Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Tormenting the Human

Corky & Pepe Let Down their Guard

The human took the stack of rolling balls upstairs and put it beside the other scratching disc in the hopes of getting the kitties to play with it.
A couple of times different cats went and played with the old toy, but the new one got completely ignored. To encourage interaction with the toy, the human kept bending down and spinning the balls on the new toy either fast or slow for the kitties to see.  They looked at her blankly.  A couple of times she even spun balls on both the new and old toys at the same time. They were not impressed…nor were they going to show any interest in the new toy. Mostly they looked bored.A few days later, first Corky and then Pepe decided to play with the new toy.  They clearly slipped up because not only did the human witness them playing with the toy (and each other), but she recorded the experience on her camera.Could that possibly mean they were having so much fun, they didn’t notice the human or even care if she saw them?

 

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

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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.

Face Dirty with Electrons

The human was cranking away at the keyboard when Pepe showed up in the office the other day and promptly jumped up behind her on the chair. (She is well trained and obligingly bends forward so he can sit on the pillow between the chair back and her back, which turns out to be delightful as the warm, soft, purring cat nestles against her lower back.)  Before the human realized what was going on, Pepe had jumped from the pillow to the top of the chair back and was soon balancing half his 18-pound/8.2-kilogram body weight onto one of her shoulders.  He leaned fairly far forward, then turned his head and started washing the human’s face on that side.  Next he changed position and moved to the other shoulder, stretched forward, and washed the human’s face on that side too. It’s amazing how dirty the human gets typing on the computer all day. Must be all the electrons collecting on her face.

 

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

Chilly Sillies

No, the kitties have not gone on holiday and the human hasn’t either. The lazy 2-legged has just been very busy and has not made time to chronicle the adventures of the 4 leggeds. However, it’s been unseasonably cool for August and there have been some notable antics of late.  The human calls these the “chilly sillies” since we’re not quite in snow-silly season, and it’s definitely the cool weather that seems to be driving the humorous exploits.  (When it’s hot and humid, they just lay around in little piles on the floor and look miserable — much like the human who flops on furniture a few feet higher off the ground.)  Here are some of their recent adventures.

  • Macaroni is back to making her Merkitty messes, leaving big water puddles around the water bowls.  She also uncharacteristically has started chasing the red dot from the laser pointer around on the floor. Usually she’s w-a-y too sophisticated to stoop to such silliness. Additionally, she’s back to curling herself around the human’s head early in the morning and washing the 2-legged’s face while using her cute paws to pat the human on the face. (If only she’d fully retract those darned claws, the process would be quite relaxing. As it is, the human has to keep eyes open and face pulled back a bit to avoid getting hooked.)
  • Fireball is a master of “hit and run.”  He bounces up on the bed, squeaks, and lands on the human. Then he comes over and settles down sphinx style very close to the human’s face and looks at her. Or, he turns and faces the other direction leaving a bum in close proximity to the human’s face, which meanwhile is getting swished with a striped orange tail.  He stays about 90 seconds and then squeaks and runs off to something more interesting than a human…unless he thinks he can get her to give him some kitty toothpaste, which he just loves the taste of and will eat 10x a day if the human would let him.
  • Corky has been getting lots of exercise upstairs both morning and evening chasing the laser dot.  He also spontaneously chases balls around the tracks of two toys upstairs at all hours of the night. He’s very vocal at any hour and lets the human know what he thinks about the empty crunchy bowls at 2 am, at 4 am, and at 6 am. Then he keeps up a steady chatter trying to encourage the dawdling and half-asleep human to hurry up and put breakfast on downstairs. Unfortunately, Corky’s also been chasing poor Fireball, and Pepe is chasing both Corky and Fireball.  Anything that moves is fair game.
  • Pepe has been such a brat to Fireball that the human put him in a collar with a jingly bell. He thinks he’s hot stuff because he’s the only 4-legged with a collar and a bell, and the collar is quite sparkly.  He was so jazzed up this morning that he even chased the human, who then had to try not to step on the rapidly approaching creature.  In between, Pepe kept entertained by running from one bedroom to the other, jumping on the bed, spinning in circles, and then jumping off and running to the other room.
  • Even Caesar Beaser has been silly of late.  He bounces up onto the bed and runs over to get pets from the human. When he’s done being cooed over, he stomps across the top of the human’s pillow and flops down beside her and begins dangling paws and tail until Fireball or Mac decide to join him in the kitty bed. At that point he jumps down and seeks solitude elsewhere.

Looking in their eyes, you almost can see the wheels turning:  What can we do to mess with the human today?

