B-Puss in the Garden
The two youngest Moosey cats, Fluff-Fluff and Beige Puss, are fast becoming my best all-weather, four-seasons gardening cats. And such stamina! They keep me company from dawn until dusk.
Every day these two brothers-in-fur follow me and my wheelbarrow to the ends of the Moosey gardening earth. They'll happily skip over bridges (or even jump the water from bank to bank). They'll bounce through the longer grass in the orchard, ducking and diving out of the path of the zooming red Border Collie Rusty.
They are definitely well-rounded cats (I'm speaking here of personalities). Repetition doesn't bore them - on the fourteenth trip from the Wattle Woods to the burning heap they'll be just as sprightly as on the first.
And they have extremely good manners in the glass-house. There is no erratic jumping up onto the work benches to sit on unfortunate seed trays. They seem to understand why I'm always poking and scratching in there!
Whatever I'm doing in the garden, whether it's sunning, raining - or snowing - they want to be with me. Fluff-Fluff and B-Puss have set a formidable feline tradition, providing faithful (and stylish, caramel coloured) paws-on company for the Head Gardener.
The words of a popular song spring to mind - 'I love her, I love her, I love her - and where she goes I'll follow, I'll follow, I'll follow... Oh, if cats could sing...
Even as kittens they loved being in the garden. The kitchen kitty litter box was always a little crowded, continually cat-consumer tested by three aging old-lady felines. So the kittens always headed outside.
Wisteria Scratching Post - Fluff-Fluff the Kitten
Not for them the use of house furniture as a scratching post, either - the Wisteria trunk in the patio garden gave much more satisfaction. Is this why it hasn't flowered much? Hmm...
Proactive Gardening Cats
As young adult cats, there are no lazy invisible snoozes under a nearby carex, or the distraction of stalking a bird or a mouse. Fluff-Fluff Puss and B-Puss are proactive gardening cats, wanting to be doing gardening things. Right there, in the middle of the real action - as near to my garden-gloved hands as felinely possible. This causes a few minor problems...
Shovels and Spades
Gardener-Digging-With-Shovel (or spade) is not at all relaxing. Freshly dug planting holes in the soil can sometimes be used lazily for - ahem - personal cat reasons. But no - these young Moosey cats are far too discrete! It's far worse, and the problem is Fluff-Fluff. He has developed a strong subterranean fixation which causes him to leap manically into planting holes - the deeper the better. Careful with that shovel!
Rockery Cat Plant?
A plant-size hole is the perfect fit! Comfortable in his earthy cocoon, he flicks loose dirt over his back, wraps his beautiful super-fluffy tail around himself, and shuts his eyes ready for a cat-snooze. It's a bizarre habit - such behaviour (an underground dust bath?) is really only suitable for the birds!
I just hardly bear to look, and he will not easily let himself be extracted! A clean, beautifully soft, living cat partially covered in dirt brings sad memories of dearly departed furry friends. Several have been lovingly laid to rest in rather similar holes dug in the Moosey garden. Fluff-Fluff - get out of there! I'm trying to plant a Camellia, not a cat!
White Cat with Spade
Saws and Rubbish Fires
Gardener-With-Saw is quite scary. It's because of B-Puss - he'll climb clumsily into that particular tree to see exactly what's happening. Stop sawing, Moosey! B-Puss is nosy, and full of outdoor cat-confidence. Neither the cracking of splintering wood, nor the crashing and thumping of branches as they hit the ground have any effect on him. He even ignores the noise of the chain-saw.
I'm writing this in winter, so there's been rather a lot of recent Gardener-Burning-Rubbish. This was initially a worry, as both cats seemed to like watching the flames. Would they understand not to get too close?
They remained in position even when the smoke turned in their direction, and I worried for their delicate little lungs. Two gardening cats on oxygen at the vet, suffering from self-inflicted smoke inhalation?
Reaching down to grab an armful of gum tree branches I am still often surprised by a squeak and a friendly paw - something furry is hiding in the rubbish again! Spring, summer, autumn and winter - I'm never lonely in my garden with these two gardening cats around! I love you both so much - and thanks for the superb cat-company!