Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Obligate carnivores

Will You Stop Fussing & Get My Breakfast?

Who cares if the bed is made, the water bowls are washed and refilled, the plants are watered, and the litter boxes are cleaned?  I want food, and I want it now!  And I want better food than what you’ve been serving.  No, I can’t tell you what I want, not exactly, but I know it’s not any of the 5 bags of crunchies and 4 cans of soft food that you currently have open. You’re a human. Can’t you figure it out?


(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.


Happy Cats (or the Swirling Masses)

What to see what happy cats look like? This is a bag of pure, freeze dried raw chicken breast.  All the human has to do is shake the bag and they come running, plaintive cries and all.  And when the human opens the bag and puts it on the floor, everyone has to have a sniff. There is lots of extraneous grooming as they wait patiently for the human to stop taking pictures and start tossing treats for them to chase.Notice the laser eyes boring into the slow, lazy human who is still too preoccupied with photo-taking to do her job of feeding the meows? She would be fired if there were another human slave nearby who was willing (or could be forced) to assume her duties.  (Heavy sigh…)



(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.


Canny Carnivores

img_3911Alas, all those packaging experts who claim that expensive, impossible to recycle multi-layer packaging keeps freshness locked into the bag and seals out oxygen that degrades food have never met my crew’s noses.  img_3912A few months back the busy human walked out to the kitchen while working late one evening. She’d barely crossed the threshold when she found a bag of crunchies laying on its side with kibble spilling out of a sizable gash.  Lest you think she temps fate often, she’d purchased the bag earlier that day and placed by the cellar door with the intention of carrying it downstairs and securing it in a heavy plastic container before she went to bed. She was too late.img_3913Clearly, the fancy packaging had not locked freshness (and the delicious odors) inside the bag and one (or more) of the cats had smelled them and decided to have a bit of an explore. Alas, with cats, there are so many lessons to learn…


(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.


Bad Food Choices

img_4025The human has been in trouble for the whole month of December and continuing into the early weeks of January. She made some poor food choices and the cats have been letting her know how unhappy and disappointed they are. Three guesses who’s the worst food critic of all?  <<Am I supposed to be hurt by your criticism? Am I supposed to be cowed into pretending to be happy about the miserable food you’ve been offering us to eat?>>img_4026First the human bought a 15 lb/7 kg bag of an even more costly crunchy food than she usually gets them. This one featured a bunch of different kinds of free-range and wild birds, eggs, and some stream-caught fish.  There’s no grain, no potato, and no legumes. The food is caught and processed into kibble on the same day in the wilds of Western Canada. What’s not to like?  The human isn’t sure what makes it so undesirable unless it’s the shape. It’s a flat disc and a bit bigger than the tiny Xs she’s been feeding them from another company, although 2 months back they devoured another big bag of a fish blend from this same Canadian company and apparently loved it. As far as I recall, the kibble shape was the same. Unfortunately when you buy a 15 lb bag, it takes a bit of time to get through it even with this crew. And when they aren’t gobbling it all down within 15 minutes of filling the bowls, it’s amazing how much longer a big bag lasts. <<And that’s the point, isn’t it? We’re fairly begging for some variety. Why do you feel the need to torture us? Isn’t it enough that you keep us prisoners and play with our feet — even when you know we hate it?>>img_4028And then there’s been the issue of the canned foods. It’s gotten so they only want to eat 2 flavors from 2 different companies. That’s 4 flavors all month. Their narrow food choices actually made things easier, as the human was able to buy cases of the 4 kinds they’ll eat at a little savings. Of course, now that she’s got a lot of cans of the (formerly) favored foods, the cats are sick and tired of eating them. Over the past few months, she’s tried all kinds of other interesting things, from kangaroo to alligator to wild boar to rabbit to venison to beef and sheep tripe to organic chicken with carrots. Again, no grain, no potato, no legumes. What’s not to like? Apparently everything. Argh. <<You’re completely insufferable. Do you really think you’re the only one suffering here? I’m putting you on notice:  this is not all about you! >>img_4027The last few weeks, the human has changed her feeding philosophy. Before, it was “what can I give you that you would like (today)?” but now it’s “Tough love baby. Eat it this morning or it’ll be back for dinner tonight.” Remarkably, when the human isn’t overly generous with the kibble they don’t like anyway, they manage to eat (if not like) the canned food. She’s throwing away far less than she was. Maybe there’s something to be said about tough love. <<You are SO lucky you’re a lot bigger than we are or we’d teach you a lesson you’d never forget. We’ll see how fast you can type when we chew off your fingers while you sleep. Come to think of it, we can wake you up all night long so you get no sleep. A couple of days of that and I’m betting you’ll break out the good stuff for us.>>img_4031If they’ll only finish up the old stuff, she replenished supplies this week and bought a 15 lb bag of the game bird crunchies they adore. She ventured out and tried some different cans from different companies too. We’ll see how sick and tired they really are of the old stuff once we start serving them the new. <<Be that way. See if I don’t chew up the cord on your stupid phone since you’re being so mean to me.>>


(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

Almost Adjusted

IMG_2342The Duo are doing a good job of getting settled in, while the Trio are showing remarkable patience and fortitude.  Interestingly, Corky the Timid is adjusting to the concept of community food bowls and community eating time better than his alpha brother, Pepe.  Here he is enjoying the morning meal with his new siblings.  He also seems to have adjusted faster to the grain-free menu we serve at this house.  I wonder how long it will be before the Merkitty converts him to eating from his paw instead of crouching over the bowl like a “normal” cat?




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

Snackasaurus Attack

IMG_2348That’s what the human gets for cleaning off her kitchen counters and making them neat and clean.  One of the kitties got up there last night, knocked down a plastic container that holds freeze-dried raw kibble, dragged or nudged it across the room, rolled the rug up on itself, flipped the container and got the cover off, and proceeded to nosh on the delicious little chunks leaving crumbs all over the floor.  No wonder there weren’t the plaintive cries for food this morning. Perhaps this was a team effort? There’s Corky checking out the action.


The one thing that really puzzles me is the rolled up rug. What was that all about?  Needless to say, this morning all the raw-meat kibble went into a big heavy glass jar with a locking lid that will henceforth be stored elsewhere.


(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.

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.

Tiger Boys Vanquish Another Toy Mouse

20140917_083324Just in case you were worried about whether or not it was safe to come upstairs…the Tiger Boys have done the hard work and swept the treads clean of toy mice.  None will be nibbling at your ankles this night. Don’t you feel safe with the Tiger Boys on guard?


(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photo by G. Karan.