I guess no matter where you live there are stray cats and the angry screeching sound of two angry tomcats fighting or a cat that has run across some other nocturnal beast like a raccoon or a opossum is familiar to us all.
I’ve definitely seen a number of strays in my neighborhood a black and white and black and grey cat are the most common lurking about at the end of our dead-end street, yesterday I caught a black cat stalking a California Towhee in my backyard and chased him off and there is a skittish little grey, long-haired, fluffball I have seen in my side yard a few times.
Last night those cat fighting sounds were all too close. It sounded like a riot and it sounded like some damage was being done so I turned on the porch light and went outside. Even with the light it was too dark to see the cats but I did scare them off. And not a moment too soon. Their brawl was right in the middle of my path garden and they tore through parts of the surrounding beds and knocked over some succulents in containers that are waiting to go in the ground.
This was Calceolaria integrifolia ‘Kentish Hero’ last week…
and this is what it looked like this morning.
The one next to it is in even worse shape. All that is left is one precarious stem and I’m not sure it will bounce back.
Here are the corpses of the victims.
My sole red California poppy lost a huge chunk as well and a few other nearby plants had some leaves and branches shredded. Alas Calceolaria is a beautiful plant but it is quite brittle and for some reason even though it is in a fairly sheltered spot animals love running through it. About six weeks ago a neighbors dog raced though the garden (a large dog…foot prints were left as evidence) and snapped another one of them in half.
Still the damage could have been worse. And luckily I had just picked up some six packs of Linaria ‘Flamenco’ to fill in some empty spots so after cleaning up the area I planted them out today. Animal damage is always frustrating though. Particularly when you wait months and months for something to bloom and it gets demolished right when it is at its loveliest.
Wildlife is something we can’t really control but cats belong INDOORS! If you don’t care about the birds they hunt and kill (baby quails will be born soon!) think of the safety of the cats themselves. There are after all Coyotes living nearby.