Cat Adaptation

february-19-2009-018-2The assignment was issued by the Gardening Gone Wild group for their Garden Bloggers’ Design Workshop at the beginning of February. This month’s topic was pets in the garden. Uh oh. We have indoor cats. How can this get turned into a semi-interesting post?january-6-2009-005-21january-6-2009-003-2

Here are the subjects, the actors of the play. Hazel the black long hair plant eater on the left, Kitty the numbingly ubiquitous named gray male door opener on the right.february-19-2009-017-2You may remember the movie that was made from the terrific book by Susan Orleans, The Orchid Thief, titled “Adaptation”. The person entrusted to take the story from the written word to the visual screen was unable to make that jump, so they wrote about that inability. The same idea will be tried here. Meryl Streep can play the part of the Fairegardener, but let’s keep it G rated please.january-6-2009-021-2january-6-2009-022-2

A prop was used to attempt to arouse some kind of non sleeping activity from the players, the never fail piece of styrofoam. Hazel eats this material. When packing peanuts are used in parcels of mail ordered merchandise, she will eat them like kibbles. The boxes have to be retaped to keep her out, and she will still chew at the taped edges trying to get to the tempting plastic pieces. Kitty is less easily attracted, but has lifted a cautious paw to give the illusion of playing to humor the stick wielder. Pathetic. No wonder the cats here were deemed *not cute enough* to win the bad poetry about our cats contest even though the poetry was more than dreadful. The actual quote is “Frances at Faerie Garden had strong poetry but her cats were not quite cutesey pootsey enough.” So said the judge James Alexander-Sinclair of Blogging From The Blackpitts. Sigh. Why even bother?february-19-2009-020-2 It is no use. Maybe a good car chase, gunfight or love scene can liven things up. Strictly plantonic love, of course. Speaking of plant love, Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’ is in full bloom, arousing deeply hidden stirrings of lust in the loins of Faire Diane.february-19-2009-021-2Who could resist this specimen of raw masculinity?december-8-2008-004-2This is the most exciting shot we have, kitty on the roof. Whoopee.february-19-2009-032-2This just won’t do at all. I am falling asleep myself at the lapto……february-19-2009-050-21But lo, what is this bit of cuteness, out in the veggie bed path?february-19-2009-051-2It is the neighbor’s cat, Rondo. AKA Ronnie Ron, so named for the bull’s eye circle on his tiger striped pelt. This is our own name for him, not the humans that feed him name. There is a matching mark on his left side.february-19-2009-034-2Rondo and Kitty are pals. Kitty has been known to open the door to let Rondo come inside to visit. As long as the humans are downstairs that is. Climbing the stairway to do some cleaning I happened upon the two males yucking it up while sharing some vole chasing stories. Rondo freaked and nearly broked the door down in the effort to escape. That happens sometimes when a creature is caught in the act.february-19-2009-035-2The truth of it is, there are no pets in the garden here. But plenty of wildlife, another topic for another month.february-19-2009-014-2Riding the downhill side of February brings us that much closer to spring. We realize this is not the stuff of Oscar statues, but the sun shining on the flowers and foliage are nature’s own awards.
Frances

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38 Responses to Cat Adaptation

  1. Meems says:

    Very nicely done, Frances. Not exactly Oscar status as stated but it sure made me smile and in my book a good hearfelt smile is much more important. :-) Cats are characters aren’t they? They do exactly what they want when they want. Yours are both very adorable. At first I thought awww now that is cutesy pootsey enough… and it turned out to be Rondo. Too bad you couldn’t have recorded that escape scene where he almost broke down the door.LOL

    No pets here. When the cat of 18 years passed a few years ago we vowed to be petless since all the children are gone too. It makes for easy get away times… except now I have to get a keeper of the garden when we leave. *sigh*
    Have a happy Sunday.
    Meems

    Hi Meems, thanks so much. I wasn’t sure how to end the tale, and good ol’ Rondo saved the day. I did not have the camera with me the day of the panic escape, but we were both quite startled when I opened the door! I am sorry about the loss of your beloved pet. We have lost many over the years, but always got another, I need to have a cat, period. Ours are good and can be left for over a week with the auto fill feeders, plenty of water and a couple of litter boxes. Hazel went to be boarded only once, and nearly had a mental meltdown over it. So we tried the big feeder and it worked great. Adding Kitty to the mix was worrisome, but he has done fine during our weeklong beach trips.
    Frances

  2. tina says:

    Glad you woke up or we might have read all gibberish! Your cats are sweet as is Rhondo. A perfect shot in the garden. Arnold’s Promise is looking mighty bright and cheerful this cold day.

