Sunday, April 3, 2011

World's Worst Cat? Or Unlucky Patsy?

Gauss "Mouse"

I think it was the day after "The Waterfall Day" that I went downstairs to check on my seedlings and found something very disturbing.  Many previously healthy, happy little gazania and medallion flower seedlings had apparently snapped off near their bases, the tops nowhere in sight.  I figured there were two possible explanations: either something had eaten the tops (possible given some odd, tiny little holes in one of the cabbage leaves) or they fell victim to damping off and the tops withered away before I noticed. 

I noticed that several of the cabbage seedlings, while intact, were leaning oddly.  In case this indicated I did have a damping off problem, I took the cabbage/cauliflower tray and the empty gazania / medalion flower tray outside and set them on top of the grill, thinking I'd check on them later and bring them inside.  (Of course we were pretty busy that day so I forgot about them and they got rained on, flooding the trays, which caused me to take them out of the base - separating the plants from their labels! - and forget about them again, but somehow the cabbage and cauliflower lived anyway and are now happily growing in Soho cups in my basement, sans labels!)  Anyway, I also worked really hard for a couple weeks to keep the cat out of the basement.

Why the cat?  It's those tiny, round little holes - totally wrong for flat little for mouse teeth, but perfectly sized for pointy little cat incisors.

Then, a couple days ago, I slipped up and Gauss (aka "Mouse" because he is scared of everything) snuck down there while I was watering.  Once he gets down in there it is literally impossible to get him out until he's good and ready, so I shut the door and waited several hours until he cried to be let back upstairs.  Two days later when I went down to check on the plants again, the gazanias and medallion flowers had all been eaten again!  And this time, the bell peppers and eggplants were gone as well, and not from near the base like what would happen with damping off!  All the "stinky" plants - tomatoes, dill, lemon grass, etc - were untouched.

To add insult to injury, Gauss proceeded to throw up three times that morning and once again the next day.  Normally I would feel sorry for him - "Poor little kitty has a hairball!" - but not this week.  "Go outside to eat greens, you dumb, cowardly cat!"

Sigh.  So I'm replanting everything again, now several weeks late, and ruthlessly hunting the cat down and shoving him out on the porch before I ever open the basement door.  I know he probably couldn't be convicted in an American court, but somewhere in this world he'd get the firing squad for sure!


  1. What a pitiful picture of Gauss! Did you dowse him with a bucket of water for eating your plants? It's no more than he would deserve, I'm sad to say.

  2. Lol, no, that would be just too cruel. I found this picture when Dr BG asked for one for her class, and not too many others. I guess second cats are like second babies: just not photographed as often. He looks awfully guilty in this one, though!