Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Another Year

By Skeeter
Wow, was In the Garden really gone for a month? It does not seem like it has been a month since we last chatted about gardens, animals and family. The month flew by for us as we stayed real busy. One of our busy moments was we celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary by taking a cruise. More on the cruise another time. Today I want to talk about my girls. As most of you know, our girls are two black 4-legged Fluff balls named Sheba and Cheetah. These two stray cats came crawling out of the woods and into our life one fall day. I have spent many hours being a good mommy and properly training my babies to life in the house with claws and all. Aw, Aren't they sweet? Ha, don't let looks fool ya. I had decorated the house before our departure. Above in the first picture, you can see the tree in the sun-room.
Here you see the tree in the dining room.
The Magnolia tree in the Living room.
The snowman tree in the hallway.
There is a tree in the guest room.
And a tree filled with animals of every kind in the office/guest room. The lights in the top part of the tree died on me. Dont we just love hunting for the pesky loose bulb? As you can see, I opt out of the hunt.
I have garlands within paws reach....
As well as old Garden Wagons filled with shiny things to attract the eye of playful kitties.
I am putting this picture in for Dawn to show her how she inspired me to add lights to my basket of pine cones!
I have a second Garden Wagon in the sun-room that is dripping with dangling ornaments.
Dried greens along with artificial adorn the coffee table at the height of a cats head.
I put two snow villages in place again this year.
I must say all this plus more, was left to fend for itself while being alone with two cats for 6 straight days while we were on our cruise. And believe it or not, everything was in its place when we returned! Yep, I have good girls when it comes to the Christmas decorations. No one can believe we left them with all that glitter and glow to tempt a frisky cats attention. Our neighbor stopped by each day to make sure the girls were okay and to give them a treat. She said the only thing out of place was the plush snowman under the snowman tree. We think it may have come between a toy and a paw as a cat toy was near the snowman.
However, two days after we had returned home to our girls, I spotted something out of place in the sun-room. A Sweet Gum Ball Deer was on the floor and not on the tray table along with the other two deer. The Saint and I joke that one day, that Pet Rock you see above will be our only pet! Ha, we can dream right.... Hummmm, what's up with that? Here is the Angel Trumpet plant that Tina gave me a few months ago. I set it on a tray table in the sun room next to a Christmas tree when the temps turned to freezing outside.
With a little investigating on my part, I soon found dirt on the window ledge as well as dirt all over the carpet and baseboards. Grrrrrrr....Bad kitties!
I can leave the cats alone in a house fully decorated for Christmas with 6 shiny trees, garlands, snow villages, etc and they don't touch one thing. But turn your head from a REAL plant for a day or two and well, you can see for yourself what will happen. The scent of a live plant is way too tempting for even my well trained girls.
Needless to say, the Guest bedroom has once again been turned into a plant nursery with doors being closed for the winter. And yes, the cats are driving me crazy trying to get into the No No room! A cat does not like doors to be closed and they are sure letting me know. Last year I said no more plants in the house, but here we go again with ANOTHER YEAR, In the Garden....


  1. Hi Skeeter, welcome back and happy anniversary! You have beautiful decorations and REALLY beautiful kitties. Of course they wouldn't only get something that was or is alive, they know! How cute the sweet gum deer are, I would want to play with and/or handle them too. :-)

  2. Skeeter, Your basket is beautiful but ALL your decorations are so beautiful and so are the kitties, they look like twins.
    I'm lucking I have just two plants the cats like to pick on but my siamese is driving me crazy with Madames closed door!

  3. Welcome back!! You have a lovely home...and sneaky girls!!

  4. Pretty decorations, Skeeter! Our kitty, Lacey, really did havoc on my tree ornaments and got into my poinsettia pots, too...and you have double trouble!
    No more house plants in the house...? I couldn't...ever! Glad you caved in...lol!

  5. Happy New Year Skeeter! I think on the whole your kitties did very well while you were gone. They must have appreciated your beautiful Christmas decorations.

    Happy Anniversary! Looking forward to hearing about the cruise.

  6. I hope you had a great Christmas! Happy anniversary too. Where was your cruise? The cats are beautiful.

  7. Welcome home. We adopted a cat this Christmas eve and named him Christmas. He is well behaved but I have been concerned about my indoor plants because he gets up in the middle of the night to roam around and play. Basically, he does whatever he wants. When I see him romping around, I let him out for a little while to disperse all that energy. You Christmas decor was fabulous. I love the magnolia tree.

  8. I wish you and all the friends of your blog a happy new year, we hope a safety time and peace at all.
    love Kathrin (Bremen)

  9. Those little kitties are cute as heck! I love your themed snowman tree...gotta try that. We had birds for our tree theme this year.
    I love your decorating. Your house is so clean. I wouldn't dare post pics, it is mess right now!


  10. Skeeter, your girls were so good while you were gone! You can't blame them for wanting to play in the dirt a little:) I remember the year one of our cats was intrigued by something near the top of our tree. I woke up twice to find the tree toppled over and had to redecorate it:) Our cats now are very good about leaving things alone, but Sophie, the Golden, decided my brand new tree skirt was quite tasty...and I did find the remnants of an ornament in the hallway one morning. Such is life with pets:)

    I remember seeing all your lovely Christmas trees last year--all your decorations are just beautiful!