    HA Tina, thanks, some might call it gibberish anyway! Arnold is looking very good considering he is a newbie. Next year should be great, and Diane is still in bloom so they make a lovely couple.
    Frances

  3. gittan says:

    It sure made me smile even if you didn’t get an Oscar =) Cats in the garden, that’s a real problem here. The neighborhood cats like to use my veggie-beds as their toilet. NO nice at all! I love your pictures of spring. Tpday the snow is mealting again and now I really hope we won’t get any more. Have a nice evening / gittan

    by the way, why doesn’t your post show up on Blotanical?

    Hi Gittan, thanks. We have that same toilet problem. I cover the bare beds with bird netting or chickenwire until the plants get larger to keep the cats and squirrels out. Both like to dig in newly prepared soil. I have made little forts of rosemary cuttings around smaller seed sowing areas and it seems to work. Also in containers a row of rosemany standing around the edge keeps unwanted visitors out. We have a dusting of snow on the ground today, go away snow! As for Blotanical, it takes a couple of hours for a new post to show up. I see that you were the initial picker of this one, thanks, my friend! :-)
    Frances

  4. Gail says:

    Frances, Fantastic post starring Kitty and Hazel. They are both very nice cats. Hazel was a sweetie and I do remember observing Kitty’s disappearing through the door trick. Do you ever miss having a cat in the garden with you? I do….(no way on this busy street.) The spring bloom in their supporting roles are especially gorgeous today! Award winning performances! I just want to lay down on the ground and gaze up at the witch hazels…Arnold is gorgeous. Speaking of ground…it’s frozen and cold here. How is it over the mountains? gail

    Hi Gail, thanks. I don’t miss a cat in the garden, I am too focused on the job at hand to enjoy company when working, HA. A dusting of snow is on the ground here, but it is above freezing. Don’t know if anything can get done outside today, I have two bags of soil conditioner that are burning a hole under the deck! Arnold is looking good, I guess I didn’t kill him with the root pruning after all. Or better not speak too soon! I need to water the stuff I moved yesterday, big shrubs and even a rose, it doesn’t look like we got the rain I expected and the hoses are frozen. Looks like bucket hauling will be the exercise of the day.
    Frances

  5. layanee says:

    The cats do behave as if they own everything don’t they? I am down to just one cat and she is very old. She would rather be in the house than frolicking in the garden. Great cat poses.

    Hi Layanee, thanks. Just thinking of posing the cats in an interesting arrangement was futile. Thank goodness for Rondo. He saved the day, and the story. :-)
    Frances

  6. Brenda Kula says:

    “Plantonic love.” That’s a great one, Frances! Love the kitties, whether they are acrobats in the garden. Or just lolling around, as cats are wont to do. A cat is a cat and that is that. Can’t make them do anything they don’t want to do. Your phenomenal photos are good enough to distract, regardless!
    Brenda

    Hi Brenda, thanks. Good job catching that one! The cats will never in a million years do something on command, it is hard to even get a decent photo of them, let alone doing something cute. They are no longer kittens and only as kittens were they entertaining. Now they are just good company.
    Frances

  7. TC says:

    You forgot to mention the ever present “cattitude” they’re famous for. We have two tabbies, a six-toed “Hemingway” named, yes, Hemingway, and Lightning, the sister of a recently deceased, dearly loved and missed, male tabby. They’re indoor pets who rarely venture outside (we had a minor flea infestation one summer because we allowed them the run of the backyard).

