Idiot 1: Dirty Cats 0
Here’s a thing. There are several old people in the village whose partners have either died, or left them, or admitted that they’re more Martha than Arthur and ran off with a Filipino houseboy. Those who are left behind often resort to pets, and one pet in particular: the cat. Cats do not require a lot of looking after. You simply feed them, then kick them out to go and shit in someone else’s garden. When they come home these people fondle them, sleep with them, even kiss the mouths that they have used to lick their own arses. Then they feed them again and send them forth, bowels filled, to shit out misery on some poor unsuspecting non-cat person trying to grow a few vegetables.
I don’t like cats. I didn’t used to mind them, but the annual event that is picking cat shit out from the vegetables and removing the seedlings the felines have damaged is pretty much enough to make me dislike them. At first I used some sort of citronella pellets. The cat’s simply went and shat a few feet away. I realised I would have to cover every inch of soil with a few feet depth of the pellets to get any respite.
Next I tried Renardine, a fox and deer repellant. I found a tin at the back of the shed (I can’t even remember buying it) and that worked really well. I went to buy some more, and found out it had been banned in 2005. I tried putting down old thorn branches, I tried chilli powder, I even built a cat bog with soft tissue and reading material, but still they shat on the vegetable beds. I contemplated finding out whose cats they were, and posting my shit through their letterboxes.
The general end to these battles resulted in everything being swathed in plastic netting, which looked crap, and required a good 20 minutes undoing it all, then putting it back up, for simple weeding or other jobs.
During the last few days of autumn, I dug out the bean beds, filled them with manure and general vegetable scraps, and covered them over with soil, before putting down a layer of cardboard. Obviously, the decomposition happening beneath raised the temperature. The local cats loved it, and being in a sunny spot, they moved in. It became a cat club. I knew the minute the cardboard was gone, it would be their preferred toilet. I didn’t want to hurt the cats, or do anything involved pooh and their owners, so I hatched a plan…
The FAC U (Fence – Anti Cat – Unmountable) consists of fixed posts, with chicken wire hanging on hooks. Each panel is removable, allowing access in seconds. It also looks less crap than loads of garden netting. It also didn’t take long to do; about half an hour.
The best bit of it was that as I was fixing the last panel on, I looked up the dogleg passage that connects the main garden to the overgrown bit, and sitting there was a shabby-looking Persian, one of the main users of the Cat Club (so to be cat toilet). He didn’t look too pleased. Still, it could have been worse. He could have had my toe up his arse…