Yes, tortoiseshell cats blend perfectly into any landscape! I constantly lose Cookie as her speckles and patches are perfectly camouflaged by leaves and mulch and moving shapes of sun and shadow through the trees. I was watching her out of the corner of my eye as usual but suddenly she disappeared! She hadn’t—she just sat down for a little break. She’s going to have to suffer the indignity of a flourescent pink collar lest I suffer the misfortune of a heart attack if I can’t find her—in plain sight!
We pitiful humans need feline supervision no matter what we do, even if it’s something no kitty would ever stoop to endeavor such as tree trimming and lawn clean up. Cookie is a specialist in everything.
This area was always shady under the high branches of the trees, mostly my neighbors’ and I encouraged woodland plants to grow in the shade and undergrowth. About ten years ago a mulberry tree sprouted in the corner of the yard and spread over the area somewhat close to the ground, providing a little too much shade for some of the plants.
However, it provided the best mulberries I have ever, EVER, tasted, like big deep purple blackberries, sweet and juicy and just falling off the tree. Really, when the tree was ready to bear these farthest branches touched by the sun would lean down toward the earth so that I didn’t even need to use a ladder but could stand and readily harvest them. I always felt as if the tree was telling me, “Look, now, my berries are just right, come and harvest, and make your jelly and juice and wine and dye and extracts, use my berries for all they are worth because there is more than enough for you and all the birds and animals.”
I had been about to remove her because I loved my shade garden and so did all my cats, but with all that, who could resist?
But two years ago the ice storm pulled her down and partially uprooted her. I tried to prop her and encourage her to produce her berries, but it appears she is done. I’ve been trimming back and cutting sections with lopping shears and pruning saw but leaving the lovely arching branches that have held my bird feeders for the past decade. I am looking forward to the renewal of my shade garden; with the iron will of these wild flowers I’ve no doubt they will return on their own since trees grow and fall all the time in the woods.
I’m looking forward to spending time on my bench again to read and sketch and think and watch the birds, and commune with my little kitty memorial spot which is behind but near there. Perhaps Cookie and I will sit out there some sunny late afternoon this autumn.
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