    Hi TC, thanks for stopping by. I knew there was no way to get something cute out of them, thank goodness for neighborly Rondo. We have to do the flea treatment even though ours are indoor cats. The vet says we bring the fleas in on our clothes and Hazel is extremely sensitive to their feces. Yuck, poor baby.
    Frances

  8. teza says:

    Frances:
    What a wonderful post. I am very much a cat person, but lost two furry friends inside pf three months of one another, but they were 17 going on 65! Living with family, we now have a black lab…. but it’s just not the same thing!
    Goegeous shots of the plants that have awoken in your garden. I was so frustrated, but inspired by your post of the greenhouse, that I started some Datura, Salvia and more Cerinthe in the joffy pots! Wish me luck! Thanks for a great first post to come across on yet another snow filled day. Close to 20cm in the past two days and it’s still coming down! I must check and see how Jodi is making out!

    Hi Teza, thanks. My sympathies on the loss of your old friends. It is always sad to lose a pet of any kind. Thanks for the link love and good luck with your seed starting. The cerinthe seems a very easy one to get going, the babies are huge! I do hope you, Jodi and all the northerners are keeping warm and safe with yet more snow. We even had a dusting this morning, but it is gone now.
    Frances

  9. wiseacre says:

    Not to take anything away from Kitty but I think Hazel is too cute. It must be those styrofoam eyes.

    I have the same problem trying to capture the cats doing something interesting. Seems every time I point the camera at them they look the other way and stop whatever they were doing. The only time they don’t is during an activity bathroom doors were made for.

    Hi Wiseacre, I think so too. But they are both slugs. Eat and sleep and lick and restroom business. That’s about it. Hazel does like to sit on the arm of the lazyboy while I am busy with the laptop. Kitty walks across the laptop keyboard. That is the extent of their activity. Sounds like your cats use the same playbook. :-)
    Frances

  10. Joy says:

    Frances this was cute ! I really like seeing and reading about kitty (tails) tales ? haha
    The amazing black cat that visits our garden , Mr. Mystery .. well, we haven’t seen him all winter. So I am hoping that means his/her? owners actually take good care of the furry little soul .. meanwhile back at the ranch .. Sophie confesses to being another magical door opener .. while Emma eggs her on and charges into the now unsecured room .. they both kitty snicker under their whiskers ^..^ ^..^

    Hi Joy, thanks. I do hope Mr. Mystery, great name, is being cared for by loving humans too. We often worry about Rondo, his owner’s house burned down a few years ago and he disappeared. They rebuilt and he is back too, so all is well. Those lever handles on the doors are a boon to tricky kitties! :-)
    Frances

  11. Monica says:

    Bananas (1)! Hazel and Kitty are very cute! My childhood cat was solidly black, but since then I’ve only ever lived with striped cats (they come to me; I can’t pick their coloring). I’ve always really wanted a black or gray cat again… Bananas (2)! I created a garden for cats at a no-kill shelter, which would be a perfect post for this meme… except that I’d have to write it. Well, we’ll see!

    HA Monica, I love when you say Bananas! Do you say that in real life too? I would love to see your cat garden at the shelter. That would be a most excellent post. There is still time! :-)
    Frances

  12. I laughed, I cried, it moved me. Ok, I exaggerate, but I did enjoy the luscious images of Hellebores and Witch Hazel in full bloom. And yes, I giggled at the thought of your cat opening the door to let his friend in to play.

    Hi MMD, HA you always crack me up! There are a scant few things beginning to open here and there is a cold wind blowing. In a few weeks the garden will look more like spring, but winter still is holding tightly to us as well as the tundra of Chicago. Kitty is a big strong long cat and can easily get the leverage needed to open the lever handled doors. He is motivated by a closed door too. Your FL vacation looked inviting.
    Frances

  13. Kathleen says:

    Your Hazel and my Regis look to be twins Frances! Their personalities are what make them many times and often that can’t be captured by the camera. I love it when cats roll and lay belly up like your neighbors cat Rondo. It really does look like spring at Fairegarden. Beautiful photos of the plant life ~ those are definitely Oscar worthy!