 

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

Sit Down

<<The rule is that if you approach the human for a pet and a nuzzle — a necessary thing, to be sure — then you must keep the back end of your body angled away from her hands. Otherwise, being undisciplined, she’ll bend down and scoop you up and hug you. The hug’s no problem, but having feet off floor is definitely an issue. >><<If she slides forward in anticipation of picking you up, you must sit down and do so quickly. That way she can’t get her hand under you. If she tries, you must back away until you are out of reach. When she sits down and acts polite again, you can re-approach her, but be on guard and be prepared to sit down fast if she misbehaves again…and she almost surely will.>>

 

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

How Not to Strip a Bed

It’s not just bed making that’s fun in this house, it’s also bed stripping. The human went to change sheets on two beds last week and had loads of help from the Pepster for both jobs. As the human tried to roll and pull the sheets together, he had to jump into the middle of them and spin around. Pretty soon he was wrapped up in the sheets. Then the real fun began. There were lots of cuffy paws that attacked human fingers and hands. See, there really were monsters under the bed. And now they’re on top of the bed and hiding in the bedding.Of course, in between attacks, that silly face reappeared and dared the human to do something about the menace. This position (above) is called “sassy face.” It’s usually accompanied by much chattering. Yes, Pepe does feel good about himself.  Cute behaviors like these are definitely not conducive to getting an early start on the work day.  Ah well, eventually the silly 2-legged did get both beds stripped and remade.  Getting to work early is so overrated anyway.

 

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

How Not to Make a Bed

The human was trying to make the bed before all the mammals in the house headed downstairs for breakfast. One wily feline kept attacking the bedding every time the human would try to pull a wrinkle out or otherwise straighten the fabric. If he didn’t run, jump, and slide on top of the sheet, he grabbed and kicked it. And then feeling good about himself, he swam across the fabric. We didn’t fare much better with the duvet. A 5 minute job became a 20 minute job, made even longer because the silly human kept taking photos and then laughing…which just egged on the ham-ster.
But honestly, could you keep a straight face during such shenanigans? Eventually the bed monster tired of his actions….And the silly human was allowed to finish her morning chores.

 

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

The Joys of Crackly Paper

Of course, the last 4 or 5 sets of toys the human has brought home for the meows have been given short shrift.  Adorable felt mice, little stuffed toys that looks like beetles (completely with crackly Mylar film to simulate insect carapaces), and several knitted pull toys have proven to be unacceptable fare for the fussy felines. Surprisingly, two items the human has presented the cats have gone over really well:  2 large handled paper bags and a large sheet of craft paper that was included as packing material in a boxed shipment. As you can see here, Pepe claimed the sheet of crackly paper and had a grand time with it, rolling, flipping around from one side to another, and defending his territory when his brother Corky entered the room. While the human’s not sure that Corky actually wanted to get onto the paper, he did settle nearby and watch his brother’s goofy actions. Fortunately, Corky respected Pepe’s boundaries and no kerfuffles ensued. Eventually Corky grew bored and left, and the human stopped taking photos. That meant Pepe was left to his own devices. Without an audience to entertain, he called it a day as well. He’s such a ham!

 

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

Real Cat Grass…At Last!

The produce manager at the human’s grocery store called first thing Saturday morning to let her know they finally had organic wheat grass in and she should stop by if she wanted any. The human, who was already out and about running errands, drove up there post-haste! Since they’d said they’d have more in next week, she only bought 1 pot so others could have some.  She picked out a lovely, tall pot of grass and triumphantly brought it home to the meows. And what was their reaction? Corky ate some and then threw up on the couch. <<Oh yeah.>> So far no one else seems to be giving it any attention, although Pepe did crouch down behind the plants…staring at his brother Corky across the room.  <<That figures.>>

 

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

 

THIS is NOT Kitty Grass!

For weeks, the human’s favorite grocery store had tons of pots of organic wheat grass, so she stopped buying two pots at a time to ensure the kitties had their grass. Now that the weather has turned hot and the indoor plants are back outside for the summer and fall <<Hallelujah!>>, there are no spider plant babies on which to nibble. That means the kitties are alternately grumpy and trying to gnaw on the pathetic-looking kitty grass that’s left — and it’s not looking very good, let me tell you.Last evening the human made her second trip in two days to that store and came home empty handed (as far as kitty grass is concerned).  However, she did find a dandy pot of rosemary for a very good price and picked it up. When the kitties sauntered out to the kitchen to see what the 2-legged was up to and saw her holding a green plant, they got excited and ran over. She set the pot of rosemary down in front of them and all 5 came over and gave it a sniff. Two immediately departed with a disgusted look. <<That’s NOT kitty grass, idiot human. We thought you were a master gardener. Can’t you tell rosemary and wheat grass apart?>> The other 3 were a tad more interested or forgiving and spent more time checking out the greenery. In the end, they all concluded this was not acceptable table fare and walked away. The human will make another visit today, as otherwise punishment of some sort cannot be far away.

 

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