Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Snacks

New Toy Gets an Inspection

The human found the cutest toy on sale at a store. It’s a stack of 3 plastic rings that each holds 1 plastic ball that rolls around in a track on its level. It’s similar to the scratching disc with the one track on the side that holds a single ball. Given how much fun the cats eventually had with the scratching disc/track ball, the human figured the felines would absolutely love this toy. Boy was she in for a disappointment!The human proudly presented the toy to the meows.  First Pepe approached it and gave it a few sniffs.  He almost seemed a tad puzzled with it at first. Soon enough that little cuffy paw came up and started investigating. <<I wonder if there are secret eyes on the bottom of kitty paws?>> Pepe walked away.Corky showed up next and gave it a sniff. He didn’t seem very impressed. Of course, as soon as Corky showed up and started checking out the toy, his brother had to come back and claim it. Corky walked away.Next up, Caesar arrived. A quick sniff identified the item as not food. Since it wasn’t doing anything, he deemed it less than entertaining and just sat down to watch. In came Fireball and he too gave it a sniff. It goes without saying that no one seemed very excited. <<Showing the human she’d done something good breaks some unwritten kitty rule about how to properly train a human. Keep the 2-legged humble by rejecting nearly everything she gives you and that will guarantee the human will keep on trying.>>Cue the Merkitty, who also gave it a sniff while Caesar started grooming Fireball as he washed his side.  <<Ho hum, human.>>A quick circle around the toy and the Merkitty flopped on her side and lay there. <<You paid $6 for that? What a waste of money!>> The other cats started to disperse.Corky gave it one last sniff while the Merkitty did head rolls. <<Bah humbug!>>There’s a bar on the new toy that goes across the top to make it easier to carry, and you can look down to the floor below. Given the dismal reception the toy received, and to encourage further kitty interest, the human tucked some treats down inside.  When she came downstairs the next day, the stack had been moved way across the floor and there was only a single treat left inside, so someone had fun with it.  Of course, since the human couldn’t see the cats having fun, it was okay for them to go ahead and enjoy the toy…just don’t let the human see that happening!

 

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

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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.

Better, but STILL Not Kitty Grass!

The human still hasn’t found organic wheat grass for the fur furs.  It seems like the local supplies have dried up with the hot weather. Since the last of the old wheat grass was pretty passé, they ignored the rosemary plant, and previous attempts to cut grass and catnip leaves and bring them inside haven’t gone over well, the human was on a mission to find something else.  When she saw a “buy 1, get 1 free” special on live catnip plants the other day, she picked up a pair and triumphantly brought them home and presented the containers to her overlords and overlady.  As you can see, while they were interested and gave the plants an initial sniff or two, that’s about as far as that went. Now mind you, when the human does manage to get cat grass and bring it home, they’ll have 5 minutes of excitement and then ignore that plant too.

 

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

Must Get the Very Last Crunchie!

Heard a crash early in the morning. Groggy mind went through the options and decided to stay in bed and return to sleep.Sure enough, when the lazy human woke up, this is what she found when she went to change water in the water bowls.Someone was trying to capture fallen crunchies by pulling the absorbent pad out from under the water and, by then, empty crunchy bowls. Funny thing about the rack…it tips over when you pull the pad out from under it.  Notice the flood? Thank goodness the grey rubber mat caught the worst of it. Argh. Merkitty is the suspect.

 

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

Bad Crunchies Again

img_4231Well, the human is back in the dog house. She found a bag of crunchies on sale that she’d really wanted to try. They are only partially dehydrated, so in consistency they fall somewhere between a soft treat and the usual hard crunchy.  They also are grain free and didn’t have any undesirable ingredients other than a bit of potato. She nabbed a bag (now 1/3 off) and took it home to her kitties. Sad to say, the new crunchies didn’t go over well, as you can see from above.

The human’s theory is that the reason the whole feeding station is upended is that the kitties were trying to find some of the “acceptable” crunchies that inevitably fall underneath the rack and bowls. (They are very messy eaters!) In trying to pull the absorbent pad with the good crunchies on it closer to their mouths, the tray and bowls that were sitting on the pad flipped over in the other direction. This has all the earmarks of the Merkitty, who has been fairly mellow these last few months…as long as the human was supplying acceptable crunchies. Mess up in that critical department and there is always hell to pay.  Such a Merkitty!

By the way, if anyone can figure out what constitutes an acceptable and a not-acceptable crunchy, please let the human know. She’s sick and tired of paying good money for ultra-premium pet food that the overlords won’t eat. Maybe they need a week of Friskies and 9-Lives to recall that they get pretty good chow in this house.

