Friends…I have been having problems with my artichoke plants. In fact, just a couple days ago I looked at them, sadly, and thought, You guys just aren’t doing that hot, are you?
Because they’re not. There’s the one that I’d thought the snails got into…after a brief rally, it just never seemed to go anywhere…and the other two have alternated between doing pretty well and then I’d go out there and half their leaves would be chewed up. What the HECK?!
Now, I’ve been assuming it was bug damage. I’m not using chemicals much out there, which means every bug in town has invited all their buggy friends over for a party in my yard. (Fortunately, the ladybugs have moved in too…they are on my potato plants by the droves right now, getting fatter and fatter…)
I got an unexpected summons last night to visit Captain Adventure’s proposed new program today, so I was loitering around in my kitchen in the early morning hours this morning, drinking my coffee while Dharma purred madly on my lap.
Then she stiffened. Her eyes flared, then narrowed. She got up, shook herself, and jumped to the top of the sofa, where she crouched with her tail lashing the air.
…what the heck…
Ah. Two of the neighborhood cats were slinking their way along our fence. The Twins. A pair of males the kids have named Lopsy and Brother.
I regarded them with dislike. I say this as a cat lover, people: I am two seconds from catching and skinning those two brats. They are diggers, and clawers. They were the ones who were constantly being busted grubbing around the root balls of my roses – they liked to sharpen their claws on them.
Whenever I came out and found a rose with a newly exposed and deeply scarred base exposed – it was probably one of these two boys, or both of them together.
Well, guess what?
Not only do they like to poop on spinach (and dig it up, and fling it around), they apparently like to nibble on artichoke plants.
Coming on top of having found yesterday that they (or some of their kith) turned my recently-re-planted spinach rows into one big litter box, as well as having pooped in my corn AND apparently been digging around some of the potatoes (why? WHY?! And don’t look all innocent at me fellahs, first of all you left yet more scat over there too AND one of you lost part of your nail right in one of the exposed, clawed-up potatoes!) (I. Could. Just. KILL. Them.), well.
I may have gone a little off my nut. Yeah, just a little, and I’m sure the neighbors are delighted because I ran out there at 6:15 this morning clapping my hands and shrieking, “DON’T you DARE eat those artichokes WHY I oughta GIT! GIT! GIT! A’fore I skin ya and stretch yer mangy hide on mah GAH-RAH-GUH DOOR-AH!” like a demented moonshiner running off his ne’er-do-well cousin.
The neighborhood cats have always been a problem for us. They’ve dug up newly planted roses, clawed holes in canvas sandbox covers, and used new patio furniture as scratching posts.
But it’s never been, you know, war.
Which this kind of is.
I think I’m going to be picking up a canister or two of granulated coyote piss on my way back from my appointment today, for liberal sprinkling here, there and everywhere…
(And is it not ironic that, because I don’t want the cats peeing [OK, and pooping] [AND digging] [AND ALSO nibbling] on my veggies, I’m going to be sprinkling…coyote pee…all over my yard?!)