Having a cat in the garden seems to be a polarizing thing. A quick internet search showed an even split between advice on keeping cats out of gardens and lists of plants to choose for a safe, cat-friendly space.
My garden has always been a cat haven. For nearly 15 years, I shared it with Meow-meow Kitty, a tortoiseshell my husband found when he was a college student. Meow-meow was happiest when she had access to the outdoors, and she thanked us by trying to rid our yard of voles. Thankfully, she was never very interested in songbirds. Rodents were her specialty; she caught them even with her jingly collar sounding a warning.
Her coloring gave her perfect hardwood mulch camouflage, which sometimes startled us, our guests, and the occasional neighborhood dog. She was always interested in what I was planting, and wanted to sit with anyone who rested on the porch. When I redesigned our front flower beds a few years ago, I left one of her favorite napping spots alone, unplanted.
In the past couple of years, age caught up with her and she retired from hunting. She spend long hours sitting in the garden or on our front porch. Still, she seemed happiest when she was outside. She seldom left the front yard, so I hung my first birdfeeder in the back.
Meow-meow left us at the end of January, and I laid her to rest in that favorite napping spot in the front flowerbed. She was, we estimate, 22 years old. My garden seems empty without a cat.
photo – Ann Barnes