There’s a new member of our garden’s ecosystem, and her name is Mittens. This little black and white cat arrived to our neighborhood in November, and has been courting us ever since. She won us over with her gentle regard and loving disposition, and the fact that she’d sit in my lap all day if I let her.
Mittens investigated our back yard, watching our chickens but not attacking. That was the big test. If they could get along, she could stay. And so they have, and so she does.
Cats in the garden are often a problem. They love to use empty raised beds as litter boxes. Mittens did too, but as with most cats, as soon as you plant the bed they stop. For persistent poopers, bird netting helps deter them (little paws get stuck – an undesirable side effect). For even more determined defecators, these Cat Scat devices work well.
As we know, cats love chewing on cat grass. Mittens likes the oats in our soil builder cover crop. She gnaws on the tips with glee while leaving the other plants alone. There’s no harm in letting them chew on plants once they’re established, as long as they are safe to eat.
We are excited to have a guard cat in the garden. This summer when (not if, but when) rats pay their visit to our tomato plants, we hope to surprise them with fur and feistiness.