 

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

Table Thief

img_4105Pepe and the human have been going round and round of late on the matter of the silly rule that no cats are allowed on the table or the kitchen counter. They can visit almost anywhere else in the house, but not there.img_4106Unlike his brother Corky, who seems to have no problem with the rule change, Pepe has not adjusted since moving from next door almost 2 years ago.  He’s still testing boundaries on a daily basis.img_4111When the human is eating, she must pull “his” chair up beside her own and pet him while she tries to eat, read, journal, talk with someone on the phone, or catch up on news. There is no excuse for not giving him 100% of her attention. When her attention drifts, as often it does, he keeps things lively, as would be expected.img_4108For example, he is trying to convince the human that just having his front paws on the table doesn’t count as being on the table. After all, most of him is still in the chair.img_4110And leaning forward onto his paws so his chest is on the table still does not constitute a violation of that boundary.img_4114Just let the human leave her seat for a minute to pour a cup of coffee or grab a condiment and the seat stealer is right there sitting in her spot.img_4115And if she has to be gone more than a minute, watch out:  any small item of interest on the table within reach of those paws is fair game to be knocked off and chased around on the floor.img_4118Just before Thanksgiving, the human (who had been working late) decided to use up some leftovers. She poured some crackers onto a dish while she cut a chunk of cheese.  She ate her food while Pepe fussed around on his chair looking for entertainment. The human stood up and turned to the sink for just a minute only to hear Pepe hop into her chair, knock something off the table, and then start chasing it around the slippery kitchen floor like a hockey player.img_4123The human looked back at her spot but could not figure out what the little thief had nabbed. Round and round the kitchen Pepe ran at a faster and faster pace.img_4124The human followed him into a corner only to see the purloined object slide under a rack that holds heavy Dutch ovens. She gave up and went back to her meal only to have Pepe reappear at her feet and leave whatever had been pilfered.img_4121Looking down she saw that it was a broken cracker. Huh! At least he didn’t eat it.img_4120 She got up to put the cracker in the compost pail, then offered him a pen cap, which he usually likes to chase all over the floor — but not that night.img_4125Next the human offered him a nickel figuring it would slide along the floor really fast. Alas, since it was offered, not stolen, the coin held no interest for the feline either.
img_4126Later, after the human had had her meal and cleaned up, she came back down to the kitchen for something only to find that an AA battery that had been sitting in a dish on the table was now on the floor lodged behind a piece of furniture. Cats!

 

(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.

 

Crunchies that Get No Love

IMG_3169The human has spoiled her 4-legged captors, she’s the first to admit. For example, in the food department, because she would hate to eat the same old thing day after day, she’s always seeking out new and interesting things for the kitties to eat.  Sometimes she’s successful, sometimes she’s not. The other day she brought home a bag of new crunchies. They were grain-free and featured wild boar. The kitties have had boar before and really liked it. These crunchies were from a good brand, no wheat, soy, or corn, and high in protein.  She’s not sure what the issue is, but these crunchies are getting no love from the meows. That bowl above has been out for 5 days and hardly anything has been eaten. Normally, that amount wouldn’t last 10 minutes in this house.IMG_3170Because the stubborn human doesn’t want to toss an $18 bag of crunchies, she’s been trying to coax the kitties to eat them by mixing them in with other crunchies that they like. As you can see from the shot above, the wily carnivores grab a mouthful of the mixed crunchies from the bowl, back up, and drop them on the floor. Then they carefully sort and eat only the “good crunchies” they like and leave the “bad crunchies” on the floor for the human to step on barefooted in the middle of the night. Alas, the human might as well give up and find a friend whose furry friends are less picky to pass these along to, as there’s no way they’ll eat this bag unless they’re starved.  It’s hard to forget what it was like when they would eat absolutely anything she put before them with appreciation and enthusiasm.  Where have those days gone?

 

(c) Copyright 2016, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

The Very Last Crunchy

IMG_2617Who knew Macaroni was such a cookie monster?  A few months back if I’d been ask who was the most addicted to crunchies, I’d have nominated the Big Guy.  While he definitely likes his food, it turns out that it’s the Merkitty who really misses having bottomless crunchy bowls upstairs and down.  She shows her disapproval that the upstairs bowl is empty in the middle of the night by hooking the pad on which the elevated water/crunchy bowl sits and pulling it around the room. Her technique is first to pull the pad 90 degrees from its original position, and then to pull it off the rubber mat and out into the room.  That’s often how the water bowl becomes overturned.  Or, sometimes she moves the elevated bowls themselves, as can be seen in this picture. (They were all lined up nice and proper before she got busy.)

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Apparently what she’s trying to accomplish is find the last few crunchies that have inevitably fallen below the bowls and onto the pad.  Such a Merkitty!

 

(c) Copyright 2015, 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?

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