Did I just say our cat?
I don’t even know where to start.
Mostly I want to tell you about our garden, but what I have to share isn’t terribly exciting because most of our garden produce isn’t ready yet. (Yes I know it’s almost August. It’s a Nebraska thing. It’s also a Coppinger thing as we got our garden planted a little bit late this year. We blame this on the Nebraska thing.) So just pretend to be interested when I say, oh look – it’s a picture of green tomatoes that aren’t ready to eat yet.
We do have a single yellow squash that appears to be an over-achiever. It got nice and big while we were away at camp, and while we wish it wasn’t so big and stringy, it will taste nice sliced and grilled along with some barbecue chicken. Otherwise though, there are no more squash ready.
As you can hopefully see below, we have two tiny zucchini which will be ready soon. All the squash plants are full of flowers, so in a couple weeks I’ll be begging you to come take some off my hands. At the very least, you should share your favorite squash recipes with me.
While we are lacking in abundant produce from our garden so far this year, there is one thing we are not lacking:
I am here to tell you that bunnies are not cute. Bunnies are naughty. Like wag your finger and tsk like your great aunt naughty. Would you look at this?
What is that in the picture, pray tell? That is a nothing. It was a green bean plant. But now it is a nothing. We have two whole rows of nothings. That is because all the bunnies (every single one of them in the whole wide neighborhood) held a meeting to announce that the Coppinger fam was doing this thing called church camp which means that they were not around to say “scat bunny!” for 14 whole days. They decided to get their party on. In our garden. Within our rows of green beans. Naughty, naughty, naughty.
We have about 1.5 green bean plants that just might survive, which of course will feed our family of six for two bites each. This leads me to tell about our cat.
I can’t believe any of what I am about to write, mostly because we don’t have a cat, nor do we want a cat, nor do we want any pet at all because do I or do I not have enough mouths to feed said the mother of many, many teenage boys.
So this cat. It showed up in our yard over the weekend all hungry and meowy and stuff. Before I knew it, my husband – my husband – was outside giving it some milk. Wha??? We know better than to feed stray cats, do we not? I think we do. “Why are you doing that?” asked the mother of many, many teenage boys.
He was doing it because he was mad at the bunnies.
Oh, well in that case.
No, but really. Matt explained to me (and I’m assuming he’s done hours of research on this) that bunnies do not like cats. Having a cat around might make the bunnies run the other way.
Being quite mad at the bunnies myself, I suddenly joined my husband in liking and wanting the cat.
Seriously, who is writing this? Like, want, cat, same sentence – I don’t even know who I am anymore. But I weighed the benefits. Bunnies eating all my bean plants or a cat rubbing its back against my porch rail? It’s a no brainer.
By the next morning, our ten year old had named the cat Wiggams (or Wigs for short) (or Wiggie if it’s being especially cute). He asked for string to play with it, and made it a home out of a cardboard box (because cats love this).
Then somebody else – who shall remain nameless – found herself scooping some pieces of chicken and tuna from the fridge onto a little plastic lid to put into the cat’s house, calling “here Wiggams” while doing so, because poor little Wiggie looked hungry and oh my goodness what in the world and who even am I??
So are you missing this cat? If so, call 555-BUNNIESARENAUGHTY. Trust that your cat is well fed but now answers to the name Wiggams. If you take the cat, you have to also take all of the bunnies.
I learned that if you say “look at the camera” to a cat, the cat will not respond accordingly. It’s like he doesn’t even appreciate the tuna. Dude. Wiggams. Just look up for a second.
I suppose this story is “to be continued.” Stay tuned to hear more about garden produce and a camera shy cat named Wiggams. But not about fresh green beans -because bunnies are naughty.
S. Davis says
Hope the cat works for the bunny problem. You might re-think the milk, though. http://pets.webmd.com/cats/guide/cats-and-dairy-get-the-facts
We lost our green bean plants too and our spinach, and 1 pepper plant the day after I planted it. Feel free to pawn off any zucchini you want on us. I forgot to plant that this year and our only squash plants are butternut squash and pumpkins that came up from our compost heap :)
In both my personal opinion (as a cat lover), and professional opinion (as a veterinarian) I say keep the cat! She will love you and help with the rodent and small mammal control. And I say “she” because of her coloring. – tabby with some calico mixed in. 99.99% percent of cats with calico coloring are female. So, take her in to the vet and get her vaccinated and spayed asap ????.
