Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Water

Outsmarted by the Merkitty Once Again

Let’s be honest and acknowledge that the human isn’t very bright — not compared with the kitties. Still, it has taken the Merkitty a year to figure out a way to flood the floor since the human switched to the heavy, straight-sided water bowl in the kitchen. While the Little Mischief quickly learned to climb up on the lip of the bowl and stick both forepaws in the water (and taught Pepe to do the same), when she scooped water up in her paws and attempted to toss it out of the bowl, the tall straight sides of the ceramic crock frustrated her efforts. The human would walk by and note the multitude of water droplets still clinging to the inside walls of the container and chuckle under her breath. The Merkitty clearly heard and finally has figured out a way to get revenge.

The human isn’t sure if the reason she’s been outsmarted is that she’s gotten overconfident and started filling the water level up higher or if the Watery One modified her scoop & toss technique. Regardless of how she’s doing it, she’s been flooding both the boot tray with dish-drying mat as well as the kitchen floor multiple times every day during the past week. In fact, just to rub it in, after a flooding session, she seeks out the human seated at her computer typing away frantically and hops up on the desk surface, forcing the human to move her keyboard out of the way. Then she head butts things off the desk while standing there with soaking wet paws and at least one foreleg wet all the way from toes to chest and shoulder. She is such a Merkitty!

The human is not sure what strategy to adopt next but she really does need to focus on solving the problem, as Miss Macaroni will not stop her mischief. Still, this has been the longest period of time the human has managed to outsmart the little monster, so at least the 2-legged has that going for her.

It is possible to outsmart a cat, at least for a little while. <<<Don’t let me hear you say or even think things like that!>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Watering Can Inspectors

The human had filled her watering cans prior to going outside to give the tropical plants on the deck a drink. It was just too tempting indeed for the Water Monster not to stick her little head into the can and drink unfiltered water. There was a big ceramic bowl of freshly changed filtered water nearby, but that was no where near as interesting as the watering can. And since Mac the Merkitty had her head in the container, Pepe, who of late has become a water monster himself, had to join in and have a little drink.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

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.

A Change in Technique

The human has been noticing that Mac the Merkitty has been walking around lately with not just a damp paw but two sopping wet paws. <<<What in the world is she doing?>>> the human wondered. Well, now the human knows.

During breakfast this week, the Mer came to get a drink in her splash pool. Instead of doing her usual routine of climbing up on the rim of the big bowl, then reaching a paw in and swishing it around to make sure there’s water inside, then stepping down and putting her face in the bowl to drink while running one then the other of her forelegs around the outside curve of the bowl, the Girly Girl has developed a new technique.

She still climbs up on the rim of the bowl, but now she puts both forepaws in the water and stands in the bowl while drinking. Maybe it makes her feel one with the water. This may also explain the puddles in front of the boot tray the human has been finding. Perhaps it’s those dripping paws leaving the water behind as the Mer swims away from her splash pad.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

It was Bound to Happen Eventually

Mac loves solving puzzles, so the human knew that eventually she’d find a workaround for splashing water out of the tall, straight-sided water bowl. And right on time, she’s done just that.

It took a couple of months of frantic splashing, but she was finally able to toss water outside the water bowl the other day. It’s unclear if that’s because the human overfilled the water level, making the liquid easier to dislodge, or if the Merkitty has changed technique and found a way to lift the water out of the bowl and deposit it on the floor.

For now, the human has pushed the bowl further back on the rubber mat and dish drying pad. However, the 2-legged will need to ponder the latest development and see if she can think of another way to outsmart the Plesiosaurus.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Soggy Fur

See that adorable paw? It’s soaking wet. So is the foreleg to which it is attached. In fact, the leg is damp all the way to the shoulder. Same deal with the other foot…leg…shoulder.

Why is this significant? It means the Merkitty has been swimming in the downstairs water bowl again…or, if not swimming, then definitely wading in her splash pool.

See that smirk? It’s the look of supreme satisfaction when the human realizes you’ve been doing what you’ve been doing.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

The Mer Flippers have been Busy

The human and the Merkitty have reached a state of détente with the kitchen water bowl. While the heavy and tall-sided bowl has so far prevented the Watery One from being able to toss water out and onto the floor, still she is “swimming” in the bowl multiple times each day. How does the 2-legged know this? Mischievous Mac comes up to visit the human multiple times each night, alternately flopping across the human’s chest and climbing onto her pillow and dangling those adorable and overly hot Mer Paws, which the human cannot resist petting. Quite frequently, at least one paw, foreleg, and shoulder proves to be damp. And upon inspection, the water level is much lower and the little paws have tracked debris into the water bowl.

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

The Human Strikes Back

Finally, the human had had enough of the water bowls being flooded multiple times a day. She picked up the water-bowl rack and emptied what residual moisture was still in the 2 bowls. She hurried the water-saturated dish drying pad over to the sink and wrung it out as best she could, then set it aside to dry before sending it to the wash again. She dumped half-a-liter of water out of the rubber boot tray and set it aside to dry off a bit.

