I always enjoy all the various gardening blogs that I visit during my evenings on the computer. While surfing, I’ve noticed a good number of gardeners are also cat lovers. I have to wonder, is there a correlation between gardening and cats?
Through the years, I’ve owned both cats and dogs and have enjoyed and loved them all. My pets have always been unwanted animals, as either strays or abandoned by their owners. Currently, I am down to one cat, by the name of Ash. I’m guessing that she’s an old lady of 15 or 20 years old, though I don’t know for sure, since she turned up on my doorstep one cold February day 14 years ago. During her younger years, she spent a lot of time outside, sometimes following my dog Sammie and I around the whole neighborhood as we went for our walk. My fondest memories are of me working in the garden while she curled up near me in a sunny spot, supervising the work. She was the queen and was not afraid to boss myself and the dog around.
Nowadays, she’d rather not be outside at all. She tends to sleep all the time, and because of the arthritis in her back legs, she likes to burrow under the covers in my bed to keep warm. She has some other health issues, but still, she has a good appetite and has those days when she pats at my shoelaces in play just like the old days.
So back to the question, what is it about gardeners and cats?
I’m sure there are those that hate cats in their garden. While I like to see my cat basking in the sun or sniffing at something interesting, others feel that cats are annoyances, chomping on plants, spraying and generally using your newly turned garden bed as their personal litter box. Now that Ash no longer rules the property, I tend to have a lot of neighborhood feline visitors, the closeness of the birds at my birdfeeder is too tempting to resist. Some of my regulars include an orange tabby, a black and grey tabby, a tortoiseshell and a really beautiful pure white tom, I call Buddy, because unlike the other scaredy cats, Buddy is sweet and friendly likes to hang out with me.
In order to be a good hostess, I’ve decided to designate a small space as a kitty garden to be installed next spring. Hopefully, this will encourage my visitors to use their own area and not mine as a litter box. Next spring, I’ll put aside a small sunny spot and plant some catnip or catmint. Now, not all cats actually care about catnip. Apparently, in order to be affected by the herb, a cat must have a certain gene. Not all cats have the proper gene to be affected. I’ve heard that cats also like alyssun and creeping rosemary so I’ll also plant those plants as well. I’ll also add a low container of wheat grass and lemon grass for nibbling.
I’ve got a small bench that Buddy enjoys using. This will be the perfect place for a nap in the sun and a dry place to hide under during the rainy days. The last item to add will be an outdoor litter box. I don’t have the space for anything too big, just blocking off a corner with a wood frame and adding sand.
The Kitty garden will not be near the birdfeeder. I’d hate to have to banish the cats because of their culinary love of birds.