Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Snacks

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.

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.

Sassy Bird

This is the daily late-morning / early-afternoon visit by Mac and Caesar who then attempt to pry the human’s fingers off the keyboard long enough to give them a snack of fresh catnip leaves or, ideally, to refill the upstairs crunchy bowl. <<<Fat chance that’ll happen this early in the day!>>> Note Mac’s mouth? She’s in the middle of emitting a very-high-pitched meow. It’s part of her sassy bird act. <<<Ridiculous, slow-witted human. If you were better trained, I wouldn’t need to do this every day.>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Allowing the Unthinkable to Happen

<<<Did you see the state of the crunchy bowl? It’s a CDD cat-tastrophy!>>>

<<<The bottom of the bowl is showing again. Why does she do this to us? Does she want us to suffer?>>>

<<<After we figure out a way to get her to refill the bowl, I think we should plot our revenge.>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Crunchy Deficit Disorder

A terrible thing keeps happening every night. We call it Crunchy Deficit Disorder or CDD. It occurs when Corky or Mac eat enough of the kibble in the community food bowl that a tiny bit of the bottom of the bowl shows through. Yes, they can see it even in the dark.

Once that happens, neither cat is able to eat any more crunchies. They literally just stand around and stare at the bowl as though they can’t believe this has happened again. When the crisis doesn’t quickly resolve, the temper tantrums ensue.

Corky beats up the drapes and yowls or alternately jumps on the tummy of the human if she is reclining in bed. If she’s not laying down, Corky tracks down the human and yowls at her until she gets up and does something about the CDD. (He may be a little guy, but he’s fiercesome when he’s mad!) Mac, being less angry and more scheming, goes under the bed and starts carving up the mahogany legs with her claws. The only solution to CDD is for the human to go over to the bowl and either shake the crunchies back into place so no bottom shows, or to refill it. <<<It is so challenging being a woefully outmatched and outnumbered human in this house.>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Defect in the Bowl

<<<For those with eyes and a willingness to see reality, there clearly is a defect in the bowl on the right. It is utterly empty…devoid of even the smallest crumb of food. You can tell this because of the gaping chasm at the bottom of the bowl. Those brown things? Not sure what they are. Not food anyway.>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Dereliction of Duty

<<<Clearly, even a human can see that the bottom is showing in this crunchy bowl.>>>

<<<You can’t possibly expect us to eat out of a bowl that’s almost empty. Why do you make us suffer so?>>>

<<<Really, you don’t plan to refill the bowl? We’ll starve!>>>

<<<Come on, there’s nothing worth eating here. Maybe we should advertise for a new human again?>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Back and Forth

<<<Do you see the level of the crunchies in this bowl? It’s getting lower…much lower. Soon it will be empty.>>>

<<<But there are plenty of crunchies in that bowl. You have to eat them up before they get stale.>>>

<<<How do you expect me to function with the prospect of impending starvation? It’s all I can think about right now.>>>

<<<You’re hardly going to starve in this house! There are 3 other food bowls just around the corner. You’ve gotten so spoiled. This idea that you can’t eat if you can see the sides or bottom of the bowl, when it is otherwise FILLED with crunchies, is beyond silly.>>>

<<<I’m so disgusted, I can’t even look at you anymore.>>>

<<<Princess Pouty Paws, you’re being silly.>>>

<<<My trust is broken and my heart is oh so heavy!>>>

<<<You’re being a drama queen, Mac. I’m not going to encourage this activity any further.>>>

<<<You are pure evil, human! Wait until you’re asleep. I’ll get my REVENGE!>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Faithful Guardian of the Crunchy Bowl

Mac is the official guardian of the crunchy bowl. Even when the bowl is full, she sits beside it waiting for more to be added. Heaven help the human if she refills the bowl with a type of crunchy that the cats don’t like.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

MY Catnip!

Corky was taking a trip without leaving the farm, enjoying a bit of the wildwood weed.

Mac, who’d already indulged, sat close by glaring at Corky, who was pretty much oblivious. It was almost like Mac resented seeing him have his fun. So intently were the cats focused on each other or the catnip that the human managed to get quite close without either of them paying her any mind. There were no scuffles, but Mac made no secret of the fact that she thought Corky should have waited until she was completely finished and had left the room before enjoying some nip. The funny thing is, that’s what he usually does. He’s not food aggressive like she is.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

I Have a Bone to Pick with You, Human

Four of the five cats were milling around in their early-afternoon foray asking for snacks. The human put down some dried catnip and silver vine.

Several of the meows checked out the catnip, then wandered over to sit and ponder the situation.

Undeterred, Mac walked over to tell the human just what she thought about the food offering.

<<<What part of ‘We want crunchies’ don’t you understand, human?>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Bowl or No Bowl?

Corky and Macaroni have a new “thing.” They cannot possibly eat out of a bowl of crunchies once a small section of the bottom of the bowl starts to show. No, it doesn’t matter how many crunchies are scattered all around the sides (as can be seen above). That bowl is now absolutely off limits, which means the human is in trouble and both cats are going to act out.

