Monday, September 1, 2014

My Gardening Buddy and the Other Cats of the Garden

I often talk about my neighbor’s four cats and they consistently photo-bomb my garden shots. I thought since they have become a daily presence in the garden, they deserved a post. I think it’s great that they love the garden so much, however, I don’t appreciate the lawn-pooping and the mulch-peeing. I wish they would do that in their own yard. I’m not sure my neighbor knows just how much time their cats spend in our yard. I’m not sure they would necessarily be happy about it. A few years ago they had a three-year-old cat die unexpectedly and that’s when they asked me if I had anything poisonous in my garden. I hate to tell ya, but almost every plant is toxic in one form or another if you ingest it, but I never knowingly plant something that would potentially kill an animal (see my last post, which confirms this). So whether they are happy by it or not, all four of their cats love my garden.

We used to call the cats Stubby, Non-Stubby, Faded Kitty, and Pretty Calico. Not very original, I know. I have since learned the names of all four cats, thanks to my neighbor’s son, who loves to chat with me. He said their names are BJ, Puss, Tiger, and Baby Mamma. Ha! Love Baby Mamma. Not sure if she was the mom and that’s why she’s named that or what. So here are my kitty friends.

BJ (aka Stubby) is the one with the short tail. Stubby has slowly taken a liking to me and has become my gardening buddy. I have never tried to approach any of them, but Stubby, sorry I mean BJ, likes to surprise me whenever I’m in the garden weeding, picking veggies, or walking around. I will be weeding and then all of a sudden I will look up and there is BJ sitting a foot away watching me intently. He/she seems to find me fascinating.

I am going to guess BJ is a boy just because the name seems more like a boy’s name, but you never really know I guess. I have a hard time remembering to call him BJ and tend to still call him Stubby. There are times when he will wander all around me while I weed, sniffing the weed can, and has even been found sleeping on top of my garden gloves and pruners when I was taking a break.

Yesterday I was pulling in the garden hose and Stubby decided it was the best thing ever to play with it and try to catch it. I was laughing hysterically while he followed me all the way across the yard trying to grab the hose.

I think Stubby will let me pet him some day, but I will let him initiate it and decide when that day is here. In the meantime, I will let him continue to nap under the vegetation and be shocked when he pokes his head out just a few feet from my face when I weed.

Our next kitty friend is Puss (aka Non-Stubby). It took me a little while to be able to tell the difference between Puss and Stubby, other than the tail, but Puss is bigger and a little more orange.

Puss loves to find new places to nap in the garden, however, it is usually in more open areas then you’ll find Stubby. Stubby used to love the garden bench in the Kitchen Garden, but that has now become Puss’s spot. Yet Puss can show up just about anywhere on any given day, including on top of the compost bin.

I can get within about three feet of Puss, then she (or he?) takes off. She seems to have gotten more used to me, though.

Tiger (aka Faded Kitty) is more elusive than Puss or Stubby. He is also more skittish of me. We called him Faded Kitty because his orange isn’t as bright as the orange on Puss or Stubby.

The first time I saw Tiger I thought maybe he was blind. He came up the steps to the screened-in back porch when I was sitting right there with my two cats and he didn’t seem to notice us until he was right up to the door. He also has kind of reddish eyes that freak me out a bit.

The one I see the least and definitely the most shy of the bunch is Baby Mamma. Baby Mamma is an obsolutely gorgeous calico with a sweet little face. The prettiest one and the one I really wish I could pet, but I doubt she will ever let me near her. I had to take these photos through the window because I knew she would run if she saw me.

I never see her lounging in the garden like the others, she always is more passing through or inspecting things.

So those are my four kitty friends that see in the garden on a regular basis. My own two cats are only allowed on the screened-in back porch, but they are very familiar with the neighbor’s cats. Sometimes they seem to go on the offense when they see them and sometimes they don’t seem to care.

There are other cats I see from time to time, including an all black one, but these are the ones I see the most. There used to be two others from another neighbor across the street that would visit, but they have since moved and are farm cats now.

I enjoy sharing my garden with my feline friends. Now I just have to somehow train them to go to the bathroom in their own yard instead of mine!

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