Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Snacks

Bowl Patrol

It’s the afternoon. The human is cranking away on her keyboard and Bowl Patrol members are on duty.First, they visit the human in ones and twos to encourage her to take a break and give them a snack (or a full-blown meal).  If that doesn’t work, they intensify the pressure on the human by standing up and putting their paws on her desk or sinking their claws into her leg, scratching on items they know they shouldn’t, or jumping up and landing next to the keyboard.  The longer the human ignores them, the more intensely they act out. Finally, the silly human takes a break. There is great rejoicing right outside the office door. Of course, it’s important not to act smug like you think you’ve won the battle, so they quickly look away and participate in a bit of personal gratuitous grooming followed by a bit of community grooming.  It’s important to follow the human and make sure she is guided to the snack container or to the crunchy jar.  She often is distracted and completely forgets what you’ve worked hours to get her to do.  Such a silly human.

 

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

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Love Bears

We’ve been enjoying a glorious break in the heat and humidity since Tuesday and the meows have been a lot more active and sociable. The human has had many daily visits while she pounds away on the keyboard in her office.  This afternoon the Tiger Boys paid her a visit, headbutting her legs and winding around the chair base.  Of course, the fact that the human provides brushings and snacks during these visits doesn’t discourage more of them.

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

The Watcher

This is Caesar. He’s on watcher patrol.  That means he’s sitting in the human’s office staring at her. Occasionally he walks over and head-butts her legs or stands up and puts his big Caesar paws on the edge of her desk. He’s already had a brushing and a freeze-dried raw meat snack.  However, he hopes he can encourage her to cough up some additional food if he just practices eyeball juju hard enough.

 

 

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

What Do You Mean 11:30 am is Too Early for “Dinner?”

The Sass Patrol was out in force the other day. <<I want crunchies! Mind me, human, or pay the consequences.>> Yes, they started in at 11:30 in the morning wanting their dinner.  Mind you, their breakfast was still upstairs uneaten.  It’s amazing how every day they manage to push the clock back a bit further. The human used to make it to 4:30 pm before they’d show up in her office demanding snacks. Then it was 4:00, then 3:00, then 2:00, then 12:30.  You see where this is going, don’t you? The wimpy human has taken to barricading herself in her office when she’s on deadline. Of course, when the tiny cats toss their bodies against the old door in this old house, the door usually opens and in comes the sass patrol demanding obesience. <<Bad, bad human! You are so hard to train.>>

 

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

“Tricksy” Human

The human did it again. She tipped over the “cookie jar” and stepped back to see if the kitties would participate in self-serve snacks. Pepe got right at it and stuck his paw in the jar. No matter how hard he tried with that clever little paw, he could not manage to pull a snack out.Finally, the “tricksy” human gave in and handed out snacks to all participants.

 

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

Konfuse-a-Kat

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.

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.

Cookie Jar

The kitties each get 2 raw freeze-dried treats from the “cookie jar” in the morning. This temporarily fills big holes in little tummies and buys the human a bit of time to get their soft food prepared before the yowling begins.  Originally, the human used to toss treats around on the floor and invite each cat to go chase down the snacks. Most would literally hunker down and stare at the human as if she was crazy. Even when the human managed to successfully get a snack to land right beside a cat, the cat usually could not be bothered to turn and nibble. However, if the human kneels down on the floor and puts all the treats out in front of the cats, then they are happy to eat. While one could never really say they are well behaved as the human prepares to divvy up snacks, they are remarkably restrained given how they act at other times.The trick is not to stay and enjoy watching them nosh on their nibbles, but to quickly put the lid back on and run to the kitchen and get the soft food prepared as soon as possible. Some mornings the human remembers the bigger goal; some mornings she just enjoys watching the penta pack enjoy their treats. Those days she deserves the yowling that follows.

 

 

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

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.

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.