Saturday, December 31, 2016

Top Cats in Gardens Blog Posts of 2016

Looking back at 2016, we had a few posts that performed heads and whiskers above the others. Here are the top three in reverse order:

3. Back in the Day with Behnke Cats
These black-and-white family snapshots from Stephanie Fleming of Behnke Nurseries in Beltsville, MD, were the perfect Baby Boomer childhood nostalgia.

2. Sunset Kitty
This painting by Michelle Bailey of Takoma Park, MD, was a favorite of many who appreciate art and felines.

1. Meadow Cats
This brother and sister duo were submitted by Hunter Ten BroeckCo-Owner/Operator of WaterWise Landscapes Incorporated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA. They proved to be adorably photogenic and people loved the naturalistic landscape settings. Not only was it the top post of 2016 for us, but it was our top post of all time!

What were your favorite Cats in Gardens posts of 2016?

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Cats in a Stack

Jenny Sharp of Hartford, CT, shared this photo on her Instagram feed. She says, "Their names are Dobby (top) and Padfoot (bottom) and they are about 6 months old. Dobby is super snuggle and always wants to snuggle. Padfoot is mischievous and gets into everything."
"Padfoot gets along with our Corgi, Ziggy, and Padfoot plays with him (pictured below). We got them from a couple who rescued a stray cat who ended up being pregnant and had 8 kittens! "

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Sunset Kitty

I recently bought this unusual cat image painted by Michelle Bailey of Takoma Park, MD. I asked her to share a bit about how she selected the subject.

Michelle wrote, "We often see our neighbors' cat, Belle, sitting in the front flower box of their house when we walk along Sherman Avenue. This particular fall day, the light from the setting sun onto the house was spectacular; especially the softly focused spot of light right around Belle. As a realist painter using mostly my own reference photos, I always have my camera ready. I instantly knew I would paint this."

You can view and purchase more paintings, including other cats, at her Etsy shop here:

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Cat Helping Out in the Garden

This is a fun video of a cat playing with dirt -- the ultimate "cat in a garden."

Saturday, December 3, 2016

A Little Bit of Lubi

A few weeks ago, I visited my neighbor Eileen Schramm and was greeted by this fluffy, white ball of love. She said it was her neighbor's cat and her name is Lubi. Eileen said, "Here she owns the 'hood, fiercely defending it against any four-legged intruders, no matter the size. She'll stare down the biggest dogs. And she's still deeply attached to rolling in dirt and mulch! And belly rubs."

Her owners, Debi and Yasmin, shared the photos below and said, "Chikarubi (called Lubi, Lubi-lu or Lubs - long u) - since she was sprung from a cage, named after a prison ( We found her at a market in Hanoi, Vietnam… in a tiny cage, sitting right in a dirty bowl of ‘gruel’ (who knows what it was!)   They put her in a plastic bag and weighed her, selling her to us by the kg!!! This meant she was supposed to be someone’s next meal :-(  We paid US$12 for her! (exorbitant for Vietnam!!!) We took her out of the plastic bag and eventually found a cardboard box at a nearby market stall for her and home we took her… on our motorbike! We put her straight into a bath - she was very well behaved …. and that was the last we saw of that behaviour ;-) The vet thought she was about 5 months old when we got her. She’s lived in Vietnam, (4 years) Cambodia (3 years) and now the US … came on the plane with us. Now she is 9 and a half! My little baby!!"

"First Bath!  Poor baby!"


"I can’t believe I didn’t know she would want to be an outdoor kitty… even when we lived on the 6th floor and had a little balcony, she found one of the 3 potted plants and made that her home…. and many many more in other apartments, houses we’ve lived in!"


Saturday, November 26, 2016

Really Riley

Rillito Nursery & Garden Center in Tucson, AZ, said: "This is Riley. He is 19.5 years old and adopted us! He is a good and mellow boy and loves attention! He is an old boy and his kidneys are slowing down, but he is still master of his nursery and has a staff and customers who cater to him "

Here are a few pics of him in younger days:


Saturday, November 19, 2016

Roman Cat Sanctuary

Planning a trip to Rome anytime soon? Cat lovers should add the Torre Argentina (Roman Cat Sanctuary) to their must-see bucket list. As profiled on Atlas Obscura (, "this archaeological wonder was excavated as part of Mussolini’s rebuilding efforts in 1929, revealing extensive multilevel temples that lie sunken 20 feet below modern street level. Besides several different temples, Torre Argentina also contains part of the famous Theater of Pompey, upon whose steps dictator Julius Caesar was betrayed and killed in 44 BCE. Today, volunteers at Torre Argentina care for approximately 250 cats."

