I didn't want a third cat. I didn't really want any cats, but I had mice -- a lot of them, sauntering around as if they owned the place -- and the combined efforts of the Orkin Man and I were not enough to keep them out. It's a rowhouse, and they run free through the walls. I plugged every hole I could find ... still had mice, still saw droppings, still heard skittering noises in the walls.
Now I have handled vermin before. I've had to deal with the snakes that got into my last apartment after heavy rains. In this neighborhood, I have to deal with mean dogs behind insufficient fences while I'm out walking my dog. I can show you pictures I've taken of alligators in Louisiana, from close range. I can gap a spark plug, drive a 2 1/2 ton stake truck, change the oil in my car ... but when it comes to mice, I am no different than the girliest of sissy girls. I scream and jump in the air and run for a chair to stand on (I do the same with evil cockroaches).
So, I got a cat. A mellow, laid back, what's-the-big-deal-man sort of cat. Imagine patchouli oil and love beads. That's this cat (Edgar). The mice practically shared food with him. A few more months of mice running free in the house, and I got a younger cat. She was not quite a year old, and frisky. The morning after I got her, there was a dead mouse in my living room, and that was the last mouse I ever saw. It was like something out of a gangster movie, a warning to the other mice. Find a new place to live, capisce?
The kitten Petunia came from a litter of kittens a stray cat had on my porch back in April. Three found homes, she stayed with me (long story short--the people I gave her to were not feeding or caring for her, and she got off to a bad start), and one other kitten and momma cat, now spayed, live in my yard. I also watch over a stray who was abandoned by the nasty trashy people that used to live next door a few years ago. I feel trapped by cats. I have to hire someone to come over and take care of them if I want to go anywhere. I don't like it, but the shelters in this area are stuffed with abandoned cats -- when people are evicted, they just toss them out and go. And since they're never fixed, they reproduce exactly as you'd expect. I really think those people should be fixed. It's just callous to toss a pet aside and expect it to survive a Baltimore winter. Some people are able to look the other way when a starving or injured cat turns up, but I just can't. So I wind up taking them in, and setting up warm boxes for them in the winter, and ***ch and gripe about it.
So that's my cat story. Here is my garden story ....
A second round of lavender blooming ... Lavender is my absolute most favorite fragrance. I love it more than vanilla, and the smell of cookies baking. I planted two small 4 x 4 containers here two years ago, and now it's a hedge. It comes back bigger and better every year, and blooms in May and again in August. If my bedroom window got any sun, I'd grow it inside.
And, the five-for-ten-dollars-from-Weis mums. I know I should plant them, but I just don't have any more groundspace. If I get around to it, they'll go in big planters. I have a very special feeling about mums, as it was the last Mother's Day present my mom received from my dad and I ... a pot of purple-and-white mums.