The local habitat at Willow's Cottage includes feral cats. I have identified three young kitties. They appeared more than a year ago, a light ginger kitten, a black kitty with a white bib, and also a mostly black calico cat. Because they started at the same time darting around the cottage, up the bank and across the street and were the same size, we guessed that they all came from the same litter. But other than that, neither we nor our neighbors have any more information about their heritage. Ginger seems to be the alpha cat in the group. I caught him (her?) wriggling out from under my house one day. We were both rather surprised by the other's presence. I took immediate action to adjust the cover over that little hole since I really didn't want a feral cat living under my house.
Since my own grandcats are quite fond of catnip, I grow a pot of it in my back garden. Harvesting and drying it, I give the catnip as little feline gifts to Touchy, Hobbes, Temperance and Rufus at Christmastime.
So I purchased a new plant, moved the pot to a table next to my front door, thinking that proximity to the house would discourage Ginger, Blackie and Calico Kit. And so it did. For a while.
One recent afternoon, as I walked from the mailbox to my front door, I noticed that the catnip that had been nearly ready for harvest was eaten off almost to the roots! Again! Those darn cats! I wondered if they got so stoned that the coyotes or hawks caught them lying around passed out and grabbed them for a quick and easy smoked cat dinner.
Just to be sure, though, I exchanged the catnip pot for one filled with peppermint. Then I brought my poor catnip inside to reside by the back door. There isn't any direct sunshine and it's inside the house, but the catnip seems to be reviving and settling in to its hot house existence.
I saw both Black Cat and Ginger wandering around this week, so either they made it back to their lair before completely passing out, or they found a hidey hole where they could sleep it off before heading home. Blackie boldly trotted across the front porch, hopped up on the table and started to chew on the peppermint. Then he stopped, sniffed, sat back on his haunches and regarded the mint with disbelieving eyes. This was NOT catnip! Disgusted, he jumped down and huffed off.
Evidently, feral cats don't like peppermint. Have I seen the last of those cat tails around Willow's Cottage?