Tag Archives: cats and gardens

A garden without a cat – what happens?

Mr Darcey
Mister Darcy in young hunter mode

We have had a few cats over the years. I can’t really remember living without one. At times we have had three at the same time.

Mister Darcey, a handsome and very aloof cat, with two white hairs on his chest and black stripes on his black fur in the summer sunshine, succumbed to old age and illness a month ago or so. We miss him and keep seeing black shapes out of the corner of our eyes.

But what is amazing is the birdlife in our garden since. in his final days, he would lie on the grass and watch a magpie walk past him just a few feet away. He did love to Cath a magpie. We knew he was on the way out when he couldn’t even be bothered to twitch his tail.

We’ve never bothered to cage or cover raspberries before. We picked quite a few, then I went out to pick the final berries… and they had all gone! That never happened before. We were always happy to share the fruit, but not to be raided.

We picked a good quantity of ripe gooseberries too. Mrs Rayner made some wonderful chutney with them. The remaining fruit had ripened and we decided to pick them after a walk. But they had gone! All of them!

Pigeons (I think) are intent on digging up the roots of my French beans. A robin has become very friendly and watches me dig or weed from within touching distance. I hold my finger out for him to sit on but he hasn’t fallen for that yet!

We had always had the occasional bird brought in as a gift and found remains around the garden, but I never knew how much the cats were keeping birds “under control”.

We are not planning to get another cat anytime soon. But I think I’m going to have to learn new bird avoidance gardening techniques soon.