    Hi Kathleen thanks. I think there are a couple of Hazel twins out there in the blogdom. She does like to lay in the sun belly up and looks so cute too. Do you think I could get a photo of that? No way. There are only a few flowers beginning here, it does not look like spring quite yet, but it is a beginning. Oscar, can you hear me? :-)
    Frances

  14. All you have to do is post cute kitty photos (and a few blooms for good measure) and we’re hooked! :-)

    Cameron

    Hi Cameron, thanks. Too bad I had to go outside the union to find a cute kitty posing. :-)
    Frances

  15. Monica says:

    Yes, of course I say “Bananas!” in real life. Sometimes I even say “Banana bites!”

    Um, my friend Pete actually wrote a folk-type song for my expression “banana bites” which is here, if you dare!

    HA HA Monica, that one got two HAs. Dare I did and enjoyed every minute. What a nice friend… When did you start saying banana bites? She askes intrepidly… (I joined your comments into one, ah the wonders of wordpress. :-)
    Frances

  16. Conant Kathryn says:

    Hi, Frances. Your flower photos are absolutely amazing. You mentioned in a previous blog to let you know when I started my own. With slight trepitation I offer mine at:
    http://madbeachmaven.blogspot.com
    Keep in mind, if you visit, that I am a total greenhorn at both blogging and photography!
    Love your blog, and, as always, you have been a big inspiration to me. Spring in TN has to be beautiful. Take care. . . K

    Hi Kathryn, that is fabulous! Many congratulations on starting your own blog. Most of us began because we enjoyed reading the blogs of others and wanted to join in the fun. Your first efforts are great, a little background and some garden photos. You will learn about the camera, I advise you to read the book and look for the macro setting, it will open a whole new world to you. Thanks for the kind words. Spring will be beautiful here in TN, when it arrives. :-)
    Frances

  17. k says:

    Kitties grow up much too fast, don’t they, and unfortunately lose that entertaining playfulness? Our Jasmine mostly just lolls around on these winter days, but she has bashed herself against the glass door several times today, trying to catch first a mourning dove and then a junco. The m. doves buzz the door and I swear they’re deliberately teasing her. Lucky there’s glass between them!
    Molly has never been a very playful cat.
    They do love to be out in the garden with me during the warmer weather, and the barn cats like nothing better than to ‘help’ me in the garden. Sometimes, with all their attention, it’s hard to get anything done :) Your kitties are adorable, even if uncooperative when it comes to pictures. You did well in spite of that, and it was very kind of Rondo to save the day :)
    Your garden is fair with the spring blooms! All very lovely.

    Hi Kerri, thanks. They do grow up fast, like the human children. :-) The bird activity has been fun for the cats lately. I have put a mat on the deck close to the glass doors and sprinkled sunflower seed on it. Now we can watch the birds up close in larger numbers too. How fun to have barn cats, I bet the rodent population is kept in check by them. Spring is only a bloom here and there so far, but more will be coming soon, for us both.
    Frances

  18. Catherine says:

    I think your cats are so cute! I miss having a cat, but luckily our neighbor cats like our yard better than theirs so we feel like they are ours. It’s hard to have indoor cats, but so much safer!

    Hi Catherine, thanks so much. I have never been without a cat since I was born, so don’t even know what it would be like not to have one. This is the first house where our cats are strictly indoors. Kitty wants to go out, but Hazel has never been out except a couple of times the door was ajar. She was so scared. We can leave for up to a week with the cats in the house alone with no problem.
    Frances

  19. ourfriendben says:

    Love it, Frances!!! Our own cats offer nonstop entertainment indoors and out. (Though we try to keep the three indoor cats indoors and the three, and sometimes four, outdoor cats outdoors. When the indoor cats, especially my beloved but clueless Linus, escape, it’s a “If Mama ain’t happy ain’t nobody happy” scene until he’s safe again indoors.) Our eldress, Athena, has developed a new role as a Catmonaut, regularly volunteering for the “Cats in Space” program when she’s gotten on the otherwise sleeping Silence Dogood one too many times; meanwhile, the siblings, Linus and Layla, are devotees of NASCAT, racing through the house chasing toy mice, each other, and anything else that presents itself. Unfortunately for us, NASCAT races appear to kick up only after about 2 a.m. Then there are the outdoor cats: Simon and marley like to accompany OFB and our golden, Molly, on their outdoor rounds, and Marley has been known to infiltrate the chicken coop, not in order to attempt to eat the chickens but to have a chance to eat some of the treats we feed them, such as bread and pasta. So many stories, so little time! Thanks for sharing yours, and your gorgeous spring photos.

