Day 1

The temperature was on the cooler side yesterday morning, so I decided to head outside to work in my poor, heat-ravaged, rain-deprived flower gardens. Due to a broken leg that had me laid up for 22 weeks, I neglected them all spring and summer of 2011.  I promised myself I would not let them deteriorate this year. Neither the weeds nor the three plants that come with the old yards of old houses (English ivy, privet hedge and honeysuckle) are fazed by hot and dry weather.

Orange tabby cat lying in the grass.

MacKenzie the Supervisor

The garden is my sanctuary where I can de-stress, think and now plan future posts for this site. But I don’t mind a little feline company. When MacKenzie was alive he was my constant companion in the garden, scrutinizing my every action.

With only three cats now having outdoor privileges, my supervisory personnel have been lacking this season; though, Misty May or Lily Olivia occasionally drop by to take up residence under a tree for a cool-down and nap.

Fiona in the Garden

Since I planned to work in the backyard yesterday, I took Fiona with me. She doesn’t get unsupervised outside time unless she sneaks out. If I let her accompany me, she is fairly well-behaved.

Tuxie cat sits among plants next to statue of St. Francis.

Misty May spies on me while she visits with St. Francis.

Today she visited Thelma’s grave (the cat whose personality her’s most closely matches and whose name I often call her). She rested her head on the large rock above it. Then she visited the statue of St. Francis, stood on her hind legs with front paws on his shoulders and gave him several head butts. After that, she was off to look for squirrels and investigate the grounds. The highlight of her adventure was catching a cicada. To her dismay, all the vibrations against her mouth caused her to drop and lose it when it flew into a tree and out-of-sight.

White cat sleeping on garden bench surrounded by ivy.

Madison never took his supervisory duties very seriously.

She was an exceptionally good girl, checking in with me often and coming when I called her. Usually, after a few hours, she will get in my lap and let me know she’s hungry and ready to go inside. Yesterday, after four hours and just before it started to rain, I was the one who decided to head to the house for a rest and meal. She had other pursuits in mind and could not be persuaded to join me until the rain started to come down harder. I did get Fiona in the house but that’s when I lost control of the situation and Astrid got out.

Astrid Escapes

When Astrid gets out she freaks out, especially if its raining, and takes refuge under an old grain bin that holds yard equipment. When the sun comes out so does she. That’s when I found her hanging out under the deck with Mauricio. I could not even bribe her with treats to come to me. After several more tries she graced me with her presence, as did Giulietta who also had snuck past me at some point.

Grey cat lying beneath a tree looking up.

Fiona keeps her eyes on a resident squirrel.

Day 2

Even though the temperature today was several degrees higher, I decided to venture into the garden again. Fiona gave me her best pleading look in the hopes of joining me, but I denied her request after her refusal yesterday to come in the house. Upon leaving the back deck, I found, as often happens, that the door was not latching properly. After quite a bit of contemplation, I decided that as the door was closed I wouldn’t need to worry about any sneaky felines escaping.

Those of you who live with cats are scratching your heads and wondering how I could be so stupid. And after you read my next post (nearly completed prior to my starting this one): “ARE CATS SMARTER THAN HUMANS?,” you’ll be convinced I must have fallen out of bed on my head and suffered a brain injury during the night.

Four Sneak Out

Tuxedo cat climbs high into a dog wood tree.

Mauricio surveys the yard from the dogwood tree but keeps mum about the escapees.

As I puttered in the yard, I noticed that it was a lovely and quiet day…no lawnmowers, weed-eaters or cats causing a racket. At one point, I thought to myself that things were maybe a little too quiet with regard to cats. But, as I didn’t want to stop my pursuit of wily weeds, I did not investigate. Not until Giulietta nonchalantly came sauntering down the walk toward me. The jig was up then. I found the other three, Fiona, Lisbeth and Astrid on the patio under the deck. CATS: 4 – HOMEOWNER: 0. Not wanting a confrontation, I let them stay outside with me.

When rain started to fall Giulietta followed me to the stairs and lay down at my feet as I changed out of my garden shoes. I easily scooped her up and brought inside. One down, three to go. A few shakes of the treat package and the other three came running. HOMEOWNER: 4 – CATS: 0.

It looks to me like we’re tied for now!