The location has its own web site here:, where you can donate or "adopt" one of the felines. Many of the cats are disabled or are from abusive households.

Photo at top by Jakub Hałun (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Photo at bottom by Wknight94 (Own work) [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


This ad from Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs shows a Cat in a Garden -- yet, it doesn't. How is that? Through the magic of Photoshop, says Mark Osgerby, Marketing & Public Relations at Spring Meadow Nursery, Inc. "It was stock photography that we took at the nursery and the project was largely photoshopped," he explained. We wish it was a real cat-in-garden image, but we appreciate the effort and nod to discriminating garden felines.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Maurice in Hospice Care

Ann Amato-Zorich is seedstress at Cistus Nursery, owner at Spiffy Seeds, and owner at Milton's Garden Menagerie in Portland, Oregon. She shared this beautiful black cat and says: "Momo (aka Maurice) is just over 16 and I rescued him when he was one. I used to have three black cats and I believe in black cat rescue adoptions, but somehow I've ended up with a black-and-white family recently. (We have four cats. In addition to Maurice and the two young ones (LuLu and Felix), we have Mona - who is also black and I found her in a parking lot one rainy November evening when she was a kitten. She's part feral and lives in the garden and in the basement. She is our ghost cat.)

Our young cats will mostly be indoor and roof cats. We lost an incredibly beautiful black part-Maine Coon named Quincy Mercurio Carbone to a coyote and we never want to go through that again. Portland sadly has quite a few urban coyotes now. Quincy disappeared the night before his first birthday. It was so sad. He disappeared without a trace and a coyote was seen on our street again within a day or two so it's fairly obvious what happened.

Maurice was diagnosed with cancer on his jaw over 6 weeks ago and he's still with us. Each day now is a blessing. He's lost some of his sight. but has adjusted and continues to follow his routine. LuLu is a great caregiver, but Felix, well, not so much.

UPDATE on 11/12/16:
I am sorry to report that Maurice has passed away and gone to the big garden in the sky. Here a few more photos in happier times.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

In the Blink of an Eye

Karen Chapman, Le jardinet (, sent in this handsome cat's photo.

"He is one of four barn cats that we adopted earlier this year from a rescue center. They had been found in eastern Washington state and transported to the Seattle area for re-homing The plan was that they would tackle the exploding vole population in our 5-acre rural garden. Ha!

"When he arrived he looked really forlorn having just been given a highly embarrassing ‘lions mane’ haircut due to excessive matting. The fur has finally grown back although still rather ragged looking.

"We don’t name our barn cats generally, but we nicknamed this one 'Blink' as he seems to be constantly blinking at us! Of the four, he is the friendliest and will now approach us to within about 4’. He also follows us around the garden, perching nearby to see what is going on, but he still won’t let us touch him. All four are essentially feral, but I think Blink may eventually become more relaxed.

"Actually relaxation seems to be his ‘thing.’ He can usually be seen stretched out in a sunbeam, perched atop the pergola (as seen in the photo), or standing guard in the barn doorway. As for Chief Vole Catcher? Not so much. I swear all four are pacifists and vegetarian. In fairness, I have seen him playing with a dead mole – but I suspected it died laughing."

Saturday, October 8, 2016

One-eyed Jack

This one-eyed black cat greeted a bus-full of garden writers at the recent GWA meeting in Atlanta, GA. We took a side trip to Athens, GA, to visit the world-famous plantsman, Michael Dirr, and this cat was ready to show of "his" garden.

The cat actually belongs to a neighbor, but is quite gregarious and likes to hang out. He let the many cat-sick garden writers pet and paw him as many of us missed our pet felines left at home. This kitty reveled in the attention and had more photos taken of him than Mr. Dirr himself did!

If you look closely in the photo below, you can see that the very tip of his tale is missing, It was snipped off in a pruning accident. No one knows how he lost the eye.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

It's a Southern Thing...

Regular contributor Marie Mims Butler shared this photo of one of Pam Beck's cats, RC, relaxing on the porch.