Next, the human pulled out a big and heavy ceramic water bowl that had recently been retrieved from the basement and washed. She filled it with a few centimeters of water, then placed it on the boot tray and a dry dish-drying pad. The bowl has steep sides that are close to 18 cm tall, and is nearly the same wide. The bowl is so heavy that no kitty feet are going to be able to move it. And, the human reasoned, the sides are tall enough that should the Splashy One start scooping water and tossing it, that the water will likely hit the sides and roll back into the bowl. In fact, if you look carefully at both images, you can see little water droplets on the walls of the bowl from repeated attempts to do just that.

We shall see if the human’s evil plan works. The Merkitty loves puzzles, so we can be sure she’ll take some kind of offensive action as soon as she’s figured out what to do. In the meantime, she does muck up the water once or twice a day, but at least the whole area is staying drier than it had been with the rack. Score 1 for the human!

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

Flood Alert

The Merkitty seems fully recovered from her dental surgery. To demonstrate, she’s been flooding the water bowls downstairs so frequently that the human barely gets the bowls refilled than they are emptied again. It is a multi-times daily activity of late. Oddly, in hot weather when you might expect the Watery One to play in liquid refreshment, she does not. Only in the cold of winter (or approaching winter) does this annoying (but also amusing) behavior manifest. Still, it’s good to know she’s feeling good enough to be mischievous again.

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


The human found this mess when she arrived in the kitchen to prepare breakfast for the monsters a few weeks back. Not only was the rack with both water bowls tipped onto its side, spilling water everywhere, but the absorbant pad underneath was pulled out from under the rack and completely off the rubber boot tray.

This is clearly the work of the house’s resident water monster (and floor destroyer), Macaroni the Merkitty. <<<Heavy sigh…>>>

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

Yes, You Really Are Seeing What You Think You’re Seeing

If you think you see the Merkitty with her head in a watering can drinking water, then that is exactly what is happening. Mind you, there are several dishes filled with nice clean filtered water sitting not 10 feet away in the kitchen.

It makes you wonder what the Tiger Boys think of the Watery One’s latest antics.

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

Overturned Water Bowls

The human found this scene in the kitchen the other morning. Although she has no proof, she suspects Mac was involved, since the rear edge of the dish-drying pad was no longer tucked under but rather was sticking out of the boot tray. The human thinks that the Merkitty’s claws got caught in the pad — something that often happens, given her strange antics while drinking water — and in pulling her foot back, she overturned the rack, thus dumping both water bowls.

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

The Merkitty’s Guide to Taking a Drink of Water

Marcaroni, the Merkitty (mermaid kitty) has the oddest way of drinking water of any cat this human has seen in six decades. Whether a bowl of water is sitting on the floor or it is elevated above the floor in a rack, she seems not to understand what it is. With bowls on the floor, if she crouches down to take a drink, she’s always got one paw and then the other snaking around the outside diameter of the bowl…reaching for what is anyone’s guess.  If the bowl is on an elevated rack, then she’s got her paws under the bowl reaching around as though trying to grasp something. Because the Merkitty loves few things better than tossing water out of the bowl and onto the floor and all surrounding surfaces, the human has long ago had to adopt a multi-tiered, multi-layered protection scheme.  The water bowl in the rack sits over a folded microfiber dish-drying mat, which is excellent at absorbing water. And that mat sits on a large rubber mat, which, in some cases, sits on a rug. This setup is duplicated in several locations in the house. As Mac reaches under the bowl scooping with her paw, she often catches the microfiber mat in her claws and pulls, moving the mat out of position.  By switching paws and continuing to hook the mat — whether accidentally or on purpose — she manages to move the mat into all kinds of crazy patterns and quite often pulls it entirely out from under the rack where it ceases to absorb the prodigious amount of water she often tosses out of the bowl. Of course, since most of the cats who visit the adjacent crunchy bowl take a mouthful from the bowl and drop the crunchies either on the rubber mat or on the floor before starting to eat, the presence of all the water that is no longer being absorbed by the microfiber mat mixing with leftover crunchies on the mat or floor makes for an even bigger mess. Miss Mac is definitely a very unique kitty with a very interesting mind. If only the silly human understood her better.



