caesar and Macaroni the other afternoon, cuddling together in their kitty bed.  Can we hear a big AWWWW for these cuddle buddies?  Caesar finds a way to do a bit of paw dangling even while he comforts one of the younger kitties.  He’s the first male kitty I’ve known with such a strong “maternal” (or at least parental) instinct, even though he has no blood relation to Mac and Fireball.  How fortunate I am that these three get along so famously.


(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

But Where did they All Go?

IMG_2072It occurred to me last night that in the last 2-3/4 years, I’ve easily purchased a 100 little toy mice for my fur friends, and I’ve already given out 75% of those to the kitties.  I used to buy the brightly colored “shakey” mice by the 8 pack and the cats would get a new set of 2 or 3 roughly every 2 weeks. (That’s how long on average it takes before they lose all of their toys.)  I bought a box of 30 of the grey, black, and white mice that Caesar seems to favor so he could join in the fun, and I went through several 3-packs of the mice wrapped in brightly colored cord — not that any of those lasted very long. When I found the slightly larger “sheepy” mice on clearance at 10 for a dollar at the end of last year, I must have bought 40 or 50 and handed them out with equal abandon.

As I prepared for bed and picked up kitty toys all over the house, I realized that none of their favorite toys were anywhere to be seen. Sure the fluorescent green mouse (she of ficus tree fame) can still be found, as can the small soft rainbow mouse, as both are now tied to long strings so are harder to lose.  Regardless, those toys don’t rank very high on the favorites list.  With none of the toys the cats really like in evidence, that was my cue to dole out some new ones, which I dutifully did.

Quickly, both Fireball and Macaroni found the new toys and had great fun cavorting with the sheepy mice, tossing them in the air, chasing them up and down the stairs, dropping them by (but not in) the water bowl, and generally making a racket accompanied by that characteristic low moaning sound they make when they’ve caught prey and I’m to come over and admire it.  In fact, here’s the Big Guy with one of the new mice, which he offered to me just outside my office door this morning.

IMG_2070As I lay in bed last night reviewing my day and listening to the kitties have so much fun with their toys, it occurred to me to wonder where on earth all those lost toy mice could be.  It’s not like I have a huge house or that it has an over abundance of hiding spots. Sure, a few of the mice that had one too many swims in the water bowl and delaminated have been recycled into mousy heaven.  And the previous year I did retrieve a treasure trove of toy mice that had gone down the air-intake grate for my furnace when I put my plants out in spring, but there was no such cache this year.  So what has become of them? Have the cats hidden them all away somewhere in order to lure me into breaking out a new stash?  With felines, one just never knows.



(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.