I’m crossing my fingers as I say this, but I am very thankful for the extremely mild winter we’ve experienced in the Northeast! I am already thinking about a new gardening strategy this year — it will be just the second spring of living in this house, and I know I need to make a few changes that allow me, the leafy greens and friendly Mr. Woodchuck to live in greater harmony, or I might as well just plan on going to the farmer’s market every Sunday.
Last year, I did plant some catnip in the garden, and became acquainted with (at least by sight) several oversized, stealthy tomcats that live in the area. Luckily, the plant was hardy and healthy, so the daily grazing wasn’t a concern. But this year, I am thinking about trying a couple of other cat-enticing plants in my backyard “test kitchen” to see how they do.
I already know that growing plants indoors doesn’t work well in my household; it creates a bad dynamic between “counter hopping” Tony and the secret police squad of Rocky and Puja, who love to get in on the action whenever they hear me admonishing the newcomer (I am pretty lenient with the cats, but jumping on counters and the kitchen windowsill are not accepted here).
If you have never given gardening a try — either as an apartment dweller or a homeowner — maybe this is the year to experiment with some cat-friendly plants. Our article on page 9 of this issue provides some basic tips, plus a list of the plants that are safe and easy to grow (there is also some information on the plants that are toxic and dangerous to our pets, so be sure to review that, too). You can even find some easy “just add water” plant kits at your local pet store, if you want to test the waters first.