Pam of Pam Beck Gardens's said: "RC is the twin brother of a fluffy tuxedo sister we named Moonpie. They are named for a traditional marshmallow-filled chocolate cookie and Royal Crown cola treat that goes well together - it's a Southern thing."

   "They were born to a young feral mother in the wall of a house under construction. The workers found the litter when they were only days old, scooped up the momma and her kittens, and took them to a local Raleigh, NC, veterinarian's office. The vet's office then raised the litter until they were old enough to be adopted.

   "We heard about the litter from our son's girlfriend at the time, who had already picked out a yellow tabby for herself from the kittens. I went to visit and immediately fell in love with the runt, which was also the only female, and asked the vet's office to hold her for us. When I saw the others, I was really drawn to RC, but had promised my husband to only choose one, because we already had 3 adult cats at home. I did visit Moonpie again several times before she was old enough to be released.
   On the happy day that I went to pick up Moonpie, I was informed that all of the others, including their calico momma, had been adopted, except one male with a black face mask, and that he was now alone since his family had all gone to their forever homes. This really tugged at my heart, so as we got Moonpie acclimated to her new surroundings that evening, I talked with Mike about it, and he agreed to at least go by the vet's office on his way home from work the next day to see if the kitten was still there.
   I waited excitedly the next afternoon when I heard the sound of Mike's car turning into our drive. He walked into our kitchen empty-handed, and my heart sank.
   Then a tiny Batman-faced kitten trotted into the room following Mike. Moonpie, who had been sitting in my lap, raced over to him, wrapped her front feet around his neck, and wouldn't let go! They tumbled and played as if they had never been separated."

Pam also shared the following photos of: "Moonpie in the garden and in our kitchen windowbox, which is her favorite sunny spot."

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Max the Bunny

Anne Hardman of Silver Spring, MD, is an orchid collector and works as a "label lady" at Brookside Gardens in Wheaton, MD. She shared: "Max adopted me at the Rockville Animal Control Center, a sick little kitty, maybe 6 weeks old.  He in 10 years old now and still very shy.  He is hiding behind my orchids and hoping that he isn't noticed. He has the softest medium-length bunny fur you could imagine."

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Cheetah GIrl

Rhonda Mahyuni shared photos of her new neighbor's cat. "Her name is Cheetah. She has one new sister-cat who she doesn't like (I think that's why she often hang around our back yard) and a do-gbrother, who she likes so much. Cheetah's human is just recently moved to our neighborhood. I found out that Cheetah is a farm cat, she lives outdoors/indoors. I love having her in our yard since there are so many chipmunks and rabbits here."

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Just Say "No"

Hans Hansen at Walters Gardens, Inc., in Zeeland, Michigan, USA, shared this hilarious photo of his nursery cat among the catnip plants. Rarely is a cat NOT photogenic, but Hans captured one of those scarce moments.

He wrote, "Her name is Fluffy. She is 4-ish years old and is the daughter of a farm cat that got brought into the display gardens. She is very, very friendly and will come and visit if she sees people in the gardens. They live in a shed during the winter."

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Meadow Cats

Here is another wonderful share from Hunter Ten BroeckCo-Owner/Operator of WaterWise Landscapes Incorporated in Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA.

Hunter writes, "These are our brother and sister cats Evinrude (the tabby) and Xena (his black and white sister). You might remember the previous two cats Taj (a Tabby) and Figaro (B&W) were very similar looking. They both died about 4 years ago. We remodeled our house last summer and in the process had to redo a lot of the landscape. I redid a smaller meadow which we just opened up (removed the protective fence) last weekend."

To see Hunter's other Cats in Gardens photos, go here:

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Have a Seat

If you can't have live felines in your garden, how about painted ones? These two Adirondack chairs at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna, VA, are the cat's meow!

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Cat Says Moo

Claudia Hosky shared this photo of  "Moo in our Washington, DC, garden. She’s a 6 year old rescue from the Washington Animal Rescue League."

Saturday, July 30, 2016

O Canada

Natty Morris shared these beautiful photos of her cats and flower-filled gardens in Ontario. Canada. The kitty at the bottom is named "cow" for the black-and-white spots. You can find many more photos of her gardens (and cats) at the Flowers for Life public group page on Facebook.