Interestingly, if the human just shakes the bowl and redistributes the contents so the bottom no longer shows, then the bowl is quite fine and the bad behavior stops — at least for a short time, until a small part of the bottom of the bowl shows again. Clearly, the human does not understand the need for such panic, so Corky and Mac amp up the mischief until the human can be persuaded to refill the bowl again.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Rabbit Treats

These are not treats for a rabbit but rather treats made from rabbits. The human thought it would be a nice afternoon snack for the monsters when they got hangry and ganged up on her asking for something to eat. Of course, the grain-free, high protein (and not inexpensive) treats sounded great to the 2-legged, but not to the 4-leggeds, who took a few nibbles and walked away. It’s not an easy task being the food buyer and preparer in this house.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Toys Need Snacks too

Sliced chicken. Check. Toy mouse. Check.

Clearly, that mouse needs a bath after frolicking in the food bowl. Good thing the human discovered (by accident) that the toy mice can go through a full load of laundry and not delaminate. Oddly enough, that’s not the case when they spend the night in one of the water bowls. <<<Sigh.>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Mousy Dental Treats

The human tried out a new-to-the-household package of dental treats for the cats. Despite being fish flavored, the monsters ate them up. So, encouraged, the human went back to the petfood store and bought several more packages. At this point, the monsters decided that they did not like the fish-flavored treats and stopped eating them. However, they did put one of their toy mice in the treat bowl just to see if it liked the snack. It did not. The human now has 4 packages of dental treats that are essentially unusable. <<<Heavy sigh…>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Intruder Alert!

Over the many decades that the human has lived at this house, she’s known some pretty cheeky wildlife.  In the old days, it was quite common to look out on the lower deck and see a woodchuck, a couple of squirrels, and some birds all sitting in a circle eating seed. For a few years, a woodchuck unaffectionately called El Destructo traumatized the plants growing in big pots on the deck. Nearly every day he’d walk past and pull over every pot that was light enough for him to move to see if there was anything good to eat in it. This repeated behavior caused enough transplant shock that some of the plants gave up the ghost. And then there are the deer that reach their necks over the deck railing to nibble some of the hottest peppers on the planet down to the soil.A few weeks back, the human happened to be in the kitchen eating lunch on a dark, dreary day when she heard a thud outside on the lower kitchen window. Looking over, she couldn’t believe her eyes: a young and smallish woodchuck had jumped up on the window ledge. This is something the human had never seen before, although it shouldn’t have come as a complete surprise. Several bird feeders hang just above this window and there is always seed on the deck below the window and sometimes on the window ledge itself. <<Those birds are such messy eaters!>>As the human stood up, grabbed her phone, and started shooting photos while walking toward the intruder, he or she looked in and decided it would be advisable to jump back down on the deck.  This intruder wasn’t terribly afraid, as he / she didn’t go far…at least not right away. Of course, was there a single cat in the kitchen at the time keeping watch for intruders entering the property? <<‘Fraid not. Bah!>>

 

 

 

(c) Copyright 2020, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image my own.

Filet de Souris avec un Côté de la Souris

Yes, this morning the kitties opted for filet of mouse with a side of mouse to go with their fish-flavored dental treats. You just never know where you’ll find toy mice in this house.

 

(c) Copyright 2020, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image my own.

Hangry

It’s 4:00 in the afternoon and Cranky Corky is hangry. Yes, the hypoglycemic one is snarking about, throwing temper tantrums and yowling at the human. The 2-legged was supposed to dole out crunchies hours ago, never mind the fact that breakfast remains mostly uneaten and that most of the cats got to hunt for raw freeze-dried nuggets several hours ago. This is how the human gets in trouble with her 4-legged masters. She’d best do her duty lest she find her bed moved out into the snow piles again.

 

 

(c) Copyright 2020, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Image my own.

When You Can’t Force Crunchies Out of the Feeder…

…<<Then pulling the feeder off the rug…and  popping the ball and cup out of the feeder…and pulling the rug up into crests and troughs helps you deal with your frustrations at the human who went to bed without refilling the puzzle feeder. Such a bad human!>>

 

 

(c) Copyright 2019, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.

A True Technology Failure

Late the other night, the monsters started poking the sleeping human. She dutifully got up to get them something to eat. <<There’s no ignoring a hungry and determined cat, so it’s easier to just do what they want so you can go back to sleep.>>  What the 2-legged found surprised her. Someone — and she suspects Pepe — must have stood up on top of the purple ball on the puzzle feeder and pressed down.  That effectively popped the ball (recently refilled with crunchies) and the cup in which it rotates out from under the white base to which the cup is normally clipped in several places.  Here and there were little piles of crunchies. Seeing the device mildly incapacitated, the sleepy human picked up the base and the other two pieces to try and puzzled out how the gadget went back together. Figuring this out proved beyond her brain’s capacity at that moment. And still moving clumsily after so recently being awoken from a sound asleep, the human then dropped the ball and watched it roll across the rug, spilling far more crunchies than the cat(s) had. Now mad (as she had vacuumed the house thoroughly not too many hours earlier), as well as sleepy, the human put the base away and left the ball and cup on the rug, figuring that Pepe would quickly learn that pushing the ball would dispense any extra crunchies he desired. Fortunately, in daylight with a well-rested brain, the human was easily able to reassemble the contraption.  Unfortunately, assembly with a full ball turned out to be a very-bad idea and the human spilled more piles of crunchies on the rug. Alas, the unit is now back to dispensing treats to the two cats who have master the rotating ball: Pepe and Mac. Hopefully there are no more late-night technology fails for a few months.

 

(c) Copyright 2019, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.