Sunday, June 7, 2009

Keeping cats and squirrels out of your garden

Mystery of the Disappearing Fennel
Chapter 2

In the first installment of this vegetable growing mystery, I mentioned this evidence:
  • Fennel seeds not sprouting
  • Red pepper tops lopped off

Suspect #1
Torontogardens suggested this might be the work of a crazed “menopausal” squirrel, absconding with my Fennel seeds. Following this lead, I liberally sprinkled red pepper flakes in the garden plot, having heard that this was an effective thieving squirrel deterrent.

The Evidence Didn’t Add Up
What I neglected to mention is that the pepper tops were left, lying forlornly, beside their stems. Would not a squirrel, hormones running rampant, have carried the tops off, instead of leaving the withering leaves, to die a horrible wilting death? Or, like red pepper flakes, did they not like red pepper plants either? So many questions.

Suspect #2
I, therefore, turned my powers of deduction to another suspect. Mini the Mooch, my own cat, had been observed trying to enter said garden patch, on a previous occasion. As to her behaviour, though more than 14 years old, I observed on many occasions, that she still chased her own tail. What self-respecting, aging feline would do this? Perhaps she too was menopausal. Were raging hormones affecting her judgement, causing her to run amok?

Could this garden rampaging have been an inside job? I felt betrayed! Not wanting to believe the garden marauder was my own beloved feline, I hoped it was the bruiser cat that had just moved in next door.

As I pondered the evidence, while sipping my morning Java, I noticed Mini the Mooch making a b-line for the vegetable patch. I guess the thought of that, oh so pristine, lovely to dig and use as a potty earth, was too much of a temptation.

Justice in the Garden
But the Java hadn’t kicked in. I wasn’t quick enough! Before I knew it, she’d slinked through the cheap wire garden fencing (got it on sale at Canadian Tire).

“Stop!” I yelled. She stood there, frozen, caught red pawed in the act. Trembling with fear, her paw raised to dig out a fledgling zucchini, I felt a moment of remorse. She is, after all, my own cat.

The regret lasted only a moment. Justice had to be done. So I bolted to the garden plot, housecoat flying, waving my arms, screaming “Get outta’ there!” Her panic did not last for long. Realizing it was just me, with that look of distain only a cat can give, she nonchalantly exited the veggie patch, with nary a look back.

Nonetheless, I still suspect she has a squirrelly accomplice. To keep them both at bay I am now off to buy some chicken wire to place over my garden patch.

PS - I wanted to have the theme from Dragnet playing, but can't figure out how to embed on Blogger. If so inclined you can listen here:

For more about keeping cats and squirrels out of your garden go here:


  1. I've tried a few things to keep cats out of my flower beds. So far, I'm still working on it, but the most effective thing I have come across are the pricey "Cat Scat Mats". Check out my blog for my info on that. I don't want to leave a coulmn-sized comment. Keep up the good work.


  2. love ur blog.
    do what the italians do (totally works).
    Put half filled water bottles around your plants. cats and squirrels get freaked out by the movement and the reflection. totally works.

  3. Thanks for the water bottle tip. Next season I'll definitely give it a try.


Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.


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