This morning I sat looking out at the garden, at the patch of grass I previously mentioned here as a hiding place for the local cat. Or a local cat. This morning, I saw a blur as a shape fell from the shrub overhanging our garden. It was a cat, a different one, whose whole posture and sudden, purely-gravity-propelled fall was reminiscent of so many action movies where the heroes stealth-infiltrate some base or other.
I went outside, intending to chase away (in a friendly, non threatening way, you understand) the cat. A few seconds earlier I had seen finches maneouvering, hummingbird style, into the long grass (I had scattered some birdseed there). Around the grass I walked. No sign of the cat. Had it already scarpered? Only when I went closer to the clump did it leave its hiding place and run off.
I think I know why birdfeeding activity has been quieter than usual in our garden.
I scattered some Cayenne Pepper, supposedly a natural cat repellent, on various walls, but was also left with the beginnings of a secret regard for the animals. Perhaps some careful trimming of the clump, which I do adore as an island of wild meadow in the long long grass, would do the trick. But I am also inclined to leave things as they are. By chasing away cats when I see them, I get some much needed exercise, and have the entirely illusory sense of intervening in some ways. I would rather have a bird-friendly than cat-friendly garden, but some of the animosity I may have once had is dissipating.