    Hi OFB, thanks. Count Hazel among the clueless too. She has a terrible panic attack if the door gets left ajar, like when Kitty opens it. He just doesn’t like to see a closed door of any kind. We do have a very brief NASCAT here, out of the blue. We never know what triggers it, but it doesn’t last more that one or two laps. Molly sounds like a wonderful girl. We will send good thoughts her way.
    Frances

  20. Kathy in Napa says:

    My fur-kids are so lazy that they don’t even show an interest in the bird feeders anymore. However, it is important to them to be where I am. I find them a reassureing and calm presence, and the perfect garden companions-they never criticize anything ! Although they are prone to lie on top of the Nepeta…

    Hi Kathy, thanks for visiting. These cats are in charge of us, not the other way around, that is a fact. Even though mine rarely do anything that could be called cute, we love them and are comforted by their presence as you say so well. Hopefully we comfort them also. We have nepeta that self sows about the garden and it is usually chewed to the nub, which is fine by me. It helps keep it in check. :-)
    Frances

  21. LindaLunda says:

    LOL!!! You have some … freaky… cats! Eating plastick!??
    LoL.. opening doors for the nabor cat!!!!
    Yheee!
    *************************** LOL****

    Hi Linda, thanks. I don’t know that I would call them freaky, boring is more like it, except when a visiting cat is surprised in the house! HA
    Frances

  22. Randy says:

    Enjoyed the Arnold’s Promise photos, never seen that one before. Quince is opening up here too. One of my cats does open siding pocket doors we had to get a latch for it.

    Hi Randy, thanks and welcome. I think we are in similar zones with similar plants. That is funny about your cat and the pocket door, so far Kitty has not attempted that one, only the lever latches which are on every door. :-) The witch hazels have had the best year ever.
    Frances

  23. Randy says:

    Very nicely done, Frances! I didn’t get sleepy a single time! We have a wild cat that runs around in our garden,but he gives me and Jamie both the heebee geebees.

    Hi Randy, thanks so much. Glad you were able to stay awake for this snorer of a post. I have to laugh at the heebee geegees over a wild cat, but some cats are scary, even to a cat person like me. Better to keep your distance from one like that.
    Frances

  24. Rose says:

    Shame on James Sinclair! I think Hazel and Kitty are quite “cutesy-pootsey”! Perhaps they won’t win any Oscars, but I think you might have a future in writing romance novels, Frances. I can see why Arnold might stir some feelings of lust:)

    Hi Rose, thanks for your support. I have to agree with James though, cute is not the word I would use to describe my cats. I love them anyway. Romance novels aren’t my thing, but some sci fi fantasy mystery novels could get me going. :-)
    Frances

  25. walk2write says:

    I can tell there is a spring in your step around the garden, frisky cats or not. That steamy romance between Diane and Arnold are heating things up in TN, I see. We have a Kitty too. I was wondering if you have another name for him when you take him to the vet? Our Kitty has a name just for vet visits. The first time we took her in years ago, it seemed undignified to saddle her with the ubiquitous name on her medical record.

  26. Jan says:

    Hi, Frances. I think your cats are adorable. I am a cat person, too, and also have a plant eater which is the reason for no houseplants. I really enjoyed this post; I needed a smile this morning.

