The Tale of Garden Kitty


Garden Kitty waiting patiently at the door to lead the tour.  Let’s go already!

I’ve mentioned Pearl before, the male cat who we thought was female until the veterinary doc called and said, ‘Uh, you sent me one here who doesn’t actually need to be spayed…’

Fortunately she made this discovery prior to opening him up, and instead he was fated the less invasive procedure of neutering.  It wasn’t our plan to send our male cats, only the females to stop their reproduction.  I hear ya, that wouldn’t have stopped him from stirring up trouble in other neighborhoods, but nonetheless, that was our plan.

Unintended as it was, he sat at the vet with his sister and mother and so we decided to get the job done.  Like a happy accident, serendipity, a fortuitous occurrence, or a pleasant surprise, this unplanned moment changed Pearl’s personality–no more fighting, wandering, or spraying, and still a mouse chaser.  He became lovable and constantly underfoot. looking to give and get attention from us all the time.  This was also our education on the benefits of neutering as well as spaying our cats.

I tried changing his name to something more ‘Tom-ish’ like Squirrel–it does rhyme with Pearl after all.  It’s also the nickname of Cyril, one of the brothers in the novel I had just finished reading to the children, Five Children and It, by E. Nesbit.   But no way were my five children having anything to do with a name change.  So while I defiantly call him Squirrel on occasion, it’s ignored by all, and instead Pearl and I have accepted a lifetime of telling the tale of why he has a female name.

garden kitty collage

Pearl, craving and giving affection after climbing me like a tree.

Often referring to him as my garden shadow, he seems no longer content with this role.  Earlier this week, he joined me and my camera throughout the garden, one step ahead of me at all times, posing in shot after shot like a live garden gnome.

Here are a few of the just planted flowering perennial evergreen shrubs that are lining the garden fence.  No two are the same and they nearly all flower at some time of the year in colours of purple, brown, pink, red, violet, white, cream, and yellow.  They’ll grow between nearly two to just over three feet in size, attracting bees, butterflies and offering food and shelter to birds.

A few more perennials–grasses, flowers, herbs, shrubs, and one vegetable, rhubarb-are photographed next.  Some are this years plantings and some are returning from the past years.  Most notable to me is the outdoor herb garden compared to the one in the tunnel.  Albeit, only covered for a few weeks now, the tunnel herbs are already doing considerably better with tarragon and thyme looking gorgeous and rosemary, parsley, and sage not looking wind burnt and stunted like that in the outside bed.  Regular chive is doing equally well, but Chinese chive is doing much better under cover.

This last set of pictures was taken in the fields bordering the tunnel and raised bed garden.  Our apple trees purchased last year are happily budding as are the fuschia that were on the property long before us, dating back to when Johnny’s mum lived here.  Wild garlic grows beneath the fuschia and is used in two to three of our meals each day.

The willow that my friend Roz in the UK, Small Spaces and the good life with Roz and Phil Hill, mailed me last year is pictured also.  They’re not ready to be cut for creating with yet and may even be slow growing, but are doing very well just the same.

The last photo is of fir trees that I’ve potted up and will continue to grow in the tunnel until they’re three to five feet tall.  Fingers crossed that it only takes a year or perhaps two.  They’ll then be planted out, becoming a Christmas cutting area for my wreath making projects.  So there, planting for the future, but it’s nice to have something to look forward to and watch the progress of in the time between now and when they reach their an age of useful productivity.

Hope spring has finally sprung in all the corners of the world that are expecting it and all are able to get out and spend time in nature, with or without a furry friend by your side.

Cheers, Melissa Xx


  1. I have a cat name “Boots.” As kitten we though she was a he and give his/her large size Boots fit. She is still called Boots, mostly because she seems to stomp around everywhere. Although we do often confuse the pronoun as in, “Boot let me tell you what he, er she, just did.”

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Last summer, the stray that strayed into our lives and into our hearts, was adopted and named “Gracie.” We made the commitment to bring her back to Florida from Ohio. But we wanted all shots and check up. We made the vet appointment. “Your ‘Gracie’ is neutered.” So we brought home “Grayson.” So like your story. A beautiful cat you have. Thanks for sharing–and for cultivating your garden.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. pagedogs says:

    What a lovely boy and so photogenic! I love your variety of shrubs along the fence. We’re thinking of doing something similar along a stone wall. But that will be a project for another year. Give Pearl a nice ear scratch from Maine. It’s sunny and windy here–time for planting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sunny and not so windy here, hallelujah! I wanted to put those shrubs in for a long time and am very pleased with them. Surprising how much they have grown in only a couple weeks with the right mix of weather and space for roots to spread. I look forward to watching your garden grow as well.


  4. Roz Hill says:

    Pearl looks absolutely adorable, especially amongst all those colourful plants. Looking forward to seeing them grow! And the willow too.
    We had a cat who lived to a ripe old age, named after my nephew Robert. He was 3 when my sister emigrated to NZ. I did miss him. ( he is 42 now!!) Robbie the cat, who turned out to be female, kept her name too.
    Delightful post Melissa. 💚❤️💜💛💙

    Liked by 1 person

    • I am surprised to find out how many people have made the same error. 😀 Apparently not so easy to determine kitty sex!! A girl named Robert, a delightful tale!! I got a cat for my third birthday, named her Rosebud/Rosie (she was female!) and she lived for 22 years. I wanted to name her Popcorn, but my parents persuaded me otherwise.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Denis1950 says:

        In our day we had cats. Three years into our marriage we had rescued our first Afghan Hound , she was boarding with the in laws whose cat had 6 kittens so we promised a home for 2, then we had to buy a house for the dog and cats as we lived in an upstairs apartment.
        We rescued a ginger cat soon after then moved to a bigger house and had 2 Afghans and 3 cats. Then we were down to 1 cat and Afghan then the cat died and we rescued another ginger , and so on.
        But now no cat or dog. However my brother in law has 8 cats. Who knows the future!!


  5. Well, Mister Pearl is a handsome fellow! And a good guide and companion from the looks of it. Beautiful gardens – and thoughtful for the bees! If you’re ever in the states, my garden needs some attention …. your thumbs are considerably greener than mine.

    Liked by 1 person

    • He’s a good boy and a most wonderful companion though sometimes blocks me from doing my work until I give him proper attention. I don’t mind really. 🙂 Thanks for your lovely comment, though I still have much to learn! I don’t think the learning ever ends 😀 !!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Olga says:

    Your gardens as so beautiful! I really loved seeing the rhubarb flourishing next to the stone fence. Brings back childhood memories. Pearl is such a beauty. Wonderful post, Melissa. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sarah says:

    I’ve been enjoying catching up with some of your photos, stories and haiku, Melissa. They put a smile on my face, thanks for sharing. I’ve been planting a new shrub bed and this post has inspired me to go out and take some photos next time the sun comes out. (Next year then… 😉 )
    I have feline helpers too. 🙂 We also find the boys are better company after they’ve had the snip. Next door’s tom comes round all the time to serenade our lady cat. It’s funny to watch him but sometimes he can become a blithering nuisance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It has been a while Sarah. Life taking us in places other than our blogging seats I suppose! Nice to have a chat alright and see we are both still creating indoors and out. Hope you are enjoying summer so far.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Sarah says:

        Yes, we’ve had some good gardening weather here so I’ve been enjoying getting my hands dirty. I can see you’ve been getting plenty done outside too, as always. My garden is getting a good watering now but I hope the sun comes back out soon. 🙂



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