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It’s starting to get warm so I decided to work in the yard today.  It’s been a long winter and the trees are starting to show buds, the daffodils are blooming and bees are starting to buzz around the yard.

So I went out to the shed and pulled some of the tools out.  In just a few minutes I had the rakes, tiller, shovel, tree pruning saw and a few other garden tools out and piled up on the walk. Now, this should have taken me under 2 minutes but I spent a good 15 minutes getting things together.  Seems that each tool removed had to be inspected by oneor more cats.  The big guy was interested in the rakes (did he think they would be better than the hair brush for grooming?)  The tabby was trying to figure out the tilling tool while the predator was staring intently at the shovels (could she use one to dig out the ground hogs?).

And so it went.

I started cleaning the vegetable plot.   I was puling the remains of the fall tomato crop  out when the big guy started to help.  He’d wait until I started to dig the roots out then he’d rush in and start pawing at the newly opened hole.  So I’d have to stop and wait until he was sure that nothing was going to crawl out of the hole and attack me.  I’d then move on to the next root and we’d repeat the process again.  10 plants took a half an hour to clean up.  Without his help I could have been done in 10 minutes.

During that process the predator was off investigating something in the neighbor’s yard.  As I was carrying the last load of roots to the green debris box, she ran up and started to talk, going on and on about something.  I’m not sure what she was saying, she sort of whines in long sentences of cat talk, stopping long enough for me to say a few words then she starts with another long sentence.  She can keep this exchange going for 3 or 4 minutes until she has said enough and walks away. I’d like to imagine she’s telling me about what she saw or maybe something she heard.

Cleaning up along the side of the garage was the high point of the day.  The grass and ground cover is thick, the dirt is always damp and the area is home to a few blue-belly lizards.  As I gingerly rake the leaves and peanut shells (that’s another story) out of the area I’d occasionally disturb some of the inhabitants who’d dash out, pursued by one of the herd.  The lizards would usually head out along the walk way for a few feet then dash over to the fence and safety.  The big cat chased after one but quickly gave up (ok, the maine coon is not knows for speed).  The tabby fared better but would pull up short of the fence and stare at the lizards as they slipped through the gaps in the wood fence.  Predator had apparently played this game before. As soon as the lizard started to dash towards the fence,  the cat would spring to the fence and meet the lizard on the other side.  I felt bad for the lizards and took the cat into the house.

As part of the cleanup I decided to put in  a few sun flower and sweet pea seeds on the sunny side of the house.  There is a flower bed that hasn’t been used for some time.  This wasn’t as easy as I thought.  Each time I would cut a trough for the seeds and dro a few in, the big guy would come behind me and dig them out.  I went through 3 packs of seeds before I got a few in the ground.  Did he think it was a game? Not sure.

After a few hours of this they tired, as did I and we put the tools away.  Of course, with cats helping, the shed was inspected first. Then each tool was put away, it too was inspected.  They inspected  the doors, the yard chairs, the trash bag, the recycle bin. They inspected everything.  I’ve brushed their coats now and fed them well, as a reward for their efforts.the big guy is snoring, laying across the desk.  Precious, the tokinese, is curled up on the bed and the tabby is stretched out on the sofa now.

I’d be heading to bed myself but the queen, who slept through all the excitement, is awake now and wants to go out for a walk in the night air.  Can’t refuse the queen’s request, can I?