Monday, 12 April 2010

The Kitten Diaries Part 5 - April is the Cruellest Month

Arabella's Diary April

Normally April is the Socks favourite time in the garden - that moment when the weeping cherry comes into bloom, the alpine bed displays its colourful little jewels like an open treasure chest, the beautiful blues of muscari, the excitement of finding out which tulips I have planted where and the heucheras, so beloved by Nigel Colborn, just beginning to bush back into their full beauty!  Just when it was warm enough to venture out and welcome the new season into the garden 'THE WALL' situation happened and today the initial dismantling stages are taking place by Mad Andy and his mate.  A very nice gentleman was kind enough to provide the Socks with a recommendation of a Landscape company who will (hopefully) be tidying up and erecting fences at a later stage. Yesterday the Socks armed themselves with pruning saws and secateurs and started cutting down some of their old garden favourites. The clematis'elizabeth' montana  has been cut back to a 3ft framework, we planted it  twenty years ago when we first moved in and it sprawled all over the neighbours fence doing a good job of hiding that and our crumbling wall. Unfortunately it was the only thing holding the neighbours fence together. Sad that we will miss that one week of splendour when it is a pillowy mass of pale pink blooms.  The wall-covering cotoneaster I am less sad to see sawn up for the skip - it was never a favourite  The winter flowering clematis 'freckles' will have to be cut down - I am in two minds whether to leave the trunk to see if it sprouts again - the glossy evergreen leaves and flowers look lovely in winter but in summer it is a bit of a mess.  Some plants we have dug up and potted to be replanted when the trauma is over, others are left to fend for themselves taking their chances under builders boots, some I have taken the opportunity to dump like a slightly annoying Hebe (the plant not the cat).

Saturday had seen Spook have his second afternoon of freedom in the garden.  It would have been cruel to leave him in the kitchen with his nose pressed up against the patio door seething with envy of Hebe and the Socks being outdoors.  In any case he has been increasingly wicked during his indoor kitten incarceration and we hoped that he might burn off some of that extreme excess of energy outdoors. Spook's recent evil deeds have included peeing on our bed after he thought my new kitty alarm clock (which miaows loudly when you touch its head or have the alarm on) was an intruder in his kitty kingdom. Spook also got his snout into my shopping bag, hauling out and unwrapping the scrumptious cookie I had bought for the Bedsock, then scoffing it.  To add insult to injury the next morning when I sleepily staggered downstairs to make my wake-up coffee,  I trod barefoot in some cold, cookie, kittysick! And the endless games of throw and fetch whatever object he has foraged for and has a fancy to bring to me -  these include but are not limited to, ear plugs, shower caps, bottle tops, place mats, and his particular favourite which is those small plastic bags containing extra buttons and some matching wool that you get with new jumpers.

Spook's Saturday outing went well and fears of him straying too far outside the garden seemed, for the time being at least, to be unfounded.  Luka's death on the road last year has left us extremely anxious and overprotective and for the present Spook is only allowed out when we are there to keep an eye on him. Sunday we didn't fare so well - one minute he was dancing and leaping around the garden after any passing fly,  bee, or gust of wind, next he had vanished!  For ages there was not a sign or sound of him and the Socks rushed around in a frightened frenzy screeching and searching for him.  Whilst  standing on the back wall trying to spot him it crumbled under my feet and I slipped jambing my leg in between the wall and trellis, gashing it and covering myself in scratches and splinters as I crawled out. More time passed as we tried to reassure ourselves that he was probably stealing cookies from someone else's kitchen and that he would eventually return. Then a frenzied miaowing started to emanate from behind the shed of a neighbour two doors down.  The neighbour (who was out) had put netting between his shed and the back wall to stop cats going exactly where Spook now was.  He had somehow fallen down behind the shed was now imprisoned and more than a little spooked!   Eventually, of course, he did manage to clamber out but not before I had received more cuts, scratches and splinters fighting my way through the near neighbours 'wild' garden to get near enough to coax him out.

Spook was well pleased with himself after his adventure - the Socks were, shall we say, less so.  Both cats are now under house arrest until the wall dismantling is finished.   Spook will have to have his full freedom soon but not until our nerves have recovered from this episode.

 Spook's Diary - The Cookie Monster!


Yan said...

Dear Spook - the Lord of Misrule and now with a Houdini Gene! However, his cookie adventures have made me go and eat the last of the Waitrose Orange and Chocolate Cookies which, strictly speaking, was His, not Mine, so I dare say I shall be in trouble as well.

Good luck with Mad Andy and the Landscape Men. Do any of them look like Heathcliff???

Lia Leendertz said...

The worse thing I ever trod on barefoot was a slug, as I stepped out of bed. In fact it happened several times in a particularly damp flat I once lived in, but I always forgot to watch out for them, most probably because I was always half asleep at the crucial moment. Only once was it the full death-to-slug, innards-between-toes experience, but it stays with me. Hope that makes you appreciate your cookie-flavoured kitten sick.

MarkD said...

Clematis is one of maybe 3 things (I cant think of the othe two) that make any sense at all to those of us from the edible side. They do what something that hasnt got the courtesy to be edible should do - ie grow quick, look impressive and make everyone think you must be aces at growing. Nice niff too i gather. you may continue growing thhem.

Arabella Sock said...

Hi Yan. The Landscape Man has more of an air of La Beardshaw about him I think. We haven't signed him up yet as we are waiting for quote but assuming that is acceptable I hope to get it done a.s.a.p.

Lia, yeuch. There used to be slug trails across the carpet of a house I shared decades ago. Never found out how they got in but thank the lord I never stood on one.

MarkD - whether the clems continue to grow is now in the hands of the gods. It depends whether they will rise like a phoenix from their old trunks. They have three weeks to show new sprouts and if not they are being entirely dug up.
Luckily I have various summer flowering clems in pots to keep me going until I decide on new ones.

Fat Rascal said...

My WV before I signed in was "chien" -subliminal message...

Anyway, even in my garden I have found it impossible to destroy a Montana clem. The one which was already here was taking over and we hacked it back brutally two years ago. Last year it put out a few shoots but this year is up to its old tricks and has fat buds on.

You may want to give yours a bit more time as it has sentimental value!

Yan said...

>>The Landscape Man has more of an air of La Beardshaw about him I think.

Oooh. Pink wings and no clothes on???