The September squash is in the last bed in the backyard — R and I built it on Sunday. I’ve done a bit more research, and by planting them in September and using aluminum foil as a mulch (later wrapping the stems with it), I may avoid the squash vine borers that killed my spring and summer attempts. I also filled a yellow bowl with water, which is supposed to attract and drown the moths whose borer larvae have so plagued my garden.
In the last two days, I’ve hosted a total of four feral kittens at dinner and sometimes breakfast, in addition to Big Guy and Harry. Three are tuxedo patterned and one is a Turkish Van. The three tuxedo kittens are all different sizes (all small, no doubt): the smallest has the cutest white spots on his toes. The largest I’m guessing is mom. The Turkish Van is the most timid and waits for all the rest to eat before venturing in to eat a bite. Harry and Big Guy are so focused on the wet food in the evenings that there have been no problems.
One wish of mine came true this evening. I had thought that I would never get to touch Big Guy unless I found him dead, but tonight, I got to gently brush his tail while he was eating wet food. I even did it twice. While I won’t try to get him to let me hold him (like I did with Harry — Big Guy is too old), I will take advantage of his distraction from now on. I had been worried that he might “bite the hand that feeds him,” but he has turned out to be a much smarter kitten than that. He never swats at me when I’m trying to put the wet food in a bowl for him (I had worried about that), and he doesn’t swat or growl at Harry when I am not quick enough in dispensing the food. It’s been a relief and a joy. It’s a particular joy to see Big Guy cleaning himself on the deck for an hour or two after dinner. He’s actually looked a little better these past two days — not so much dirt in the drool on his chin. I think that perhaps his teeth hurt him too much to crunch the dry food and he had been slowly starving.
There haven’t been any cat fights — perhaps it’s because Junebug is gone, though I hate to think that is true. I still chase off UnPopular Kitten though he seems to get along with all of the new ferals and neither Harry nor Big Guy have fought with him.
Perhaps Junebug was a threat. I don’t know. I also don’t know why she just didn’t come into the house through the passage into the utility room as shw had while it was freezing this spring. Perhaps I am reading too much into all of this. Perhaps she was older than I thought — she was grown when she first showed up. Whatever the reason, I have now given up on her coming back. And while Harry is a good gardening kitten, I will forever associate Junebug with the garden and spring and working with the plants. She was always around and interested in what I was doing.
I miss Junebug.