We originally got our cat, despite me being allergic, to catch the field mice that like to come in and poop over everything in our house!!! Turns out we got the only cat in the world that is too lazy to catch anything. Lol! And then she got pregnant and had three kittens. And now is pregnant again. Maybe between all of these cats roaming around, our mice problem will go away?! Good luck with your bunny problems!
Hi. Generally, I just lurk here, devouring your fun and informative blog quietly and with great appreciation. But cats … a new cat requires a comment from this cat lover.
Laura? You’re funny … as is your new furry friend. I hope Wiggums lives up to your hopes …. and doesn’t make friends with the bunnies! Lol!
Kara M says
So I have a question about squash….I planted my first ever squash plant this year. It’s grown huge and had lots of blooms on it. However, only 1 of those blooms decided to produce a very nice squash. What’s wrong with the rest of the blooms?
Could be a pollination issue. Here’s an article all about how to tell the difference between male and female flowers (Seriously!?!) and hand pollinate them.
Charlotte Moore says
It is very discouraging to work so hard and have something destroy it. Makes you not want to plant anything. )-:
Yay for the cat! I’m a cat person. We had bunnies in our yard when we moved in last year, but our dog has removed that problem. Our cherry tomatoes are getting nice and ready, and our herbs are happy. Raspberries, not so much, because all the rain ruined their tastes this year.
I laughed out loud reading through this post! I love cats and I hope you enjoy your kitty, but honestly, *my* cat doesn’t keep the bunnies away (or the groundhogs). But maybe yours will be different. ;) We don’t even plant a garden anymore because we have groundhogs. You think bunnies are naughty? You should meet a groundhog! And they aren’t even cute. :( But they can clean out a bean row in an hour. :(
And yes, to whomever was talking about the squash not bearing. If you don’t have a lot of bees around, then you have to pollinate them yourself. :)
K Sam says
About groundhogs…I’ve never dealt with them, but I know of a remedy that keeps all digging critters out of a garden…Hot peppers ground up and buried. Sounds crazy, but we tried it on digging dogs and squirrels and it worked like a charm. The hot peppers make their feet “hot” or burn. Even the smell tends to keep them out. You could try mincing several pounds of really hot peppers in a blender (definitely use gloves) and make a underground perimeter, if you’re interested.
Just be warned…the cat will love to poop in your nice fluffy garden soil. I had to dispose of my whole onion crop because our neighbors cat kept pooping there. Nasty. I finally put up some posts and bird netting around my garden. Solved our bunny and cat problem fairly cheaply!
Nathana Clay says
My parents’ cat is a great help with their garden! :) I just posted last week about a great summer squash recipe! You can use both zucchini and yellow squash (is that the technical name?) and even corn! http://www.theengagedhome.com/farmers-market-finds-and-a-summer-squash-recipe/
A fellow victim says
I came home from a 4-day trip to find the watermelon plant missing. I looked everywhere and thought I was losing my mind. I feel your pain.
Ali Stewart says
Squirrels too are naughty! We have a 2.5 acre cherry orchard. The squirrels ate 2.4 acres of cherries from said orchard!! They are not cute. At. All.
We have a goat… she gives us milk.
We have pigs… they will give us ham and bacon. Lots of lots of bacon!
We have turkeys… they will provide us with our Thanksgiving dinner.
We have chickens… they give us fresh eggs. And 30 unsuspecting roosters will give us many chicken dinners. And gallons of broth.
BUT, not one of these critters will do a darn thing about the squirrels that ate our cherry crop! So we went out and got two barn cats. Barn kittens actually. Like fit in the palm of your hand size. They are growing, but still not quite as big as a chihuahua. They are crazy!! They climb all over us when we go in the barn (we don’t let them out yet as we are trying to let them get big enough to have a chance of survival against all the predators we have). Well, small as they are, they have already killed two mice in our barn! When they are big enough, we will leave a barn window open for them to come in and out as they please. Hopefully, they will chose to go out and kill lots and lots of squirrels!
All this to say I encourage your cat efforts Laura! You may want to give him just enough food to keep him around, but not so much he doesn’t want/need to hunt :) And a place he can go for shelter incase of predators is always good. Like a garage. Or shed. Or barn.
