For those who have asked recently, Kitty is doing fine. She is still in residence at the Brendle home and is still an outside cat except on days when it is extremely hot or rainy. On those days she is invited into the laundry room where she enjoys lazing on the cool tile floor, playing with the work boots and shoes lined up in front of the washer and dryer, and occasionally turning over the trash can.
She continues to grow, weighing in last week at a whopping six pounds. She has also improved her tree climbing skills. A few
weeks ago, David found her caught on a limb about twelve feet from the ground. I talked to her to keep her calm, while he brought the ladder around and climbed up to rescue her. Later that same day, though, she was following him around the yard like the puppy dog she sometimes thinks she is. When he stopped to check the mail, she dashed up a tree beside him and stopped at his eye level, giving him a see-what-I-can-do look.
“Don’t do that, Kitty,” he said gently.
She sighed and backed down the tree as if she knew what she was doing. Since then, we’ve seen her playing on the lower trunks of several trees, and she even appeared from among the foliage of one after we had spent several minutes calling her, but we haven’t had any more distress calls.
Kitty has also discovered the garden. The first time she followed me out among the corn plants, she jumped and ran every time the wind blew a leaf against her back, but she soon learned what a fun place a garden can be. Those waving leaves were perfect toys for a kitten to bat around, and there was an endless supply of bugs to stalk.
She has a serious side, though, and she likes to help when she can. When I water, she supervises the placement of the hose, and she lies at the edge of the spray pattern to be sure the coverage is adequate. She’s always on hand when it’s time to harvest, especially when I’m picking purple hull peas. She loves to hide under the plants and grab my hand when I reach for a pod, thus ensuring that I’m not lonely and that my heart is pumping at a suitably aerobic rate.
Last Saturday I decided to try some fall peas and beans–again. I planted some last year, and just when they were ready to bloom, the earliest frost in recent memory wiped them out. I planted early this year, and the dry heat burned them up as soon as they peeked out of the dirt. I don’t know if they’ll do any better this time around, but the rows were already prepared, and it’s good exercise.
I had almost finished the first of three rows when Kitty joined me. I had loosened the soil, poked holes with the hoe handle, and dropped a couple of butter beans in each hole. I planned to finish the other two rows, then go back and cover all the seeds at one time. As I squatted to pull a few stray weeds, Kitty appeared to say good morning and see how I was doing. She allowed me to pet her for a few minutes before she disappeared, and I went back to the weeds. A few minutes later, I straightened up and saw her busily scratching away in the first row.
“Kitty,” I said, “what are you doing?”
She looked up and said Who, me in kittenese, and took off for parts unknown. Further investigation revealed that she apparently likes butter beans as much as David, although for a different reason. She had disinterred half a dozen of the fat, white beans and had a great time batting them around in the loose dirt. I began replacing the stray beans, but she reappeared and fought me for her new toys as I tried to cover them up.
So, I frequently have a kitty in the garden. She’s not much help–in fact, she’s a bit of a nuisance–but she’s good company, and she’s a good subject of conversation and blog posts.
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