Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Paws


It’s the human’s fault.  She was trying to add variety and hunting opportunities to the kitties’ daily repertoire.  The meows were pestering for snacks, so the 2-legged flipped the much-beloved scratching disc upside down. On the reverse side, there is a maze-like structure with a ball inside — yes, a ball with a bell! — and a series of interesting holes on top that are just the perfect size for kitty paws to explore.To entice the kitties to investigate the holes, the human put a small pile of dried organic catnip on top and then carefully — while the felines were watching — nudged raw freeze-dried meat snacks from the surface of the maze into the holes.  The kitties watched with fascination and even went over and looked inside the structure. The Merkitty hopped up, took a sniff of the ‘nip, and immediately was overcome with paroxysms of delight.  The other cats had to move back or risk getting hit by her flailing limbs and rolling body.  As she thrashed about, she would bat the ball that rolls along the track on the outside of the toy sending it spinning around the track.  Pretty quickly, she cleared the deck of other cats. Over a period of several days, the human added more snacks and more ‘nip to the surface, but she never saw a single kitty paw raised to explore.  Eventually, she fished out the snacks and turned the disc back over so the scratching surface was face up. Some hunters they are!


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


Corky vs. the Orange Mouse

The human was cranking away at work the other day when she heard that distinctive moaning sound in the next room that always indicates one of the cats has “killed” a toy mouse and brought it to the human for praise and admiration.  Interestingly, the human found Corky and the orange felt mouse.  To show the human his hunting skills, the Corkster cuffed the mouse around a bit while the human poured on the compliments.  Hearing the human talking, Macaroni came over to see if anyone was getting fed. No one was, but she then inserted herself into the middle of Corky and his mouse. He gave her a sniff, but otherwise disgusted, he walked away.



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

Miss Twinkletoes

Here is the Merkitty engaging in a bit of morning paw dangling. She does enjoy liberating those toes and nails and cooling her feet outside the warmth of the kitty bed and fleece fabrics. As you can see from the length of those claws, she keeps them mighty sharp on cat scratchers, rugs, and any handy piece of furniture — especially when the human is watching. It’s a good thing she uses both legal and illegal scratching devices, as when the human sneaks up on her with the nail trimmers, a good struggle ensues.  The human has to content herself with only trimming 2-3 nails per week, as that’s about how long it takes for the Mer to allow the human to sneak up behind her again — with or without evil metal devices in hand.


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

Make Your Own Entertainment

Several days in a row the human walked into the other bedroom and found a cardboard cat scratching box (which is shaped like a cube with the center cut out) lying on its side instead of standing on an end.She thought that maybe one of the kitties had used it like a step stool to climb up or down from the bed in that room so, being a well-trained human, she turned it up on its side again. After three mornings in a row of tilting it back up, the 2-legged noticed a toy mouse in the center of the overturned cat scratcher. That made her think the kitties were inventing their own games, so she went around the upstairs and picked up the multitude of toy mice that had been dragged out of the toy boxes on the stairs and strewn around during the night.  She placed all the mice in the center of the scratching box and left it on its side. Each evening she’d return to look at the overturned scratcher and would usually find most of the mice had been removed and taken elsewhere.  She’d go around and collect them again and refill the space, then check to see what was there come morning.  As you can see, the number of toys keeps increasing, and the cats have started scratching on the front face of the box — a surface not meant to be scratched….much like the hand-knotted rug on which it sits. <<Sigh. Within 10 square feet of this rug, there are no less than 5 hanging and standing cat scratchers. I guess they prefer wool to cardboard or sisal.>>


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

Burrowing Burrito Bears

Fireball has the cutest procedure he follows every time he climbs into a kitty bed or onto a surface covered with a fleece blanket or two. He starts off mixing then starts digging around with both forepaws until he gets at least one corner of the soft blanket lifted, at which point he slides under the blanket so he is partially covered.  When he’s all cuddled up like that, the human can’t help but walk by and tuck him in, thereby creating a burrito bear.  He stays like that for a surprisingly long time as long as the 2-legged doesn’t do anything that looks or sounds scary.


