Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Paws

A Gift for the Distracted Human

Fireball hopped up on the bed for one of his many short visits and lay down on top of the human, who was reading. She petted him in a distracted manner and then went back her book as the Little Red Bee proceeded to roll his head, lick her hand and fingers, and mix on the lumpy human furniture. Then he was gone in a flash. It was only after Fireball had departed and the human moved and heard a strange rattle that she looked and found that he’d left one of his toy mice behind when he departed. Such a thoughtful little boy.

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

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.

Tummy Tuck

Corky has rules — a lot of rules — and one of them is that the human is NOT allowed to touch his tummy.

Now, mind you, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t regularly roll up on his back and show his soft white tummy to the human.

It just means the human is in a “look but don’t touch” sort of situation and must be on her best behavior.

Recently, as the 2-legged was trying to make her way from her office to the kitchen, an energetic Corky was trotting a few paces in front of the human’s feet. He flopped down on the floor and started rolling around.

Shockingly, the human was allowed to approach and pet his tum tum. She’s happy to report that it’s as soft as it looks.

(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.

Box Inspector Confiscates a Box

Pepe is the official box inspector in this house. No matter how large or small a box is, he insists on sniffing it inside and out and then standing in it — even if just with his forepaws.

A few months back, a large box arrived that was packed with big blocks of foamed styrene to protect the contents. After it passed the sniff test and the standing-in-box test, Pepe decided he really liked this box and climbed in and laid down. The human moved the box to an out-of-the-way location, and added blankets and a pillow to make it even more comfortable. It’s become his favorite downstairs snoozing location. In fact, some kitty has been putting toy mice in the box.

(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.

Recovery Time

Corky the Banu bear came through his dental procedure just fine. The human collected him and brought him home for a rest. He’d had some teeth extracted, so no hard food for a week (and no roughhousing with his brother). That meant more alone time. Fortunately, he had medication that made him sleepy. Plus, he got lots of attention from the human.

Still, there was only so much incarceration time Corky was going to tolerate. The other cats would have to deal with eating crunchies in water for a few days. After his third dose of medication, Corky was free.

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

Little Red Lion Kitty

Fireball adopted his best sphinx pose while patiently waiting for the human to finish her morning ablutions and head downstairs to dole out food.

<<<What takes her so long? Can’t she see we’re hungry?>>>

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

Camouflage Kitty

When the human walked in unexpectedly and startled him, Pepe had opted for the rare camouflage look on a black & white blanket in one of the kitty beds instead of digging an opening in the bedding and sliding under the blankets and sheet for a snooze. Fortunately, all the human did was snap a pic and then move on her way (no paws were petted or heads kissed), so the Pepster was able to return to his sleep. <<<Whew!>>>

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

Fireball Chills Out with the Human

It was early morning and not quite the time when the human had to drag herself out of bed. She was laying on her side when Fireball came up for his early morning siesta. The 2-legged’s duty is to hold the blanket up (letting out all the nice warmth) and wait for the Little Red Lion to slide under, turn around a couple of times, and then stretch out on the human’s arm while the 2-legged tucks the blankets around him. Usually, that leads to lots of furious scrubbing of the human’s hand and fingers while she tries to avoid his rough tongue by petting him. A little foot dangling ensued while the now wide awake human tried to take pics from above.

Fireball usually only stays 15 minutes. He heard another cat hop up on the bed and that was his cue to be on his way.

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

Corky Enjoys Plant Time for Kitties

Corky, who is usually shy and retiring — especially when his bossy larger but not older brother Pepe is around — occasionally cuts loose when there’s no one to see him. This time, fortunately, the human was nearby and equipped with her camera.

Since the Corkster had already been tossing a toy mouse around on the kitchen floor, the human figured he might enjoy some fresh greenery and ventured outside for a few leaves of Nepeta cataria (aka catnip or catmint).

Sure enough, the Banu Bear ate a few leaves, then began cuffing the remains of the plant top around on the floor.

The fact that no other cat was around to see him enjoy himself, and the human was quiet while snapping her shots, meant that Corky didn’t feel inhibited and had a grand time.

Eventually, he ate the last of the leaves and then just lay on the floor on his side with a slightly dazed look on his face. <<<Oh happy day!>>>

(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.

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.

Blanket Sculpting for Beginners

Nearly every day, the human finds that Pepe has dug down through the layers of blankets on the bed, slipped underneath, and can be found in a dozy dreamy state enjoying a wee nap. When it gets a bit too warm, he extends limbs out to cool down.

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

Cats as Energy Harvesting Devices

Humans struggle to engineer photovoltaic cells that are more efficient at harvesting sunlight and converting it to energy. They really should talk with cats — especially cats who are largely black — as they’ve got the situation nailed. Here is Pepe demonstrating how efficiently he converts sunlight into energy that then causes him to run around like a banshee is biting his tail. Mac, in the background, takes a more passive (and dignified) approach to energy generation and storage.

(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.

Why Human Fingers Require Extra Washing

Everyone knows that humans are stinky creatures.

That’s probably because they have so much naked skin and also because they wash with soap and water. It’s clearly inferior to a spit bath.

Although it’s a thankless job, Fireball long ago took on the task of rewashing the human’s fingers and hands. In fact, he used to scoop up a finger in one of his soft little orange paws, clamp down with his claws, and scrub for all he was worth while the human howled in fits of laughter, since it tickled so much.

Fortunately, the human always tries to express appreciation after her bath.

Fireball feels satisfied about having contributed to the greater good of the human and household.

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