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Watering the garden with Roxie

June 28, 2018

Sounds like a song from a Steven Sondheim musical, doesn’t it? But, no, it’s a real thing.

Every morning when I go down to water the garden, my elderly rescue cat Roxie follows me. Sometimes she trots in ahead of me.

Let me tell you a bit about Roxie. She was discovered, emaciated, in the wild three years ago. The local cat charity got her to the vet, who helped get her on the mend. Then my friend Jean, who had three cats of her own, took Roxie in to foster her until a permanent home could be found. I met Roxie when she was being fostered at Jean’s and thought she was incredibly sweet. She did have one little peccadillo: she did not like being stroked down near her tail and would quickly bite anyone who did so. Unfortunately, despite warnings, everyone who came to meet with a view to adopting Roxie, did stroke her there. I told Jean that if things did not work out with the fourth potential adopter I would take Roxie in. I did so despite knowing that Stella, my previously adopted cat, would not be happy. That said, the night before Jean was to bring Roxie here, I had a dream in which the two of them were happily grooming one another. Ah, I thought, they will become friends. Not a dream that’s ever come true, but they’ve long since stopped physically fighting. Mostly there is a truce. Occasionally they will both sleep on the bed.

Anyway, the reason for all that background was to explain that for several months of her life, Roxie had to fend for herself in the wild, finding water and sustenance wherever she could. I’ve never in my life come across a cat so content to be soaking wet. If it’s raining, Stella takes one look out the cat flap and comes back inside. Not so Roxie. If there is rain, there might be a puddle of water somewhere and she needs to find it.

Which is where watering the garden comes in.

06-06 roxie

Trust me when I tell you that it is not easy to take a photo whilst holding a hose and watering plants. Hopefully you can see the water at the bottom of the picture and the cat at the top. It is a source of never ending frustration for Roxie that the water disappears so quickly into the earth. But, ever the optimist, she will quickly move on to the next plant, often walking right under the hose. By the time I’m halfway through watering the garden she is completely soaked – and doesn’t seem to mind at all.

And now it is time for breakfast.

06-28 strawberries

Is there anything more scrumptious than strawberries from your garden? I really don’t think there is.

And after breakfast it will be time to water the garden with Roxie.

  1. There were several cats who lived at my Pa’s home in Montara, which is very foggy through summer. A few of the cats loitered on the porch, wadded up like cats do when cool, but none too bothered by the fog dampening the outside of their fur. As long as they did not move, it did not soak through. When they did move, it was only to rush inside to get dry, which took only a few minutes. Weirdly, they would stay still long enough for banana slugs to ‘move’ (however slugs do that) right up and over them, leaving a slime trail, while the cats just tolerated it. ICK!

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