An unexpected guest in the garden

As a novice gardener, I take joy and pride in my plants’ abundance.  I get very protective of them too. Over the past couple of weeks I’ve had one uninvited, unrelenting guest who won’t stop coming back.  I admit, I haven’t been a gracious hostess.  I hiss, yell, act unladylike and probably freak out my neighbors to no avail.Forgive the grittiness of the photo; I took it through the “filter” of my dining room window.

I have 3 mantras that I repeat to myself whenever it comes around: do not be fooled, do not fall prey, do not be deceived.

Do not be fooled by it’s beautiful tabby grey coloring with white marks that look like knee-high boots.  This is not Puss in Boots.

Do not fall prey to it’s small cuteness; it’s size tells me it is probably an older kitten.  Disclaimer: I use the term “kitten” loosely; it has a connotation of adorability that this unwanted guest only partially evokes in me.

Do not be deceived by its mew anytime it sees you.  It is a wail that begs, please don’t hurt me; I just want to be loved (and poop in your garden).

Let’s get real here, that is what it’s most likely doing, pooping.  It thinks that my garden is a giant litterbox- it does have a bunch of horse manure in it, so I can understand its thinking.

I’ve sprayed the hose at it (4 times), set my best garden helper, Titania, on it once (I gave the cat a little head start before I fully unleashed Titania to chase it down).  Still, despite the abuse, it returns, meows at me, and my defenses are starting to crumble.

The fact that it keeps coming back means I see it at least once a week.  The thing is starting to grow on me.  I admire its determination or stupidity; embracing paradox is an important life skill.  It is kinda cute and dainty, and it has such a plaintive meow, even after getting spraying with the hose.  That meow makes me feel guilty.  The cat still accepts me despite my abuse.  Just between me and you- I may start putting out food for it.

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