Laura, I was having a hard day, but you really made me laugh reading this! We have two cats that we found and adopted. One is a really good mouser and just caught another one in our garage a couple of days ago. The other likes catching and eating bugs. They are inside cats so they haven’t broken up the naughty bunny convention ( or naughty chipmunk, or naughty deer conventions for that matter) going on in our yard though. Now the neighbors got chickens and are letting them free range – in our yard! So, I am stepping in droppings with my bare feet. It’s always something. Enjoy your beautiful cat.
First coffee, now a cat? I’m not saying you’re old or a dog but… this is a new trick!
Also, what is it with God giving blessings that we would never think are blessings but that maybe just are anyway?
Welcome to the family Wiggams.
P.S. I hope you know someone or some farmer’s market with a large quantity of green beans because I hate to think of you green beanless through the less summery months.
The rabbits got our green beans too (and all my peppers too!) My squash plants don’t look so good either, but I think they are deseased. :(
Lillian Hughes says
We also had a cat until this year. Someone had dumped our “Miss Kitty” a couple of years ago and we gave her raw milk to drink, that was all we fe dher. She was an outdoor kitty (at husband’s instistence) and she kept the chipmunks, moles, mice, squirrels and bunnies out of our garden.
Then our neighbors started giving her cat food and lured her away, now she is gone. And if I ever try and get another kitty, I am sure the neighbor lady will do the same thing again. >Sigh< :-(
Ashley T says
Where do I start? I love your posts. They make me laugh, and that is so wonderful, because who doesn’t need to laugh more in their day? Thank you so much for your humor!! Enjoy the cat! Looks like my “Winnie” from when I was growing up. I can feel her soft fur still, even after 30 yrs.
Joanie elbourn says
We have a wee puppy, a 90 pd dog, 1 PET bunny , chickens, a turtle and 7, yes, 7 cats ! ! No wild bunnies bother our garden. None.
No milk or string for cats. Milk will upset their stomachs and string can get caught in their intestines.
Also see if his male parts are intact or have been clipped. If he needs neutering, there is likely a low-cost option in your area. I live in a small town as well and we have a $10 clinic.
Annie T. says
The only wild rabbit I’ve seen around here, my tiny little gray cat Elanor was in the boys’ bedroom enjoying for her breakfast. (My cats are all overachievers – in addition to the rabbit, weasels have been snacked on at least twice, a pigeon was caught and released once, three woodcocks, also released alive and unharmed, and Arwen’s Thanksgiving Dinner partridge rank top on the list.)
Also Wiggams might help with any mice/mole/vole problems you may have – unless he takes after the late Lady Galadriel, who liked to bring me presents. Alive ones. At 10pm.
But out of the dozen or so cats I can remember, only two were like that, so statistically you’re probably okay.
Thanks for making me laugh!
The bunnies and the geese wreaked havoc on our garden and yard when we were away, too! They munched all the pea plants to the nub, helped themselves to jalapeno plants, and the lettuce, what lettuce? However!!!! They did not eat the Serrano or habanero plants. Nor did they touch the carrots. (weird, since they are bunnies, after all). They got a bit too bold though and became an appetizer/snack for our german shepherds, so I suppose dogs will do in a pinch! Good luck with the garden. FYI, the gardens in Michigan are about as late as yours, so no worries. Besides, lots of green tomatoes = fried green tomatoes!!!!
K Sam says
Ah, the joys of gardening. We have discovered that squirrels like every part of the cucumber plants and even cherry tomatoes (found that out last week) and possums will eat everything else. Wild cats have moved into our wood pile and have kept the squirrels population down and fixed our mouse problem…but their urine has ruined many herbs. The possums are bigger than the cats and remain undeterred in their quest for our freggies.
Remedy: a Scarecrow
Not the straw-stuffed, hang on a pole type in old shows….but a really cool infrared, motion sensing water spraying genius of a contraption. Hook it up to a water source, stick it in the ground facing your garden, and it blasts a spray of water from it’s sprayer and sends EVERYTHING running …even at night for those pesky possums. Heeheehee.
We have to move it every few days for best results, as we have some intelligent Macgyver like squirrels that found the blindspots. It was well worth the investment!!
If the cat doesn’t work out, the ScareCrow is a really good alternative. Good luck!