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

Big Cat, Little Bed

This is Caesar Tiger Bear squashing himself into one of the smallest kitty beds in the whole house.  <<The evil human is sneaking up behind me with the camera. This cannot be good…>>Note how the formerly round bed has taken on an oblong shape? There are a couple of seams that look to be seeing a bit of stress as well. Actually, cats are supposed to climb down inside the opening where they can hide in their own private kitty cave. The human draped a blanket down into the opening to make it more attractive. Clearly it did, but not in the way the 2-legged expected.And it goes without staying that there is paw dangling behavior going on. Of course, the two small cats that would best fit in that small bed are instead stretched out in the adjacent large kitty beds.  Felines…



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

Happy Cats and the Scratching Discs

Of all the toys the human has purchased over the years, the scratching disc mounted to the plastic frame with a ball that rolls around on the outside edge has been the biggest hit. There’s actually a second (bottom) side to it where the cats can chase another ball through a series of cutouts, but they never seem to play with that side. The scratching surface is 14 inches / 36 centimeters in diameter, so it really gives them an opportunity to scratch and stretch their back and shoulder muscles and sharpen those claws.  Even the declawed Duo love to scratch on the disc. And everyone loves to knock the ball around the outside edge — preferably when the human is not watching. Unfortunately, it’s hard to find replacement cardboard surfaces, and the cats have so much fun clawing it, they really pull it to pieces.  Fortunately, even when sections of the cardboard are lifting, the cats still scratch away.  The human finally changed out the cardboard surfaces for the toys upstairs and downstairs this week.  That made for happy cats.  They have been very pleased with the pristine cardboard and the extra dose of catnip the human applied.  As you can see, some of the cats had such a nice trip, they flopped down on the disk and didn’t move.


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

Self-Serve Cookies

Since the morning snack is one of the highlights of both the 4-legged and 2-legged people’s day, the human tried an experiment.First she took the lid off the kitties’ snack container (aka cookie jar), then stood back to see what would happen. Many noses (followed by kitty bodies) moved over to sniff at the interesting object.Next, the human tipped the container on its side to see what they would do.  She figured the three biggest snack monsters — Caesar, Mac, and Corky — would soon help themselves. At first everyone sat around looking at this unprecedented situation.  <<Is this for real? Can we really go fishing for our own cookies?>>Corky, always up for a game involving food, stuck his paw into the container and soon hooked a snack, flipped it out, and started eating it off the rug.  
Mac was fascinated and Pepe was right there watching his brother.  Initially Caesar appeared disinterested, but he soon got involved in the goings on. Fireball moved back to sit by a chair. Perhaps he thought it was a trap.  <<No way the 2-legged will let us eat all the snacks we want. She’s being a tricky human again.>>At first Corky was unstoppable, but then Pepe muscled in and started digging for yummies too.Interestingly, no member of the Trio reached in and helped themselves, although Miss Mac got mighty close. <<First time for everything!>> The same cannot be said for the Duo, who got busy pulling snacks out and eating them. Well, the human watched and took pictures for many minutes. The two brave kitties got a fistful of snacks. The others were given a few snacks handpicked by the human. All in all, an interesting experiment for one and all.


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

The Afternoon Greeting Party

This is the afternoon greeting party. Two of the cats are waiting patiently…well, somewhat patiently…outside the human’s office for their afternoon snack.  When she takes a short break, they’ll follow her into the kitchen and remind her of what’s really important in the moment.They come downstairs in ones and twos all afternoon to cajole the human into doling out something to eat. If she ignores the head bumps to her legs and the plaintive cries delivered by kitties standing on hind legs and reaching up to touch her or her desk, or the more insistent attempts to jump onto her keyboard, then most of them will move out into the living room and wait…on the good days. Occasionally there will be some sassy faces and some sassy sounds, and of course there will be Mer-smirks, but for the most part, they’ll leave the human be after a while. Maybe they know when she’s on deadline.


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

Goofy Girl & the Spin Cycle

We’ve once again had crazy ups and downs in temperature here and the last three nights we got snow — not a huge amount, but enough that the kitties got snow sillies out of it.Case in point: the Goofy Girl got all sillied up.  First she got into one of the kitty beds and started kicking around an adorable little felted toy.  Next she spun in circles chasing it around on her paws. You’d think she was in the spin cycle of a washing machine.Then she flipped upside down and gave it backfoot furnippies. And while she was kicking and biting the toy, she looked back and reached a fore paw over and bopped poor Fireball on the head. He was sitting in an adjacent kitty bed watching her antics.  She alternated kicking the toy and harassing her brother until she tired of her silliness and got up. Next she chased Fireball out of his bed, then she got into a flurry of fistacuffs with Big Caesar. Then she flew off the bed and went looking for a toy mouse to chase up and down the stairs. We could hear her making that funny moaning sound the kitties make when they’re carrying around a big “kill” (toy mouse) they’ve just vanquished. All of a sudden, Goofy Girl came flying through the air again and landed back in bed and began bothering Caesar and Fireball again, who’d returned to their soft warm beds when the little minx vanished. On and on they went for hours last night.  Of course, as soon as the human brought out the evil camera and started taking shots, Macadoodle got embarrassed she’d been caught being silly and began some gratuitous grooming. Mustn’t let humans see you being other than dignified….


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