Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Mammals

Evil Struck Twice Yesterday

Just when you think it’s safe to trust your human, she pulls something like this. First, with the promise of a snack, she lured the Merkitty into the downstairs bath, then quickly shut the door, trapping the panicked watery one. Next, the human picked her up and started trimming toenails quickly and efficiently, despite sad little whimpers from Mac. The human made such good progress on the forepaws that she actually trimmed the rear ones as well.  Despite repeated attempts, the human was unable to trick Caesar in a similar way, so his meeting with the clippers occurred later in the day in a totally different room and setting. After a little post-work snuggle, the tricksy human got up, slipped clippers into her pocket and disappeared into another room where she sat and waited for the meows to come in and bump her leg. When the Big Guy appeared and snuggled the human, she picked him up (<<Horrors!>>) and carried him (<<Double horrors!>>) back into the bedroom where she proceeded to clip claws (<<Triple horrors!>>) . She got all toes but one dewclaw on the front paws and then, emboldened, she managed to get 2 claws clipped on one rear paw before Caesar had had enough and really started putting up a struggle. While Mac forgave the human fairly quickly and was back draping herself around the human’s head (<<and hogging most of the pillows>>) before long, Caesar has kept his distance and will not let the human get close. It will be weeks before a human in motion will be able to get close to the Big Guy and even longer before he will let down his guard enough to be picked up again. Still, no blood was drawn among cats or human, and now two of the monsters are set for a couple of months before the process has to be repeated. <<Whew!>> <<Does no one care how much we suffer?>>

 

 

(c) Copyright 2020, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Intruder Alert!

Over the many decades that the human has lived at this house, she’s known some pretty cheeky wildlife.  In the old days, it was quite common to look out on the lower deck and see a woodchuck, a couple of squirrels, and some birds all sitting in a circle eating seed. For a few years, a woodchuck unaffectionately called El Destructo traumatized the plants growing in big pots on the deck. Nearly every day he’d walk past and pull over every pot that was light enough for him to move to see if there was anything good to eat in it. This repeated behavior caused enough transplant shock that some of the plants gave up the ghost. And then there are the deer that reach their necks over the deck railing to nibble some of the hottest peppers on the planet down to the soil.A few weeks back, the human happened to be in the kitchen eating lunch on a dark, dreary day when she heard a thud outside on the lower kitchen window. Looking over, she couldn’t believe her eyes: a young and smallish woodchuck had jumped up on the window ledge. This is something the human had never seen before, although it shouldn’t have come as a complete surprise. Several bird feeders hang just above this window and there is always seed on the deck below the window and sometimes on the window ledge itself. <<Those birds are such messy eaters!>>As the human stood up, grabbed her phone, and started shooting photos while walking toward the intruder, he or she looked in and decided it would be advisable to jump back down on the deck.  This intruder wasn’t terribly afraid, as he / she didn’t go far…at least not right away. Of course, was there a single cat in the kitchen at the time keeping watch for intruders entering the property? <<‘Fraid not. Bah!>>

 

 

 

(c) Copyright 2020, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image 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.

Invader Alert

This is what happens when the kitties are not vigilant.  You just never know what kind of creature will show up and visit the deck.

 

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

Mysterious Things Cats do

Upon the stairs lay three little toys all lined up in a row.  Whatever do you suppose that means?

 

 

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

 

Changing Architectural Styles

In the beginning, when the blanket sculptor struck, he or she left layers of blankets sticking straight up in the air.  The architectural style seems to be evolving, as more recently the pattern has shifted to little domed structures like those shown here.  Do you suppose this represents a different exit strategy from the blanket pile or is it that there is a second architect now at work creating structures?

 

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

The Trio Keeps Watch

 

The trio were sitting on one of the coucheswatching wildlife out the window when the silly human walked by and stopped to say hi.
Fortunately no creature worth mentioning crossed their territory. The birds and squirrels are safe for another day.

 

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

But Why?

Normally the dreaded vacuum is avoided at all costs. Yet here lay Caesar and Mac spooning next to the vacuum. There is plenty of other space on the rug, so you have to wonder why they chose to lay down there.  Cats!

 

 

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

Alien Invaders

See that little tail? It belongs to a cute chipmunk who likes to hang out in the bird feeder eating seeds. Said chipmunk is darned lucky that there are 2 panes of glass between him/her and the cat who is watching this alien invader.  He or she runs up and down the screens, which happen to be on the outside of the windows in this house, coming and going from the feeder. Sometimes the chipmunk and a little red squirrel who does the same thing (although never at the same time) will go sprinting up or down the screen right in front of one of the cats.  You can just bet that Pepe is on the job monitoring the yard and alerting the human to this insulting behavior.  If Pepe could get through the glass panes and the screen, he’d make fast work of that little creature. How disappointing that the human doesn’t help him do so.

 

(c) Copyright 2018, 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.

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.

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<<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.

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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!

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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

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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.

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(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.

Woodgie the Woodchuck: Vanquisher of Pumpkins

IMG_2014And here is my round woodchuck pal eating away at my fall decorations.  As you can see, he or she has done a remarkable job in a short amount of time.

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So much for him or her not liking the blue-grey warty pumpkin.

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Given the rapacious way the wildlife has consumed my flowers, vegetables, fruits, and now decorations this year, it’s tempting to suppose we are in for another really hard winter.

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While the kitties don’t care overly much about the pumpkins that are rapidly disappearing off my steps, they do care about what they perceive as invaders to “their yard.”

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Let me tell you, this large, plump creature gets a lot of excited stares from the kitchen window beside the deck, particularly when he or she is right underneath them eating birdseed that has fallen from the feeders that hang next to the windows.

 

 

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