    Jan
    Always Growing

    Hi Jan, thanks. They are not very cute but we still love our cats. Not having plants in the house is probably a good thing. That way the stuff in the closed greenhouse gets the right care, better than if they were for decoration in the rooms. It makes me so happy to think of your smile. :-)
    Frances

  27. Marnie says:

    Hey Frances, your post seemed pretty exciting to me (but then we midwesterners aren’t known for our jet-setting life styles). I can truthfully say I’d rather watch your cat chew packing peanuts than watch a lot of phony actresses dress up in borrowed diamonds and gush and kiss everyone in sight;)

    (When I first read the title I thought it said cat adoption. I had to reread it to make sense of the post. Should have never have given up coffee.)
    Marnie

    Hi Marnie, HA, giving up coffee is not something we could do here. I only have one cup and it is the international instant kind, much less caffeine but enough to open my eyes. Thanks for those nice words about the cats. It is a mad dash when a package is opened and those peanuts present themselves. Hazel knows immediately and comes running, no matter where she has been sleeping. For me, I love watching the actresses play dress up, but mute the sound so I don’t have to listen to the inane chatter.
    Frances

  28. Barbara says:

    I’m sitting here whining and moaning over all those blossoms. Frances your photos are stunning. And throwing that cat up on the roof for a good shot – well, that was pure brilliance.

    HA Barbara, thanks. Sometimes brilliance comes in a dream…. So sorry for your quince, that is a favorite here and the coral color looks so good with the yellow daffs.
    Frances

  29. Monica says:

    Man, I’m really working on earning some kind of frequent poster award! ;-) I forgot to mention Fiona LOVES licking plastic bags, but fortunately, styrofoam is safe.

    I’ve known Pete since 1983 and for a long time, he was married to my best friend (they met through me). He’s always played the dulcimer (mountain and now hammer) and recently took up piano, guitar, ukulele, and banjo (even though he’s one of those people who insists he can’t play music–ARG!).

    Anyway, I just come up with sayings without meaning to, and bananas! came first, several months ago, and banana bites! followed. Bananas! can be a good or bad expression, depending on context, being equivalent to darn, wow, or yay! Banana bites is only bad and more seriously bad than bananas. If you dropped a Dorito, for example, that’s “Bananas!” If you dropped your antique carnival glass cup onto a stone floor, that’s “Banana bites!” Thank you and sorry!

    HA Monica, I don’t know what I would do without your frequent comments, they always crack me up. Don’t stop! I thought that sounded like a ukulele, but didn’t know how to spell it. I figured banana bites was for those extra annoying things in life, but bananas seems to be more good than bad. Thanks for clearing that up. Our cats both love plastic bags, but more for getting into than licking. A giant plastic bag, like grocery bag material came with my new rainbarrel and we just now put it with the recycle for the cats loved it so. I have been cleaning up the house and the giant plastic bag was just not adding to the decor.
    Frances

  30. skeeter says:

    I dont care what anyone says, your fur babies are cutie patooties! Since I dont spot leaves on the tree peeking above the roof, I would have to guess “Cat on a Cold tin roof” instead of Hot tin roof??? lol, sorry, could not resist. How sweet that your Kitty has company over for mole chat. Seeing your Hazel in the tunnel, I again say she looks just like my Cheetah Monkey girl….

    Hi Skeeter, thanks. I knew you had a Hazel look alike and would think her cute. :-) Kitty gets on the roof frequently. He has a path from the garage deck railing to the low corner by the upper garage door. Getting up is fine. But he has to jump from the roof edge back to that four inch railing to get down. Scary for me if not for him. The pitch of the roof is not steep in back and there are screws he can grab with his claws. He likes to be up high and see what is going on. It would probably be too hot in summer for him to even get up there, that metal can get hot with the sun shining on it.
    Frances

  31. Philip says:

    What a charming post, Frances. I think Hazel and kitty are very cute. Hazels love of styrafoam is something. I can just picture Hazel batting the box for those tempting treats! How did kitty come off the roof? He is not still there, is he?
    Our own cat, a Siamese named Isis gives us so much pleasure. She is quite a character. Her favorite trick is to empty all the sand from the litter box and she plays fetch. Really. in the morning when I wake up as I move I hear bells…in the night she has arranged all her toys around me. It is the darndest thing. :)
    Best to you,
    Philip

