So just as I suspected, I was not given a chance to sleep past breakfast time yesterday. Misty May woke me up at 5:30 a.m. and pestered me continuously until 6:30 a.m. Then she went back to sleep on my pillow above my head. None of the others took over the pestering and I was allowed to sleep as well. I awoke again just before 8 a.m., fed everybody, started some laundry and headed out to the garden.

Skooter, our first cat.

Yesterday was the first day of fall, my favorite season. The temperature went to 83 degrees, above our normal for this time of year but perfect for some yard work, especially as the humidity level was really low.

Steamer takes a nap on Tom’s desk.

I hadn’t planned it, but I ended up at the gravesite of Skooter (our first cat), Steamer (our second cat) and Chloe (our sixth cat). They have a large plot surrounded by rocks (all dug from the yard by me). Steamer and Chloe each have a metal cat sculpture and Skooter has a concrete cat marking their individual places. A large monkey grass plant, several day lilies, an aster and some grape hyacinth grow on the site. I cleaned up the weeds, moved some additional hyacinth and three rudbeckia stalks to the site and then covered it with mulch.

Chloe keeps her eyes on the other kitties expecting an attack.

I did lots of other weeding and trimming and for the nearly five hours I worked, Misty May stayed close by me, napping under various trees and bushes. She even startled me when I was cleaning out under the monkey grass. She was hiding beneath it atop Skooter’s grave and put her paw on the top of my hand!

She didn’t stay with me the entire time, however. She stepped away at one point as she needed to protect me and her territory from our interloping neighbor cat, Sparky. She hissed and growled and gave him a good talking to while he stared at her and cowered. I finally convinced her to leave him alone so he could trot home. Usually she chases him over the fence to his yard, but she returned to me.

I had thought about taking Fiona with me into the yard, but she has been bullying the Angels so much lately I decided that she hadn’t earned the privilege.

But today I changed my mind and let her venture forth. After a wake-up call this morning consisting of the horde romping, stomping, tromping and squabbling on the bed (what happened to the DMZ?), I thought it wouldn’t hurt to tire her out a bit.

Sparky settles in on our upper deck after our pusses have come inside for the night.

She behaved herself admirably; though, she took on the duty of keeping Sparky at bay. She didn’t hiss or growl, but she did puff up her tail and park herself about three feet from where he was sunning himself in the grass. I don’t know how long this scenario had been going on, but Sparky took my appearance as his opportunity to vamoose. I was proud of Fiona for not giving chase.

If you read my post, Cats in the Garden, you know that Fiona lets me know when she is ready to go back to the house…she climbs into my lap. When she did so today, I noticed she was naked yet again! I sort of expected it as she has been wearing an old collar that she had lost in the yard previously. I still have not found the one she removed in the house several weeks ago. Anyway, I led her back to the deck, opened the door for her and then went back to the yard for a couple more hours.

I was quite privileged today to have a contingent of supervisors. Misty May, Mauricio and Lily Olivia were all present at one time or another. I wished they would have offered a paw or two and helped me dig holes for the huge handfuls of grape hyacinth I was transplanting. But I was just pleased to have their company.

And when my work was complete and I was heading to the house, I found Fiona’s collar in the driveway. Yippee!