Sunday, August 05, 2007

Lily and cats

Remember the new purple waterlily I mentioned in this post, well, here's one open. Nice, huh? I like the color combination, but wish it would bloom a bit more. I feel like I ought to fertilize the pond plants, but with so many fish at the moment, it's probably not necessary!

We had an odd frog incident: I found a smallish bullfrog dead on the slate floor of the gazebo next to the pond. At first I thought maybe it had hopped out and baked itself somehow on the oven-hot slate, but then I noticed one of its' legs was a few feet away and half-chewed up. This afternoon brought a possible explanation: my husband startled a cat from the pond area this morning. That explains how yesterday's dead frog moved itself a foot or more by this afternoon! I also found a black swallowtail dead on the floor of the gazebo - wings only! I expect cats to hunt birds and baby rabbits, but bullfrogs and butterflies?


I wish my neighbors were more responsible with their cats. I could never get away with the same behavior with a dog - why should it be any different for cat owners? At any rate, my husband set a trap out - I would hate to see a neighbor's beloved pet end up at the pound, but we won't have a well-fed housecat using our garden as a hunting ground.

13 comments:

mon@rch said...

ugg,watch those cats for sure!

Jean said...

Yeah for you and Hubby, Laura.Buddy is an indoor cat and several cats come and pee on the patio doors and torment him. If my hubby could, I'd get him to set a trap.

Jean said...

PS How is Luka doing?

Susan Gets Native said...

Good for you! Damn skippy!
My plan, as I think I have mentioned before, is to trap all the cats that come into our yard, attach a note to their collars and send them back to their owners. The note would say that they need to keep Fluffy in the house, and I would also list all the reasons cats are bad news for wildlife:
1. They kill millions of songbirds every year.
2. They are at risk for FIV, getting hit by cars, or attack by other cats or dogs.
3. They are an introduced predator that kills mice, rats, etc that other, NATIVE wildlife need to survive.
*Okay, Susan...quit shouting.

I hope you catch that cat!

Laurie said...

I have six cats, only one of them goes outside at all and only because she was accustomed to it before I got her. She's very demanding and won't let me keep her in all the time, hard as I try.

I totally understand how you feel, though, I would only hope that you let the neighbors know what you are doing so that they might rescue the cat and learn something. :-)

vicki said...

Uh-oh- don't want to touch this one. I agree that everybody needs to keep their pets under control- here in the city, dog feces is the biggest pain. Our cats went out in Ann Arbor and one didn't hunt and the other only went for small rodents (the nature of her kind, bred for wharf and ship duty) but cats instincts are very difficult to control. Here we keep them contained for their own safety- traffic and alley rats could prove disasterous in short order.

I love your lily. The pond at Garfield Park yesterday was just incredibly beautiful with all the lilies in bloom. Just sent you an e-mail with photo attachment.

John said...

Cats will hunt pretty much any small creatures that move. I have seen cats catching and eating insects before. I'm not sure about butterflies specifically, but definitely insects.

Mary said...

Cats like anything that moves. I don't blame you for being irritated with the cat. I also wish cat owners kept their cats inside instead of peeing all over the neighborhood. When I owned cats they were never allowed to jump my fence and were indoors 90% of the time.

KGMom said...

Oh Laura--irresponsible cat owners screw it up for all the rest of us who are VERY responsible.
I have 2 cats--their outside time is strictly limited to a fenced in yard (around our pool).
We have friends who always let their cats roam--and I have had brief but concerned conversations with them about this. Their response--well, cats are only doing what it is their natures.
In the interest of continued friendship, I drop the subject.

burning silo said...

In the past, I've used Susan's strategy to warn dog owners who let their dogs wander on our property. We used to keep a herd of dairy goats and a couple of times, dogs chased the goats and bit them. Also, a neighbour's dog killed all of our laying hens one time -- it busted through the chicken wire to get at them. I caught the dog and attached a huge cardboard tag telling the owner that their dog had just killed a dozen laying hens and I'd better never see it coming back on my property again "or else" (I didn't specify what the "or else" would be, and I'd never hurt a dog, but I was hoping that would be enough to have the owners keep their dog from straying. I didn't ever see it again, so perhaps the tag worked.

Laura said...

Interesting post. One of our 4 cats goes outdoors (she was a rescue; this was clearly an earlier lifestyle). I hate the "presents" she brings back for us including, yesterday, a georgeous cardinal. I was so angry, and we're trying to figure out how to manage the situation. Fortunately we have no neighbors, just farmland on each side, so at least we're not pissing off anyone else.

You might find this 8/6 Philadelphia Inquirer article, about feral cats in Cape May, NJ, interesting (is that near you?):
Cats vs. the birds

RuthieJ said...

I have watched my fat, overfed indoor cat leap from her food dish to the window with a birdfeeder on the outside to try and catch a finch that landed on it. Cats can't overcome their instinct.

dguzman said...

As the owner of three FIV+ cats, I can attest to the fact that cats should stay indoors. I know their instincts make them want to hunt, but mine satisfy their urges by hunting their toys and birdwatching through the windows. They're safer that way. These days, it is so easy for city cats to get FIV, not to mention getting hit by cars. I wish people would just agree to keep cats inside, period. It's a difficult thing, but someone's gotta protect the songbirds AND the cats themselves!