New feline friend has a garden to-do list, Jan. 15, 2015

By Heather Hacking, Chico Enterprise-Record

The Allium triquetrum isn’t the most heinous of weeds, as far as weeds go. Yet, there are just some things you learn you can’t live with. Heather Hacking-Enterprise-Record
Often when you make a wish out loud, and then wait longer than you would have hoped, your wish comes true.

Sometimes you wait for a long, long time.

For example, I’m still waiting for the perfect house to buy and wishing for a raise. I’m also hoping that gophers become extinct.
In the meantime, I have a new cat.

Several months ago I fell into infatuation with a neighborhood kitty that already had a home. As it goes with most thing, I learn the hard way.

That philandering feline had meandered between my ankles as if she had not been petted or fed for months. With big green eyes, she looked longingly toward my front door. I imagined the underside of a dirty dumpster where she curled up on long, scary nights — so alone.

Note to self: I should never think that I can read a cat’s mind.

After I placed a collar on her neck with my phone number, her REAL owner called to tell me to back off.

The experience could have left me bitter. However, it instigated a serious talk with my beau about whether our future would include a cat.

When my boyfriend’s son moved last year, the kitty came under the care of gramma.

When she officially retired recently, she decided she wants to be a galavanting gramma and a kitty encumbrance no longer matches her lifestyle.

We could have lead her to believe we were doing her an enormous favor. However, I could not contain my glee as my guy lugged the cat carrier from her car to the house.

Gramma brought the necessary accoutrements including a carpet-covered kitty tower, litter box and enough food to keep us until she is well on her way to adventure in a Winnebago.


Did I mention the 8-year-old kitty is a Manx, a Calico, and has the softest long fur I have ever touched.

Naturally, I wanted her to love me best, so I sat that first night and petted her for three hours straight.


When we fall in love and it doesn’t work out, we can learn valuable lessons about the qualities we appreciate in a partner. One of the things I loved about that neighborhood cat is that she followed me around while I worked in the yard; She was a good companion.

My new kitty will be trapped in the house for the customary two-week transition period. She already follows me around the house, and I’m confident she will follow me around the yard.


Last weekend I yanked five gallons of wild garlic, Allium triquetrum, also known as three-cornered leek.

I spent years eradicating this plant from my previous yard. It’s not a terrible plant, and even pretty when it flowers in March. I’ve heard it is also edible.

However, it freezes on a normal winter and turns to a brown, matted mess in the summer. In addition to the normal allium-like bulbs, the plant dumps hard white seeds just a short distance from the base.

It would not be a chore to find a house where the entire yard is nothing but wild garlic.

Perhaps my world is very small, but I gain great satisfaction by yanking weeds before they have a chance to reproduce.

When the soil is moist from a distant rain, I pride myself in a technique where most of the bulbs are separated from the turf with a smooth, gentle yank.

While I was down and dirty, I could not overlook the other creatures that have been busy in the yard. In addition to the gopher holes, moles have been grubbing underground pushing up the soil as if they own the place.

Message to moles: There’s a new cat in town.

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