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Cat devotes self to defending vegetable garden

Good morning, I have given my staff the day off from writing the usual garden column. For those of you who haven’t met me, I am FeatherChaser, the gray cat that adopted Pat Munts as my purveyor of scratches, rubs and cat biscuits.

It has been so nice to get outdoors again without having to deal with frozen feet and cold winds that make me fluff my coat up. I usually go out right when Pat – aka – TheOneWhoFoundMe leaves for the day. She says she goes off to her job but I know she just doesn’t want to be at my beck and call all day. That’s OK, Steve – aka – TheOther is always here to back her up. He’s such a soft touch; a couple of sweet meows and ankle rubs and I am in his arms for a good belly scratch.

My favorite place in the spring is the vegetable garden. There many interesting smells and signs that small rodents are about. The OneWhoFoundMe always leaves a few soft piles of mulch where I can catch a quick nap, especially the one in the shady raspberry patch.

One of the challenges I have this spring are a couple of intruders who think my yard is theirs. Both of them are black and white cats a little bigger than me but smaller than my house rival TheOneWhoHatesMe. I call them Intruders One and Two – they don’t deserve any better designation. Intruder One lives next door and likes to hang out under the deck. I challenge him every chance I get, even through the window. Intruder Two seems to prefer the garage and I have no idea where he/she lives. Most of the time a short standoff restores order. There are times though that TheOneWhoHatesMe and I have to settle the discussion with our claws and teeth. We come home with scratches and bites that seem to send our staff into a tizzy.

When this happens we usually get stuffed into this cage despite our best efforts to fight them off. We are then put in the car and taken away. We can’t see anything and it’s noisy! So, we howl. TheOneWhoFoundMe talks to me in soothing tones. I wish she would just stop the gibberish and let me out! I then find myself being hauled out of the box with little dignity by a guy in a white coat. He pokes and prods me, shaves the beautiful fur off my leg and tells my staff that there is no infection. The last insult is a needle stuck into the scruff of my neck. Then it’s back in the box and another bumpy ride home. Now I have to start my intruder check all over again.

Pat Munts has gardened in the Spokane Valley for more than 35 years. She can be reached at pat@inlandnwgardening .com.