Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Pepe

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.

Blanket Sculptor

The bed really was made when the human left the room early in the morning. However, it’s getting quite chilly of late and Pepe the blanket sculptor likes to dig down and sleep on the softer, warmer blankets. And notice the twinky twins in the pink puff?

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

Watering Can Inspectors

The human had filled her watering cans prior to going outside to give the tropical plants on the deck a drink. It was just too tempting indeed for the Water Monster not to stick her little head into the can and drink unfiltered water. There was a big ceramic bowl of freshly changed filtered water nearby, but that was no where near as interesting as the watering can. And since Mac the Merkitty had her head in the container, Pepe, who of late has become a water monster himself, had to join in and have a little drink.

(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.

Return of the Bag Babies

The kitties had eaten their own breakfast and the human was eating hers. She noticed a takeout bag within reach and tossed it on the floor. Sure enough, Corky and Pepe came over to investigate. Pepe made it to the bag first and stuck his nose inside. <<<Potentially roomy enough to investigate.>>>

Initially Corky was also headed straight toward the bag, but got side tracked by Pepe’s bowl of breakfast. Of course, as soon as Corky paid attention to his food bowl, Pepe suddenly lost interest in the bag and prepared to move over and claim his property. <<<What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine. You have a problem with that?>>>

(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.

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.

When Box Inspection becomes a Family Affair

Sometimes, box inspection isn’t a solitary activity — even when it starts out that way.

Often, other cats wander over and decide to insert themselves into the middle of the action. Pepe rarely approves. <<<Amateurs!>>>

Of course, not every cat is as well trained and as professional about the inspection process. Some just take up space and don’t seem to know what to do. <<<Dilettantes!>>> Others have short attention spans and wander away. <<<Good riddance!>>>

Box inspection is always best left to the professionals.

(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.

The Inspector

Few appreciate the skills required and the responsibilities involved in being a box inspector.

First the outside must be completely sniffed. Then the inside must be completely sniffed. It’s important to know where the box originated and what it contained. How else can the house be kept safe?

Lastly, the box must be considered for its potential for sitting and snoozing. Is the bottom a bit springy? Do the sides have enough give to expand upon contact without collapsing? How hard will it be to turn around in and will all our body parts fit? This particular box, although a bit on the small side, does have potential.

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

Happy 7th Anniversary Corky & Pepe

The dynamic duo arrived at this house 7 years ago today. They definitely have stirred things up and kept things very interesting. Here they are chasing the laser dot amidst the pile of crackly papers, which are among their favorite playthings.

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

BBPP (Before Big Pink Puff)

Before the big pink puff, Mac and Fireball cuddled together in a rather crowded fashion in one of the “smaller” cat beds, which was still fairly large. (Yes, that black and white patch in front is the Pepster.)

Now with the BBPP, there is plenty of room and no one needs to feel crowded. If Mac would allow it, two more kitties could easily fit into the bed. <<<Follow my lips: not happening, human!>>>

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

Emergence

The human walked by and glanced in the other bedroom. Her peripheral vision picked up a bit of color where there shouldn’t be any. A kitty was curled up on his/her side in the white dome-shaped kitty bed with his/her head at the edge of the “door.”

Fortunately, the human had her camera handy and started taking pictures as she walked closer to investigate. The kitty was instantly alerted because humans are noisy herd animals.

The kitty in the kitty bed was no other than the Pepster. He looks a bit large for that kitty bed, but apparently he fits quite nicely when curled up inside, as it’s become one of his favorites of late.

At first he looked a bit sleepy, with heavily lidded eyes, but then his eyes opened wide and he was fully alert, planning his escape should the human be carrying something evil like medication. (She was not.)

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

…Except Perhaps Piles of Crackly Paper!

The only “found” object that might be more fun to play with than a cardboard box is a pile of crackly packing paper….or a box stuffed with crackly paper.

Pepe, Corky, and even Mac have been having so much fun jumping into the growing pile of crackly paper and exploring.

Other than having a sniff to see where it’s been, the human has no idea why Pepe likes to stick his face into the paper.

Pepe’s technique for playing with the paper differs a bit from his brother or sister. He spins around and jumps on the pile, throwing paper this way and that. Corky likes to jump onto a piece and slide across the floor. And Mac likes it when the human sprinkles catnip on a sheet. She’ll flop down and roll back and forth until her fur is coated with the wildwood weed.

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

Boxes are the BEST Toys…

In this house, toys that are purchased seem to be far less interesting than toys that the cats imagine (or actually) steal from the human.

Case in point: an empty box that recently brought something into the house is far more interesting than a light-up ball or a toy fish that flops around on the floor.

In most cases, it’s a waste of money buying fancy enrichment toys, as the kitties prefer to find their own enrichment from things the human has lying around.

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