Garden Update ~ And Then There Were Seven

I guess you could say I asked for it. Last Thursday, while planting garlic in the 100-gallon bed on the West side of the shed, I lamented how much the voles have destroyed our grass. Deep gouges swish and swirl around the yard, especially since I threw some extra fritillaria melagris bulbs into the largest holes. I noticed the voles had thrown one out in disgust and appeared to have dug new trenches. Thank goodness I opted for the various styles of grow bags, which so far live up to their reputation as vole resistant.

In the midst of hauling compost from garage to far backyard, I might have wondered where “my” cat went. Did she really only visit our yard to torment Kalamazoo Kal? He hasn’t come by for awhile. Did she follow him to less restricted kale pastures? Did something happen to her? Why do these voles feel so comfortable in our yard? If only they smelled more cat, maybe they’d go the way of Kal. If you wish it, they will come. And come.

Meet the new Vole Patrol:




These three musketeers come from a litter of seven — plus a bigger mama. Creamsicle 1 loves sniffing lavender and chomping catmint. Creamsicle 2 does not. The other kitties leave herbs alone, but Creamsicle 1 loves his nibbles. The grey one, whom I call Lynx, because s/he looks just like a lynx, complete with black tufted ears, isn’t quite as pretty as sister, Luna, whom David named because she features three phases of the Moon on her left side. There’s an unnamed orange adventurer and one more that reminds me of a cookie, though I couldn’t say what kind. The little black runt, Nut (for the Egyptian sky goddess), remains my favorite.

Yesterday, I felt a little trepidation that seven rowdy youngsters could easily grow to seventy howling cats, but my goodness they bring hours of entertainment! They love to play hide and go seek through Kal’s old hidey hole, peer at me with kitten eyes through the sliding glass door, perk up their ears when I assert the songbird moratorium and warn the birds away, and they curl around each other in the afternoon sun. Mostly, though, they’ve got the voles muttering: “Ugggh! There goes this neighborhood!” Rodent flight to the suburbs of this yard.

I think someone might be feeding these little cuties, because they all tend to disappear at the same time; however, this morning, I noticed a hawk, which also scatters kitties. So far, our yard seems to feature an ever evolving cast of characters who could but do not do each other harm. At least from my own observations. Everyone seems to follow invisible stage directions. Enter hawk, exit cats. Exit hawk, cue songbirds and woodpeckers. Occasionally, a red squirrel Extra jumps from tree to roof to tree to fence to neighbor’s yard. Enter kitties.

I’ve got some fine arugula, lettuce and chard growing after Thursday’s compost and Saturday’s six inches of rain. Our brown summer lawn turned green again, and the newly planted four types of irises already show new growth. Balloon flowers and mums want another round of blooms, and no one’s pilfered any more kale. Our unseasonably late first frost pushed back the rest of my Spring bulb and perennial veggies shipments, so gardening right now means harvesting greens and watching Wild Kingdom Live, all day, every day.

I still can’t believe how close we live to everything, and how many animals enjoy our yard. That shed is Love Shack, Hidey Hole, Thruway and more. Some day we might turn it into a high tech greenhouse with concrete floor, but for now? All those critters make gardening so much fun.

8 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Linette on October 17, 2017 at 11:21 am

    Wishing there was a “love” button for this post! Very little is more fun than watching kittens play. I just want to snuggle them all! hehe Thanks for introducing us to the Kitten Horde!

    Liked by 1 person


    • Aren’t they the cutest?! I’m sending Reiki and praying they find homes before winter, because this is not something I can offer indoors. I have a cat pee issue, along with family members violently allergic to cats.

      Liked by 1 person


  2. LOL the Vole Patrol! So cute. Does the mama cat belong to one of your neighbors?

    Liked by 1 person


    • Hi Diana,
      I assume Mama Cat lives with one of the neighbors, but that could be anyone! Despite our very private (from humans) fenced backyard with a row of tall evergreens in front of another row of hugely thorned osage orange trees, there is a large apartment complex behind us. We can’t really see it, nor them us, but in terms of animal territory, it’s all one big area. I suspect this is an apartment herd, although I think the first kitty was one of the neighbors’ on our street.

      Liked by 1 person


  3. Oh wow.. now you need to be careful when ‘manifesting’ lol.. Look what you got in triplicate.. haha.. Wonderful to know the Mom cat is fine and she looks to have had her hands full..
    And your vole population will soon be a thing of the past if she teaches them her tricks..
    Lovely to see.. And yes having been owned by several cats over the years,, Kittens are a joy and delight to watch their antics..
    Enjoy! both your new neighbours and your wonderful garden Laura xxx

    Liked by 1 person


    • I always need to be careful manifesting, Sue! It’s very often instantaneous or at least within the next day. That was one reason I stopped writing fiction in 2009 — everything kept coming true right away. I am still trying to manage that in terms of the necessary conflict for driving a story. 😉

      I do enjoy the Wild Kingdom here. Rarely a dull moment. xxx

      Liked by 2 people


      • You sound like my daughter she too has that wonderful knack.. In a most wonderful way..
        May your story telling be of wonderful dreams fulfilled lol.. A New Earth, and Happy ever after.. LOL.. We who dream, will keep on Dreaming.. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people


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