Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Toys

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.

What have we here?

The human was picking up the other morning and noticed that something was sticking out of the track on the side of the upstairs scratching disc. Upon closer inspection, it became obvious that one of the cats had pushed a relatively new catnip-stuffed toy, which hadn’t seen much action, into the track. (Those are Corky’s cute toes in both photos, by the way.)Now why do you suppose they did that? It actually must have taken some work to stuff the toy into the track. And why? They love chasing the ball around the track.  Cats…they truly are such mysteries.

 

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

My Toy, M-I-N-E !

Is there any doubt who is going to get to enjoy the scratching disc this morning?

 

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

Pepe vs. the Pink Worm

Pepe has a cute little catnip-stuffed pink worm toy that’s tied to “his” chair in the kitchen.He spends a goodly amount of energy batting the poor thing around, kicking it for all he’s worth and, of course, biting it.  In fact, it’s one of the human’s tasks each morning to hold the toy in the air and dangle it over Pepe while he’s upside down so all 4 legs can attack the toy. This job is not without its risks — teeth and claws notwithstanding!On the other hand, it also has many rewards — not the least of which is great entertainment for cat and human alike.And at least it gives the big guy some exercise.Although that too comes with risks, as sometimes Pepe so vigorously chases the toy worm that he ends up rolling off the chair.At least it burn off some of his excess energy and reduces his boredom level a bit.And that means that 5 minutes of energetic dangling of toy-on-string means the human gets 5-7 minutes of peace and quiet to eat her breakfast, plan her day, and enjoy her coffee.Well, at least on some days.This is Pepe we’re talking about.Ah, cats…

 

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

 

 

Orange Mousy Gets a New Friend

A day after the orange felt mouse ended up sitting beside one of the litter boxes, he or she got a new friend. Lest you think the silly human never picks up the cat toys, she does, but she was conducting an experiment. She wondered how long orange mousy would sit there before one of the cats retrieved him/her.  After the second toy arrived, she picked both up, her experiment terminated early in case even more toys were deposited there. So far, no new toys have appeared beside any of the litter boxes. (Whew!)

 

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

Attack of the Fluffernutter!

<<I tolerated that new human last night, but this is too much. >>
<<My own human has abandoned me for work and left this stranger in my house.>><<Ah, she’s playing with me. >><<Well, if she dangles the strap from her phone I’m certainly going to chase it.>><<Maybe she’s not so bad, but I’m still mad at my human for bringing her here without asking me.>><<I hate being left alone and I hate not being consulted. What does she think I am — a dog?>>
<<Don’t answer!>>

 

 

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

Hello Little Friend! How Did You get there?

This is what the human spied tonight when cleaning litter boxes. It’s the cutest little felted cat toy. Sadly, it hasn’t gotten a lot of attention since it came home. Apparently that lack of interest changed today and the little orange mouse was carried around the house until someone felt the call of nature. Sadly, it’s back to being ignored again…hopefully not for long.

 

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

GooGoo Girl goes Gaga

Who knew that round disc with a ball on its side and a scratching surface on top would offer so much fun?The GooGoo Girl has made it her own. While most of the others will climb on for a scratch and to imbibe in some catnip, Mac has mastered the art of knocking that ball around alone or with company. She favors two techniques.In the first, she lays on her side close to the disc and alternately kicks the ball with her back feet and swats it with her front.That way she can can have a good extended play, although the ball really only rolls around on about half the track before she bats or kicks it in the other direction again.As you can see from that face, she’s having a really good time.  Here’s betting she imbibed before she started kicking.In the second technique, she will play opposite another kitty (often Corky) or while another kitty is sitting on top of the disc.She dives forward with forepaws out and knocks the ball forward. In fact, she tends to put both forepaws inside the track so she can stop the ball regardless of which direction it’s traveling, then sends it back in the opposite direction.When the ball returns to her other paw, she swats it again, unless the other cat redirects it.Nice to know that at least one cat toy in the last year has met with (limited) feline approval.

 

 

 

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

Finding Your Own Entertainment…

img_4221The cats have been unhappy with their toy selection of late…well, all except the Merkitty and the round scratching disc featuring the ball that races around the outside.  No surprise, at least one of the kitties has decided to find his own entertainment. The human was sorting through mail and eating her breakfast recently. She’d crumpled up several small pieces of paper into a little ball and pushed it to the side as she worked on other things. The plan was to put it in the recycle bag as soon as she stood up from the table. Of course, the Table Thief immediately struck and cuffed the small paper ball onto the chair and then the floor. Off he ran scooting it around on the floor like a forward chasing a soccer ball down the field. Ooops, he scooped the ball up and it landed inside one of the human’s slippers. Well, that was inconvenient. img_4223Never one to give up on opportunities to play, Pepe first tried cuffing the ball out of the slipper. When that didn’t work and he just drove the ball deeper into the toe box, he adapted quickly and started cuffing the whole slipper around on the floor.
img_4226Admittedly, the slipper lacked the speed and maneuverability of the ball of paper. However, sometimes you just have to make do when the human doesn’t provide any better entertainment opportunities.
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(c) Copyright 2017, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photos my own.