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

Peculiar Things

Corky and Mac have a peculiar hang up involving the crunchy bowl.  They absolutely throw a hissy fit if, as they’re eating their way down through the contents of the bowl, they see a small space open up at the bottom of the container. Even though there are plenty of crunchies still in the bowl, it’s as though once they spy the bottom of the dish, that must mean the dish is empty.  This usually happens in the middle of the night when the silly 2-legged is trying to sleep. Corky yowls and starts beating up the curtains in front of the sliding doors and Mac does a variety of things ranging from scratching furniture to unplugging devices from the electrical receptacles. And both of the little darlings throw water all over the floor. <<You can see some in the upper right corner above.>>  The exhausted human wakes up, gets out of bed, looks at the crunchy bowl, points to all the crunchies that are still in there, and goes back to sleep. This goes on for several rounds a night until either the human gives in and refills the bowl or the cats give in and go to sleep. Well, last night, a very exciting thing happened. Apparently, they tried hard to wake the human, but she just kept rolling over and hiding under the covers. Apparently, in desperation, the cats actually ate almost all the crunchies out of the bowl. Now that’s progress!



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

In the Category of “But Why?”

The cats have a cute toy that looks like a tiny chinchilla. A few weeks ago the human spied the chinchilla balanced precariously between a bottle of filtered water waiting to be carried upstairs and the stair railing.  It would have taken incredible skill to toss the toy up in the air and have it land (and stay) there deliberately, so the two-legged figures this was an unintended consequence of a night of frivolity while the human slept. Still, it made for an interesting discovery.


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

The Understudy

Turns out that Ms. Mac may have been justifiably offended when the human accused her of tossing water out of the bowl and flooding floors on several levels of the house the past few weeks. It’s not that the human hasn’t caught her red-handed with her paws in the water bowl.  However, she’s apparently been busy training understudies. Now, Fireball and Corky are also drinking oddly out of the bowls and tossing water around. In fact, splashing water out onto the floor has become Corky’s go-to form of throwing a tantrum. He’s come to understand that the human merely laughs when he stands up behind the curtains and pummels them.  Hence, he’s adopted one of Mac’s more annoying behaviors to get the human to respond to whatever it is that he wants in the moment. How the human is going to respond to this situation is a matter of great discussion at the moment.


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

Free to a Good Home: Slightly Used, Partially Aquatic Tuxedo Cat

The Merkitty has been very busy flooding the water bowls upstairs and down — not just once or twice but three times a day. The human simply can’t get the microfiber dish-drying mats under the water bowls dried fast enough to keep up, so has had to go out and purchase more of them. Still, the splash, splash, splash of little black & white paws continues. When the human catches the Merkitty doing this and scolds her, asking her to stop, the 2-legged gets a glare from the 4-legged, and the Merkitty gets the hairy eyeball from the lower life form. In fact, there was an epic stare down in the hallway on Saturday evening. That led to two days of the Merkitty boycotting the “kitty nest” (the human’s bed) and sleeping elsewhere.  However, something has shifted and the new mats aren’t nearly as wet when the human has checked them. Even better, Miss Macaroni has returned to the communal sleeping area and even curled up with the evil human this morning. Does this indicate that detente is near? <<Don’t worry, we aren’t really parting with the Girly Girl. She keeps life way too interesting.>>



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


Macaroni loves to throw water out of all the water bowls in the house.  She doesn’t do it all the time, but when she does, she’s so forceful in flinging fluid that the human has had to rig elaborate systems of elevated bowls sitting on dish drying mats sitting on rubber boot mats sitting on rugs to try and spare her floors being ruined by the little minx. Her antics with the water bowl long ago earned her the moniker Merkitty (for mermaid kitty).

In truth, she’s the only cat the human has ever met who clearly does not understand the concept of a water bowl. Just like she eats with her front paws, she mostly drinks water with her front paws. On those rare occasions when she crouches down to drink directly from the bowl, she always has one front paw reaching around underneath the bowl in the raised rack as though trying to grasp something. When the human first adopted her and didn’t know better, she put out water in clear glass bowls, which may well have blown Mac’s mind, explaining much of her later crazy behavior.

The house has mostly been spared Mer puddles since last summer. However, in the past few weeks, the human noticed that the big upstairs water bowl was nearly dry come morning, even though it was full when she turned in the night before. Concerned that one of the cats might be needing more water than before, she added a second bowl of water for the past couple of weeks. Even with two big bowls, one bowl would end up nearly empty every morning and the second’s level would be down considerably. A few days ago, the human kneeled down to retrieve something by the water bowl and placed her hand on the dish-drying mat to steady herself, only to find that the mat was soaking wet. That’s when the dim-witted two-legged finally understood why the water levels were so depleted each morning. The Merkitty is back.

Of course, the Smirky One is admitting nothing and accepting no responsibility for these actions.


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

Name those Paws

And who is the owner of these cute toes? Macaroni, the Merkitty, of course. Interestingly, the human has never found webbing between her toes despite how many times she floods the water bowls.



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

Floors are So Much Better to Eat off of than Bowls

The human and her camera were a touch too slow to capture this properly, but here are Pepe and Corky eating their breakfast snack of raw/freeze-dried nuggets with some water and nutraceuticals.  Of course, instead of eating the soppy, messy food in the bowl, each brother — at the same time — dragged a nugget out and dropped it on the floor, then proceeded to eat from there. Cats!


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