Friday, August 31, 2012
A cat--the best pet for a gardener
Not too long ago, one of our garden club members--and one of the nicest people you will find anywhere--came home to find her cat had been killed by another animal. She was understandably upset. She told us that in addition to being her friendly companion as she tended her garden, her cat was a very helpful partner in her gardening endeavors. He ran off the mice, rabbits, raccoons, squirrels and other animals that were just waiting to steal her vegetables and munch on her flowers. She told us that a cat was the best pet to have if you were a gardener.
I really can't argue with my friend's gardening expertise because she is an amazing gardener. Many of you might know her as the "Straw Belle Lady," Charlotte Nelson. She grows amazing amounts of vegetables and herbs along with flowers--plus her beloved hostas--in her back yard in suburban Coweta county. In my opinion, her energy and love of nature and animals cannot be equaled in these parts.
That is why when she gives hints and tips about gardening and pets, I take them to heart. If she says it, I believe it will work because she is proof it is true. I am just sorry this tip had to come from her tragedy. My sister and I decided that we really needed to have a garden pet, a cat, to help ward off critters. The decision was made but I guess we needed the stars to align, or something to make it happen.
This past Sunday, I guess you could say they aligned. My husband and I went to lunch after church with friends and while there, a young lady (and animal lover) asked if anyone would like a cat. She just happened to have some out in her car and had an immediate need to give them away to good homes.
I have been wanting to pull the trigger on getting a cat since we found that a predator of some kind was raiding our garden at night, feasting on watermelons and our low-hanging tomatoes. (Last year it was our corn.)
I decided to seize the opportunity and now my sister and I are the proud owners of a garden cat--actually he is a little kitty and we are expecting him to grow into a cat to keep us company in our garden and to act as our garden guardian.
He is mostly black and there is a touch of white on his nose and a small amount of white under his neck and on his front paws. Our friend said he looked almost like he was wearing a tuxedo. His back paws have a little more white. He is very sweet.
We were a bit worried about what my sister's dogs would think of him but her "alpha dog," Tia, seems to be enthralled with him. I would never have guessed that!
Finding a name for him didn't take long. We decided to choose a "garden" name and after running through a list of garden vegetables, we decided to name him Basil. I think that is a perfect name for a garden cat. It is kind of an old-fashioned and elegant, British name for a little kitty dressed in a tuxedo.
It will be quite a while before he can be expected to help us out in the garden, but we think that next year is plenty of time for him to become a valuable partner as our garden watcher.
Just a footnote, Charlotte Nelson will be the guest speaker on September 11, at the Backyard Association meeting sponsored by the Coweta Master Gardeners, located on Pine Road. Her topic will be Straw Bale Gardening and I guarantee you that her presentation will be good.