Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tasha Tudor's Tabby

Tasha Tudor and her constant companion, Minou, are pictured above. Tasha passed away in 2008 at the age of 92. She was an illustrator and author of numerous, award-winning children's books. She also had famously lived a 19th Century lifestyle on a New England farm. Her gardens are legendary and a 1994 book by Tovah Martin gives you a bit of a glimpse of them and her animal friends.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Obstruction the View

Marie Viljoen writes the gardening blog: She writes about her small NYC terrace, plants, and a horticultural life in the big city, with botanical side trips.

Her cat's blog is She says, "I have no control over what he writes. His full name is Don Estorbo de la Bodega Dominicana."

Marie told us:

"I adopted Estorbo (which means Obstacle, or Obstruction in Spanish) when he was about one. At the time his name was Midnight. He was the resident rat catcher at a nursery in Manhattan, where I had just begun to work in plant sales.

"He was born in a bodega on the Lower East Side and adopted as a kitten by a woman who then went on holiday and did not claim him from her cat sitting friend when she returned. The friend worked at the nursery and brought him there to live and work. I am told he laid dead rats out in front of the cash register for staff to find in the morning.

"When I adopted him he had been sidelined by an accident at the nursery in which his jaw had been broken (nobody knows how it happened) and then he needed a better home. I had a Spanish-speaking boyfriend at the time who re-named him after his habit of walking right in front of one and then stopping suddenly. Trip and fall hazard.

"He is a big and tall cat and weighs 17lbs, has been diagnosed recently with hyerthyroidism and is responding well to medication (pills). He has strong opinions about vets but likes his current specialist, Dr Slade, at VERG.

"Estorbo has the run of our tiny terrace and also has access to the roof and the roofs on our block, five in total. He likes to sit in pots, loves grass to chew, hates squirrels and will have nothing to do them, once chased off a raccoon, and keeps a herd of summer cattle on the roof. (They are actually Brooklyn cockroaches. In summer we are very careful about letting him back in the house at night. He first has to open his mouth and say "Ah"...only then may he come back inside.)

"The garden is a small terrace on the top floor of a Brooklyn townhouse. There are about 35 pots, and I grow all my kitchen herbs in them, as well as strawberries, figs, roses, lilies and other ornamentals. And catnip for Estorbo, of course. I water by hand, sometimes twice a day in the heat of summer. I garden organically, the pots receive no special protection in winter, and I divide perennials in spring. The fig is root pruned every year. On the roof I grow vegetables, blueberries and white currants.

"Oh! And in a New York Times article about our terrace last summer he was described as " a large, irritable black cat." He took exception to that."

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Sisko Kid

Ellen Zachos of Acme Plant Stuff is a garden designer and garden communicator. She writes:

"My boy, Sisko, died last year on January 16 and I miss him every day.  I still cry for him; I hoped the pain would fade or dull more quickly.  I was wondering if you would post this to your catsinthegarden blog on the 16th in honor of him?  This picture was taken after my yearly field garlic harvest -- on the deck above the garden."

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Garden Companion

This picture is from a photobook put together by Miyoko Ihara.

She writes: "My grandmother and her cat are always together. This photobook captured the everyday life of my grandmother, Misao, who bends her self to the fieldwork with her cat, Fukumaru.

"One day, her grandmother found a odd-eyed kitten in the shed. She named the cat 'Fukumaru' in hope that 'God of fuku (good fortune) comes and everything will be smoothed over like maru (circle).'

"Even thought she is 87 years old, she still go out into the fields everyday, and Fukumaru always accompany her. Green fields, blooming flowers and plump fruits ... in the colorful, diverse landscape, the life of an old lady and a cat is captured in the photographs. It has been 8 years since they first met. The grandmother whose hearing become weak and Fukumaru who has hearing disabilities are always looking into each other's eyes and feeling warmth each other. When the white cloud float across the blue sky, the grandmother and her cat go out in the filed today too."

See more about the photobook here:

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Smiling Peony

From the feed: "Shironeko, All Dressed Up For Summer."