It’s been a while since I posted anything about Columbo, so I decided to take a quick picture of him in the garden. Now the roses have gone, but the lilies are out and I thought it would look nice to get a snap of him with them in the background. He didn’t seem to keen to pose, however, and I had to settle for this one in which he looks more than a little grumpy…

The hot humid weather we’ve been having recently broke on Thursday with a considerable downpour of rain. Columbo was delighted. With him being diabetic I have to make sure he gets plenty of water so I give him a fresh bowlful every morning. Usually, however, he prefers to go outside and drink rainwater from varies containers around the garden. During the hot spell these have gradually dried up and he’s been forced to drink the water I provide, which he clearly doesn’t like as much. I asked the vet about this and he said it’s because tap water smells funny to cats. Dirty water in a manhole cover doesn’t, apparently.

Anyway, when it rained Columbo went out and started lapping water up from puddles and off the leaves of the shrubs in the garden. He obviously loved it, although he was a very soggy moggy when he finally decided he’d had enough.

One of the drawbacks of Cardiff is that it’s a pretty damp place generally, partly because it rains quite often and partly because it’s very low-lying. My own house is near the River Taff – on its flood plain, in fact – so the water table isn’t far down. The result of this is that the garden can become a profusion of slugs and snails. Fortunately, I’ve never had the problem that some neighbours have had with slugs getting into the house. The hot weather has kept them away this year, but when I went out yesterday morning they were all over the lawn and even climbing up the walls. Obviously they prefer damp conditions, but it doesn’t take much to make them spring into life. Today’s warm again and I didn’t see any this morning. I wonder where they go when it’s too dry?

It’s sunny again today and Columbo’s reverted to his usual place in the shade at the end of the garden, emerging occasionally to make a half-hearted attempt to catch butterflies. The slightly odd weather seems to have done wonders for flowering plants – the roses were lovely this year, and the honeysuckle is still going which probably explains the large number of butterflies.

I wish I could persuade some songthrushes to visit and feast upon my latent slug population, but I suppose with a fierce cat lurking in the bushes they’re wise to stay away.

4 Responses to “Catsnap”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    * Is your whisky bottle empty?
    * No, there’s a little slug left in the bottle.
    * They get everywhere. At least it died happy.

    Eek, lily pollen is deadly to cats, do ask a vet about the risk before they flower. you can also try boiling the tapwater to see if it’s the chlorine he dislikes.


  2. telescoper Says:

    Lily pollen is ghastly stuff. I can’t have them in the house because they make me sneeze uncontrollably, but I’ve had them in the garden here since I moved and also in my old place in Nottingham and he’s never had any ill-effects, so I think he’s smart enough to keep away. Come to think of it that probably explains why he didn’t want to hang about near them while I took the picture. I wonder if cats know they’re dangerous? Perhaps the smell puts them off..

  3. Anton Garrett Says:

    Lily pollen is certainly strong stuff. Stains from it don’t come off light coloured clothes even with biological detergent.

  4. telescoper Says:

    When Columbo had his funny turn last year, the vet thought it might have been something like a reaction to lily pollen. However, that was in early April, far too early for them to be flowering. His symptoms didn’t really sound right for that, but it’s just possible that he may have nibbled the leaves which are also apparently quite nasty.

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