Cats In My Garden

Rocks In Bed for Cat Protection

Rocks In Bed for Cat Protection

Cats in my garden! Yikes, they are my own too! Cats are my biggest pest in my raised beds. My own cats! I had to figure out what to do so I could replant them after the cats ruined most of the plants I planted earlier. I got a lot of ideas of what I could do. One of them that I really like is the idea of using hardware cloth laid down on the top of the bed. Then plant each seed in one of the little squares. That would work. But at this time I needed something I already have. What do I have plenty of? Rocks, of course! An unlimited supply. I knew my cats, being elderly, are quite lazy. They don’t want to have to go to a lot of trouble to dig. I put the small rocks around each plant so there wouldn’t be enough space for them. These cats dig DEEP holes! Even if you chase them out of it when you are out there or see them, they will come back to it later. It is a never ending battle with them.

Small Rocks Around Plants

Small Rocks Around Plants

It is not just the stone beds that they are attracted to. The wood beds they destroy too. I am fortunate when I have any plants coming up. Next year I will make sure to plant with the hardware cloth. This year though, I took smaller sizer rocks, but not too small, and put them around each plant. I wish I had done this before I planted another bed of bush beans. If I had, I would have made a circle of rocks and put the seed in the center. Anything else I plant from now on, I will do in that way. Trying to make it uncomfortable for Patches and Hobo to use it for a litter box. Cats in my garden is not a good thing at all. My biggest regret is that I allowed our cats, since we moved here in 1999, to be indoor outdoor cats. Before that my cats were always indoor only cats. It is okay until they get old and you feel it is safer for them to be inside only. They get stressed over you trying to change that status so late in their lives. I gave up on trying to make that change. So I end up living with a lot of stress caused by the choice of so many years ago.

Rocks Keep Plants Safe

Rocks Keep Plants Safe

Over the years, we have saved rocks and stones in a big pile. The paddock is full of rock, big ones too. Our three horses uncover them running around all the time. We try to pick up the rock often. Keeping it stored in one central place makes it easy to work with it when you need various sizes for a project. The cats in my garden is one project that I am hoping will be accomplished with our rocks. When my husband originally built the bed I call the “snake bed” (due to its shape and size, not that it had snakes, though it does), he took the rock out of the area on the house that he hand dug to add a room onto our cellar. These rocks were huge and he had to carry them up a ladder and all the way to our backyard. I should add, without me knowing what he was doing. I was right in the house and he did it without me ever seeing him do it. Then he built that bed and came in to get me to come outside to see it. I was amazed, to say the least.

Cats in my garden

Here comes Patches!

 

Hopefully, I have solved this problem of my cats in my garden and ruining all the new plants. Once the plants get to a larger size, they are pretty safe. We don’t even have wild life in our garden and to think the biggest problem is our own pets is unbelievable to me. My father always had wild animals destroying or stealing his plants and produce. I live in the state forest and don’t even have that problem with any wild critters. We’ll see how this works.

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Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole
All Photographs Copyright © 2016 Kathleen G. Lupole

I write this blog based on my experience living an off-the-grid life as a modern homesteader. Some of the links you may click or products I recommend may or may not compensate me for including them in my post. Be sure to read my disclosure page if you are concerned about that.


Callie Cat – A Cat Not To Be Forgotten Ever!

Tortoiseshell Cat

Callie Cat Lupole
June 2000 – January 27, 2014

She was born in a barn full of horses. One of three kittens. One kitten was gray, one was black and one was a tortiseshell. All females. Our dog, Nikita, was fascinated by the tiny newborn kittens. Once my husband showed them to her, that is all she paid attention to at the barn. In fact, Nikita would babysit them for the mother. She’d lay on a bale of hay and the kittens would snuggle up to her. She loved it!

cat and dog sleeping together.

Callie thought Nikita was her mother.

Out of the three kittens, the one I wanted to handle the most, was the little tortoiseshell kitten . But that was not to be. She would see you coming and be gone in a flash! The other two kittens enjoyed being cuddled and pet. Finally, one day my husband grabbed her when she was sleeping, before she had a chance to get away. She was a changed kitten after that! Always wanting to be pet, and would not let you pet the others. One day, Bill, the owner of the farm my husband worked at, said I should take her home because she had a death wish. Always in the way, and even though the horses were used to cats, the cats had to be careful. I once watched as Callie’s mother was trampled by a stallion. I was sure she was dead, but nope. I guess her nine lives came in handy. 

cat and horse

Callie at home around horses.


One day my husband came home from work with Callie. That was the summer of 2000. Our house was completely changed after that. She got along really good with my old Siamese cat, Nutmeg. When Nutmeg died in 2006, Callie had lost the companionship of another cat. They used to sleep snuggled together. They both loved to sleep for hours and be warm as could be. Our other two cats, Hobo and Patches, do not like sleeping with another cat. So she never could do that again. Most of the time she slept by my feet when I was in bed. She was very vocal and “chirped” often, to tell us what she wanted. She actually “chirped” in her sleep too! I’d wonder what she was dreaming about. Callie had no fear and especially of dogs. They would be so confused when they’d try to chase or bark at her, and she’d go after them. One big dog she chased out of our yard by hitting his butt with her claw and he was yelping as he left! 

Cat sleeping

Callie Napping As Usual


Unfortunately, Callie, coming from a farm, had been inbred. They had so many cats and they just bred with each other. Callie had a constant respiratory problem. Several times I thought I’d lose her for sure. One time when she was really bad, I had ordered the Essaic Tea for her. When it came, I quickly brewed it up and it has a 12 hour waiting period before you can use it. So at three in the morning, I gave her the first dose. The next morning I gave her another and soon she was back to her old self. It was indeed, a miracle and I have always relied on it since. Even being so sickly, she was a good hunter and was the boss of the house after Nutmeg died.  

Cat drinking water

Callie drinking water.

Yesterday evening, she passed away quietly on the chair in front of the wood stove. I knew she would go yesterday. She had always been a big eater, and in the last week she stopped eating. Even when I tried to feed her myself, she didn’t really want it. Then the last couple of days, she stopped drinking water. I tried to force it, but she would throw it up. I knew it was her time to go. I prayed to God that he would take her quickly and we wouldn’t have to do anything to speed the process up. We didn’t. She went on her own and is now with Nikita and Nutmeg.

horse and cat

Dark Shadow & Callie

The fact that she made it past thirteen years is due to the fact that I nursed her myself and didn’t use allopathic medicines for her. I am certain a vet would have tried to have me “put her down” long before this year. But she was never in pain and had a good appetite. She was a happy cat and everyone loved her because she was so friendly. We will miss her so much.

Cat and wood cookstove

Callie four days ago


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