Squirt supervising Greetings my dear feline friends.  It’s been a while since my last Scribbling and for that I must apologise, however it was entirely due to circumstances beyond my control.  The reason I haven’t been able to write?  You won’t believe it!

Wait for it….

Staff (she of the gross ineptitude) broke the charger for her my laptop.  Honest, straight up Guv, that’s what happened.  She pushed her chair back from the table and knocked over another chair which smashed the charger to smithereens as it fell.  I wouldn’t care, if you took her ten pin bowling she wouldn’t knock a thing down.  She is living proof, if proof were needed, of my long held theory that humans are the clumsiest creatures on earth.  It isn’t their fault though, they are just very badly designed.  The charger is replaced now but being without a laptop gave me plenty of time to ponder on humans.  They are so different from us, their rightful overlords, that I could write a whole book on the subject!  But I don’t want to bore you so I’m going to concentrate on one thing that always baffles me about people.

Why the obsession with gardening?

You know what I mean.  Spring has been and gone, summer is here and your humans are probably spending every weekend in the garden digging in the dirt and complaining that their knees are creaking.  And they change things!   We moved into this house nearly a year ago and I love it; I love the house, the surrounding woods and fields, the river.  But when I was allowed outside for the first time the place that I immediately fell in love with was the garden which is huge and hadn’t been tended for a few years, so nature had begun to take over.  The beds were overgrown, the grass was taller than me and the shrubs were in a glorious tangle.  It was utterly perfect and I quickly set about exploring and making it my own.  A cat needs only a few things in a garden:

1.      Somewhere to sleep in the shade.

2.      Somewhere to sleep in the sun.

3.      Places to hide while waiting for unsuspecting vermin to pass by.

4.      A bit of decent dirt to take a dump in.

5.      One or two trees or a high wall for climbing to check out the area.

My garden had all these things so imagine my horror when Staff and Manstaff began to make changes after we’d only been here for a couple of weeks.  On went the wellies, out came the spades, rakes, saws and a whole load of other tools.   I can’t understand why they would want to change something so perfect but all last summer and autumn it was work, work, work, trimming, sawing, weeding, raking and digging.  What’s wrong with a few weeds anyway?  It went fairly quiet in the winter but of course hostilities were resumed in spring; more heavy clearance work and frequent grumblings about blistered hands and bad backs (serves them right).

Squirt's secret rhododendron bushThey’ve made the lawn smaller, created a vegetable garden, cleared the paths, built a greenhouse, removed an old rotten tree and some dead shrubs and waged war on weeds.  They used a fancy electric contraption to remove moss from the lawn and there were tantrums when they realised it had removed half the grass as well.  They’ve moved some plants and removed others, they have become totally obsessed and I can’t see an end to it.  But never mind, it isn’t all bad, even I can see some things are an improvement.  The new bird feeding station helps me develop my lifelong interest in ornithology, the lilies and foxgloves have been removed (poisonous for cats so good riddance), there is a nice comfortable bench near the south facing wall which is just right for snoozing.  The new bird bath is left to fill naturally with rain water which is far better than the tasteless muck which comes out of the taps, and the new greenhouse is very cosy for a snooze on a windy day.  So I suppose I can live with all the disruption as long as they don’t remove the rhododendron because I have a secret nest underneath it for sleeping in the shade.

Oh, and I’ve had some fun too!  They put mouse traps in plastic pipes all round the veg garden and they couldn’t understand why the traps kept disappearing.  It took weeks before they realised I’d been checking the traps regularly, whipping out any with mice in them and stashing them in my lair under the rhododendron!  I laughed so much watching them scratching their heads and hunting high and low, but eventually they realised it was me and blocked off the ends of the pipes to stop me hooking the mice out.  They always find a way of spoiling my fun.  I wonder how long it will be before they find out that I’ve been using the corner of the veg garden as a litter tray……

Now that a lot of the clearing and tidying is finished there are endless conversations about the garden.  What shall we plant here?  Will rhubarb thrive here?  Does that rowan tree need pruning? Where shall we plant some catnip for Squirt?  (Anywhere at all but please, please make it a priority job!)  It strikes me as very strange that humans are so keen to change a garden that would be fine just left to grow wild but never mind, when things get too much to bear and I want some peace I just go into the side garden or the small garden at the front because I’m sure that when the main one is finished they’ll be starting on those as well, so I may as well enjoy them while I can.

Squirt's favourite benchTheir obsession doesn’t let them relax for even a minute.  Just this afternoon they were sitting on the bench with a cup of tea when Staff suddenly shot to her feet and galloped to a flower bed to point at a tiny little plant.  “Hey”, she said to Manstaff, “Do you think that’s a weed?”

I rest my case.

A Morning Kiss

A morning kiss, a discreet touch of his nose landing somewhere on the middle of my face.
Because his long white whiskers tickled, I began every day laughing.

Janet F Faure

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