    Hi Philip, how nice to see you again, thanks for stopping by. Hazels is more of a chewer on the edge of the box to get to the styrofoam. Kitty has a path from the garage deck railing jumping to a low corner of the roof to get up there. He comes down when he is ready, no amount of cajoling will bring him down, of course for he is a cat. Your Isis sounds very smart. Having her toys around you is like keeping you in her corral. Our son, Brokenbeat in Asheville had a cat named Isis. She went to live with Chickenpoet, our daughter in northeast TN when he moved into an apartment and may be there still out in the woods. Emptying the sand from the litter box is such an adorable cat trait, isn’t it? HA
    Frances

  32. joey says:

    Alway enjoy a good tale, Frances! BTW, loved both the The Orchid Thief and Adaptation!

    Hi Joey, thanks. You are the first to comment on the book and movie which inspired this post. So you got all the references. Hooray. Loved your butterflies.
    Frances

  33. chuck b. says:

    Good for you for keeping the kitties indoors. I do too. It’s best that way.

    Hi Chuck, I agree. But Kitty has other ideas and gets out more than I like. But we do keep an eye on him and he comes back in shortly, worried about his food dish. HA
    Frances

  34. Aw, they’re cutesy pootsy in my book, Frances/Meryl! They’re very relaxed and beautiful. I saw Adaptation several times and enjoyed it after the first time through (not having read the book, I was somewhat confused first time around, but that might have been lack of sleep, too). If you want to give Kitty an ego boost, give him an official name that has some oomph to it, like Zanzibar BuckBuck McFate of Dr. Suess fame.

    Hi Jodi, thanks. I had read the book, twice in fact and was excited about the movie coming out. Luckily a friend warned me that the movie was nothing like the book, but still fun. Kitty actually has a formal name, Chauncey Chakan. That may be what is in the vet’s records, HA. He also has no lack of ego. :-)
    Frances

  35. Jean says:

    I got a good chuckle out of the cats visiting. I too have the same problem with no pets in the garden. Just my indoor kitties here. But I do have the nuisance cats of the neighborhood who like to visit my feeders from time to time. Very clever response to this month’s design workshop Frances!

    Hi Jean, thanks. Besides Rondo there are other cats that come through the backyard. I don’t encourage them, but they just seem to be passing along. On occasion a dog will come back here and forget how they came in and panic. They can do a great deal of damage in a short time.
    Frances

  36. Well, I liked it, Frances! Both the kitty pics and those of your plants and flowers. Oh how I wish my witch hazel would bloom this year, but I don’t think it’s to be. There are some shells where I think the buds should be, but none that are full. :-( Maybe next year. Yours are gorgeous!

    Hi Kylee, thanks. I think your witch hazel is getting ready to give you some flowers with those swelling buds. Let me know when it does, I want to see it, and wish I could smell the fragrance. One thing about that, the temp needs to be fairly warm and the bush in full bloom to really get a whiff!
    Frances

  37. hayefield says:

    What a valiant effort, Frances! Pets, plants, and *someone’s* pet – even if not your own – actually in the garden (as well as on the roof): you managed to pull it off admirably. Next month’s topic should be much easier, don’t you think?
    -Nan

    Hi Nan, thanks. Yes, next month’s topic could easily have a post a day on it. Just yesterday I saw a honeybee, bumblebee and a ladybug outside. Snow predicted for Sunday, so don’t know where they will hide until it warms back up, poor things.
    Frances

  38. Oh Frances, this is a fine post. I can’t believe my eyes, a styrofoam eating cat. Aren’t cats just the funniest things?? Your outdoor cats are interesting too. Your photos are worth the visit every time no matter what. I love your new header photo of the Cedar Waxwings all lined up at the water feature. Aren’t they the most darling birds??

    Hi Lisa, thanks. Welcome back, we missed you but are excited to hear about your trip. Hazel is very silly with her food preferences, besides cat food, soap, styrofoam and lettuce will bring her running every time. Thanks about the waxwings. That was such a close encounter, too thrilling for words.
    Frances

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