I have never been fond of annoying cats, especially those neighbourhood cats that keep coming into my garden, leaving their mess, and digging up and killing my plants. They really are one of My Pet Peeves.
I have over the years thought of some devilishly ingenious plans for dealing with them, but really never put them into practice. Probably a good thing because you can get into trouble for that, but the thought is there, and you can probably identify with me, especially if you have unwanted critters who keep coming into your garden.
“So where did your hatred of cats come from” you might ask.
It really began in the late 1970′s when I had not long got married and we had bought our first house in North London. Having lived with her parents for 6 months, we were keen to move into our own place, and had spent months with friends helping to gut and refit the kitchen as well as doing other essential work.
It was a bitterly cold day, and our neighbour to be had called to say that she thought the pipes were going to freeze. So off we went across London by bus, after work and about an hour journey. No car in those days since we didn’t have the money, and living in London not only is there nowhere to park half the time, but I would only have been able to use it at the weekend.
We arrived at the house, where only the previous day we had been in and since we were almost ready to move in, my wife had made the bed up, and we had been all excited.
At once we knew that there was something wrong, since the house just STANK of cat urine. When I say it STANK, I mean S-T-A-N-K!!! It was terrible.
Looking in the kitchen, the back door that wasn’t fitted properly yet had been pushed aside, so obviously a cat had come into the house, and through that gap an icy wind was howling as well.
We looked and couldn’t see anything, then ventured upstairs, to find sitting at the head of the bed on our new pillows, the biggest baddest nastiest old Tom tortoiseshell cat. What was worse, at the foot of the bed was a fresh pile of stinky cat poop, soaking into our nice new quilt (comforter), sheets and mattress.
I saw RED, and managed to grab the cat by it’s tail. It made evil hissing noises as I swung it around, wishing I had the courage to kick the liiving daylights out of it. Meantime my wife was panicking and screaming, and in the end I dragged it downstairs, holding it by the tail and kicked it out the back door.
Well the next day because of the bitter cold we ended up moving in to make sure the pipes didn’t freeze, but the wretched cat still kept coming back into the garden over the following months.
Come summer, when I had managed to do some work on the garden and planted lots of things, of which I was very proud, the same moggy kept coming into the garden, digging them up and messing everywhere.
The plumber who had worked on the kitchen recommended a “putty gun”, and had left behind a nice 4 foot long length of copper tubing and a tub of putty. So one day, this big old Tom tortoiseshell cat was sitting on a tree stump in the back garden, and I slowly opened the kitchen window, so as to not disturb it. I got some putty which I rolled into a nice ball, then grabbed the length of copper tubing, inserted the ball of putty, placed the end of the tube to my lips, took aim, and pfffffttt!
The ball of putty travelled at high velocity and hit the cat right on the nose. The cat leaped about 3 feet into the air “literally”, and that was it for a few weeks at least. Blowpipes make extremely accurate and very effective weapons.
That darn cat kept returning though over the years we were there, end even though I put chicken wire along the top of the fence, it would climb up and bend the wire down, which annoyed the heck out of me.
One day I went outside and there was the cat in the next door garden, coming our way. So I hid behind the wooden fence right where it used to climb over and waited. Sure enough within a couple of minutes it had jumped up onto the fence, and was about to jump down when I leapt out and grabbed it by the tail.
Well I swung it this way, I swung it that way, and all the time it was trying to turn to bite and scratch me, but I just went fast enough to make it dizzy and to keep centrifugal force on my side.
Finally I swung it faster and faster, and then like a shot putter I let go, and it flew over the fence, and almost to the far side of the next door garden. Even though our garden was only postage stamp size, I used to say after that event our garden was big enough to “swing a cat”. We really didn’t see as much of it after that…
So moving forward to today, different house, different wife, and this time no nasty smelly Tom cat but a collection of neighbour’s cats that seem to like to wander through our garden and to leave their mess behind. These weren’t even deterred by the German Shepherd we used to have, or the foxes that sometimes wander through at night. The foxes too leave “presents” behind, but I have no issue with them, just the cats.
Recently though we have had new neighbours move in, and they have at least 2 cats, which seem to take delight in using our garden as a “right of way” and a toilet, and when you pop your head outside and “shoo” them, they just look at you as if you are stupid.
I have thought of lots of ingenious ways to keep them out and to deter them, and several weeks ago I put mesh to block up gaps under the fences, where they were coming in.
I did look on Amazon to see if I could find a solar powered electric fence to put along the top of the wooden fence, but nothing there at all unfortunately. Mind you I’m not surprised! I wasn’t thinking of anything that would have the moggies go up in a blue flash, just something to give them a tingle and to act as a deterrent.
I would have liked to top the fences with barbed wire and position motion detector triggered water pistols on the fence posts, but I thought that would be a bit excessive as well as being a bit obvious. A nice project in theory though.
My latest cunning plan is to put a cage in the garden with some food in it, so that when the cat goes into get the food it gets trapped. Then when it’s dark I would take the cage and it’s contents in the car, drive to a patch of country at least 5 miles away, leave the cat behind and try to look innocent if asked “has anyone seen our Tiddles?”
But seriously, those of you with gardens who have pesky cats who like to use them as a toilet will know what I am talking about, and I bet you have your own master plans for dealing with them. If so I would love to hear about them.
As I said at the beginning of this article, annoying cats are only one of the things that really annoy me. I dedicated a whole page to My Pet Peeves where you can see how many we have in common, and share your own.
I did have problems a few years later with Raccoons when I was living in Indiana, but that’s a whole story of it’s own…
Got any annoying cat stories of your own, or are you a staunch support of right for cats? Feel free to leave a comment below. Yes I have tried pepper by the way, it didn’t work, neither did a paste of sugar water coated with chili flakes.