A couple of years ago, in late fall, a stray, semi-feral cat took up residence in the compost pile. He probably selected it for warmth, safety and the fact that it was an open food cupboard stocked with unwary rodents and birds. As winter approached it became clear that he needed both additional food and better shelter. So we began a process of convincing him that (1) we were the source of easy food, and (2) entering our house was a safe thing to do.
Having once come in from the garden, he still considers it part of his domain, and whenever I am outside working, he is close beside me. In spring there is an audible indicator of his presence – nesting Western Scrub Jays (Aphelocoma californica) follow his every move, indicated by their strident squawking.
It’s not exactly peaceful, but it surely is entertaining.
The kitty makes his own unique way through the garden.
“I’d like to see you try THIS you danged DOG.”
When I planted Nepeta, also known as catnip, in the garden, I had no garden kitty. Of course he believes this was put here just for him.
Well, he is probably right. I just didn’t know it at the time.
The Scrub Jays have little to fear from this guy, though I am not so sure about the quail and the mourning doves. He is a little garden tiger.
[amending - The adult jays may be safe, but the fledglings are not. But then Scrub Jays feed on nestlings and fledglings of other birds, so fair is fair...]