Friday, June 29, 2007

Thoughts on Gardening With Cats

I love my cats, you know I do. They have me wrapped around their long stripy tails. But I wish they didn't have such a calling to help me with my gardening.

I like to garden in the evening when the cool breeze blows down the canyon and the raised beds are in the shade. I can only really do it when the Engineer is out of town. When he's home I'm busy cooking dinner, washing up and bonding with him like a nice little wifey. When he's out of town, though, I can do what I want when I want. I will usually have a light dinner late afternoon, then when it starts to cool I'll go out and work. The cats think this is the bestest thing ever. They adore outdoor cat/human activities.

When I fill my watering cans, they zoom around me, sticking their heads into the cans and drinking if I put them down. Cat like to get their water from interesting places. Here is a list of the girls' favorite watering spots:

  1. Watering can -- mysterious little hole to stick head through
  2. Mud puddle -- magnificent bouquet and depth of flavor
  3. Bathroom faucet -- makes a lovely trickling noise
  4. Female human's beverage container or glass -- male human drinks beer -- yuck!
  5. Swimming pool -- chlorine gives it that extra zing
  6. Toilet -- not that they have much experience, it's mostly fantasizing, because the humans keep the lid shut.
  7. Inside cat fountain -- moving water is better than still
  8. Outside cat water dish -- bore-ing

They are very good at supervising. They like to get right up there with me and grab any seeds I'm trying to plant. If I shoo them off, they will go lie down on the closest cushy plant, though members of the allium family seem to be the most comfortable for some reason. When I pull up weeds and toss them aside, they jump on them and kill them for me.

The girls also find it very interesting that I dig holes and then don't... use... them. And they think it's hilarious to hop up onto the raised bed and dig their own hole because the human gets so excited when she catches them at it. Kink tail, run away laughing.

Butterflies, bugs, hummingbirds, squirrels and all manner of game can be found 'round the garden. Sachi caught her first yellow jacket last week. It caught her back. Her right front paw swelled up to three times its normal size, but she hasn't given up on chasing them.

She caught a cabbage butterfly this week. Jumped right on it, then lifted her paws to inspect it. Was she ever disgruntled when it flew off. Prey is supposed to stay alive enough to keep things interesting, but not get away, for heaven sakes.

Kitsu ignores bugs and stuff, she's a big game hunter -- birds, mice, voles, snakes. She scared the beegeebers out of me last summer when she went after a six foot gopher snake. I thought it was a rattlesnake because it was striking at her. I turned on the hose and blasted them both, it was the only way I could think of to get her away from it without getting too close myself. It was an adrenalin rush for all involved.

Wouldn't have it any other way, though. My cats are the best, cutest, sweetest, most loving felines ever.


bioephemera said...

I've been considering getting one of those fountains for my cat. But I think half her enjoyment comes from coming to tell me she wants water in-the-tub or in-the-sink, and making me turn it on for her. She gets so tickled when I do my tricks.

Wunx~ said...

There is no doubt between the pointed ears of a cat who has whom trained, and they do like to boss their slaves around.