Ginger Gardening Cats
Ginger cats make brilliant gardening cats. The newest ginger Moosey cat, Percy, is carrying on this proud tradition, started many years ago with old Ginger Puss, and carried on by Fluff-Fluff and dear Smoocher.
Ginger Gardening Cats
Percy wasn't actually supposed to stay here at Mooseys. But he was ginger, he loved gardening, and there was a small, special connection - let me explain.
Smoocher the Ginger Kitten
Three or four times a week I go out to a flowering cherry tree in the Hazelnut Orchard and chat to the long grass underneath. This is where young Smoocher, my most loving ginger cat, was laid to rest in the year 2005, after his long battle with cat-cancer.
But it's always a happy chat, with lots of giggling and cackling. I start by telling Smoocher how the other cats have been behaving, or misbehaving, in his absence.
There are always new catty things to mention - things like the identity of the phantom pantry piddler (Tiger, that was you), and the cat responsible for the live rabbit dropped underneath my bed and the dead rabbit which was stashed in behind my bookcase, not to be discovered for some weeks. Jerome - that was you.
I talk about the cat-diet that super-sized Fluff-Fluff is on, and that the exercise he gets by gardening is a really good thing - particularly running after the Head Gardener to catch up.
Ginger Cats on the Lawn
The Best Cat...
And I confess that I'm doing some extremely sneaky cat-psychology. The trick is to tell each of the cats in private that they are the best...
It may sound over-sentimental, or just plain daft, but I asked Smoocher about my three foster kittens - Percy the ginger boy in particular. What should I do? I had worked so hard to socialise and tame them - serious attachments had been formed. We had bonded.
And Percy was the first to purr for me. He, like Smoocher, was ginger. Why shouldn't he be admitted to the Order of the Ginger Gardening Moosey Cat? Oops.
Smoocher's grandmother came from the cat colony that my friend Judith looks after. Fluff-Fluff, my big fluffy ginger gardening companion, was rescued from the colony in 2006. So Percy is 2007's model - connections, connections...
So there were many connections. All of the above cats are certainly cousins, or uncles, or even half-brothers. That's nice, not that they care aboout it...
Percy the Ginger Kitten
On Smoocher's 2007 anniversary I took junior-ginger-cat Percy out to the cherry tree, and told him about his relative, whose short cat-life we were celebrating. I'd been checking photographs - Percy shows an uncanny resemblance to Smoocher.
They share the same fur markings, and their personalities, too, are very similar. And, very symbolically, both cats have forehead stripes with the shape of the letter 'M'.
'M' for Moosey
That's 'M' for Moosey, I told Percy, who rubbed his striped ginger body in the cherry tree trunk and purred loudly. Oops. And so I am blessed to share my gardening life with yet another ginger cat.