Saturday, January 30, 2016

Cats in their Gardens

I probably should not have been surprised when a gardening pal (also a cat lover), Pat Howell, mentioned one of her favorite books has a title very similar to that of this blog. HOw had I never heard of it before? My fingers flew to google and I found a used copy and ordered it immediately.

It arrived this week, post-blizzard, and has been welcome reading between shoveling sessions. "Cats in their Gardens" by Page Dickey was published in 2002 and is a slim book, but chock-full of great photos of kitties and gardens. It seems this was a sequel to her book, "Dogs in their Gardens" and she notes on the book flap that, "cats rather than dogs are the preferred companions" for many notable gardeners. Included in the book are the cats of Martha Stewart and Penelope Hobhouse, among many other garden luminaries.

The author points out that cats, unlike many dogs, are ideal for bringing out the sensual pleasures of the garden -- cats show us gardeners how to slow down and soak up the atmosphere, scents, and scenery of out gardens.

I highly recommend grabbing a copy for yourself if you see it in a used book store or available for order online. It is also an ideal gift for the garden-cat lovers in your life.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Here Comes Trouble

Gin Kilgore of Chicago, IL, wrote, "We adopted a feral cat last spring as a last ditch effort to keep rats out of our yard. Total success and I love him so much, even though he won't let me get hear him and hisses at me when I bring him food. He's holding out fine in the cat cave beneath our stairs in this frigid Chicago weather. His name is Trouble, He came with the name and it is apt."

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Mommie Dearest

James Dronenburg of Knoxville, MD, wrote:

"This is Mama.  She and two of her kittens showed up on a friend’s porch and she fed them..   Then she needed them to go elsewhere, because she was leaving for an extended trip.   So we took them.  We found a home for one kitten but “Mama” and her son “Rubik” stayed with us.  Both are shirt front tabbies, Mama’s more a spotted tabby and Rubik has the stripes.   Mama is fixed, a good mouser (and she shares her mice with us at the kitchen door), both are outside cats and would really, really appreciate a good indoor home."

Photos are by Carol Allen.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Cactus Cats

This photo of a kitty in a spine-filled landscape was shared by Travis on Flickr. He writes, "Cats seemed to be everywhere in this outer plaza. There was a subtle hint of cat smell and food and water dishes were hidden in at least two places around the plaza (in Centro, Mexico City, Distrito Federal, Mexico). There seemed to be two cat factions -- the north and the south. They didn't mix well."

"This is the north side where this one cat was sleeping in the cactus enjoying his afternoon siesta. It was amazing how these cats could walk in and around the cactus seemingly without getting hurt. There was no cactus on the south side of the plaza, these cats were able to hide a bit better. I probably counted at least two dozen cats in this area."

After seeing Travis' photo, I googled for cats and cactus, I found that this page collects lots of photos from all around the Web of cats caressing, sleeping on, and nibbling on cactus.

Why do cats find cactus irresistible? Is it the rough texture? The sense of danger? Or just plain fool-hardy bravado? Whatever makes cats and cactus engage with each other, they sure do look pretty together.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Top Posts of 2015 on the Cats in Gardens Blog

Looking back at 2015, we had four posts that performed heads and whiskers above the others. Here they are in reverse order:

3. Welcome to my Catio
The new trend for indoor-outdoor cat spaces was an attention-getter and not surprisingly, this post went viral.

2. Cat Grasses and Other Kitty Treats: You Can Grow That!
This guest post by Claire Splan was a stand-out as it appealed to home gardeners and cat lovers alike. No need to pay lots of $s at chain stores to buy tiny pots of cat grass. Indeed, you can grow that!

1. Thirsty Cat
Perhaps it was the hot August timing or maybe people just love orange tigers, but this blog post of a cat drinking from his neighbor's water garden was a winner and our most viewed photo of the year.

And on bonus:

A Gentle Giant
This post missed our top three ranking by just one measly visitor, so we thought it deserved mentioning along with the others. It features Daryl Pulis' sweet cat, Alex, who is full of personality.

What were your favorite Cats in Gardens posts of 2015?