Thursday, February 6, 2014

In Which Sheila Outwits & Outplays The Cat

 It's been cold here all week. Unusually cold. And by cold, I mean very, VERY cold. Cold as in -5 when I get up in the morning. Cold as in bringing the chickens' water into the basement overnight so it's liquid when we go out to free them in the morning (that's how they see it, let's face it). Cold as in putting the fleece liner in my raincoat.
Cold as in some of us spending most of our day sleeping under a blanket. Witness this lazy fellow. It's been a while since he's written a guest post, but don't be expecting one any time soon; he barely manages to rouse himself to eat, let alone put his little paddy paws to the keyboard.

One thing he DOES manage to soldier on with, depressingly, is finding soft, diggable toilet spots in the garden. No squatting in the bushes for this feline. Most of the time he doesn't even bother to cover it up, either. I suppose he thinks that's he's doing me a favour, leaving it out in the open for easier finding. I've tried to discuss it with him, but he isn't partial to my conversational methods, which generally involve a version of the old Who Flung Poo? joke.

So while he's unlikely to read this post because let's face it - he's a cat and who knows of a cat that actually reads blogs? otherwise occupied, I'll show you how I manage to outwit, outlast, and outplay his attempts to use my garden as a toilet. 
 First, don't throw out that old greenhouse you bought a while back. You know, the one with the plastic cover that disappeared during the first winter storm it met? Yes, that one: the shelves will not disintegrate, no matter what. And they make very fine soil protectors, as you can see from this photo. Here I have managed to outwit the cat AND the squirrels.

 Here I've combined greenhouse shelving with some wire row covers, along with a little chicken wire, because this is his Very Favourite Spot Of All. I have to be particularly crafty, because he is able to squeeze under the wire row cover, unless, of course, I block each end. Nothing like a little spot of cat poo in one's row cover to brighten the day.

I ran out of greenhouse shelving so I had to resort to plastic for this area. I also left the SuperMegaGigantic Marigold Shrub carcass right there, because if there's one thing that Toffee does not like, it's having to bushwack his way through the garden to his toilet space.

It's not terribly atmospheric, I admit, but the soil in this bed has finally turned into the most gorgeous crumbly stuff possible, and there's no way Toffee's little bum is going to - ahem - soil my soil.

Look at him! Does he look like he appreciates the lengths I go to keep him out of my garden? Of course he doesn't. He's got better things to do, evidently. 

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