  11. oh your kitties are soooo lovely, I sighed out loud and everyone looked at me....oops. Your Christmas decorating made me swoon, I Loved the little town you set up....and all the trees!!!! I have to say my Mother in Law and I are waiting to see how you garden out here in TN since we are pac Northwest girls!....super excited to see what you have planned!!

  12. Wow, you have some Christmas setup! I think you vie with my friend Aunita! Well, it's great your cats didn't mess with too many ornaments (and cats are related to lions and deer are related to gazelles, so the one transgression is understandable). My cats don't belong to the International Cats Union, so they don't know they're supposed to dig in plants, either. :)

  13. Your house is SO beautiful! You really do it up right Skeeter. One of these days I might put up one Christmas tree-ha! Not if I can help it:) Your angel trumpet is doing great. Hang tough until spring then you can plant it out and leave it out next year-no more dirt. It is hardy there and you'll simply love it! The cats are cute and good! We now have one that looks just like them-he/she has taken over Orkin's outside box and her food. We bring her in and let the other one have the outside for now since it has been so cold. It sure seems there are a bunch of long haired black cats huh? We don't mind feeding it but hope it doesn't run off our little Orkin. Everyone have a great day!

  14. Welcome back Skeeter -love the decorations. I wish you would've taken some of this cold weather back -hehehe. It is feeling like single digits this morning -had to drive the little ones to school. I know they would've preferred walking but too cold for the Lil Bundle to be out. Can't wait to hear about the cruise:)

  15. Good morning everyone! Burrrr, it is cold in Georgia. Over all I do have good fur girls! I have spent countless hours on training them but no matter what, I must remember they are cats in the end and not human. Although, at times I do think they are human! lol. All you that have indoor only cats will totally understand that one for sure...

    Dave, our cruise was to Key West and Nassau, Bahamas. We had a great time and I will show some pretty warm tropical pics soon. It may warm us up a bit...

    Anonymous, I did bring back some of the cold to Georgia! This cold snap is way down in Florida as well so can’t wait to see what Lola has to say about it. Wish I had a minute to swing by and see what Santa brought to the kiddos but my days were so full from the time I arrived until the time I departed. That seems to be the theme when I get home...

    Jana, Welcome to “In the Garden”! I am Skeeter and live in Georgia. I am from Tennessee and visit my family there often. Tina and I found each other through this blog and she has opened up her blog for me to chat on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. So you will see me then. I will pop over and say hey...

    Keep Warm everyone!

  16. Cats will be cats and they were soooo very good when you were away that they just had to do something to make sure you still know that they are, afterall, a cat!

  17. Jean, them girls do like keeping me on my toes! hee hee...

  18. Skeeter, your house is lovely, and you know how to do it up in style for the holidays. If your cats are anything like ours, they were probably waiting patiently until you got home so they could pay you back in person for leaving them alone. Why waste a good prank on the neighbor?

  19. I love all of your Christmas trees. But, I do have to say that Cheetah and Sheba are just adorable, if somewhat mischievous. I look forward to this year seeing what you do in the garden :-)

  20. Skeeter, just popped back in to say I spoke too soon in my last comment. Just finished cleaning up dirt from the amaryllis pot that Toby knocked over. Well, it was on his favorite perch next to the window, so I guess I can't blame him:)

  21. haha - enjoyed this post. The trees are gorgeous and your kitties look so sweet and innocent! I can't believe they would EVER be up to any mischief at all.

    I'm very inspired by those sweetgum deer- how adorable.

  22. Walk2Write, You are so right! I would love to put a video camera out to see just what they do while we are away. We suspect all they do is sleep and save up energy for us to enjoy when we return! lol

    Noelle, I am glad I have somewhat mischievous cats as they are so much fun. They are very playful and I enjoy watching them have fun in life. Even when I catch them nibbling a plant or digging in the potting soil. I do love my little fluff balls!

    Rose, You are too funny. I told myself it was my fault for putting the tray table by the TV as I know that is how the guilty party leaped upon the plant. They have never jumped up onto a tray table before, so yes, our fault for not taking better care of our plant placements. hee hee...

    JGH, I do have a bit of mischief in my cats but they are so much fun and I do enjoy their antics even though I am the one to clean up most of their messes. I cannot imagine my house without some type of furry critter in it but I must admit, I could think how clean things would be without cats in my life. But the purrs and love I get from them far outweighs the clean ups. Give the Gum Ball deer a try. They are really easy to make....

  23. What an amazing selection of decorations and trees - we only have 1!!! Your house looks so festive

  24. Welcome back! Your house looks so pretty with all the trees! I love the lights in with the pine cones. That's really good for 2 cats left alone in a house full of decorations! The ones I used to have would have taken each ornament off and chewed them apart :)

  25. Patientgardener, When it is time to take them all down, I wish I only had one :-) When the time comes to downsize, I must decide which one to keep and which ones to pass along to someone that wants them. That will be a tough day for me as I love them all...

    Catherine, I have a friend that must keep her cats behind closed doors during the Christmas Holidays. She has two cats that likes to eat Plastic! Yep, they will eat the bulbs on the tree if nothing else! I would only have one small one if I had to in order to keep my cats with me all day long. I could not see shutting them up behind closed doors so I could have a tree in every room. My baby’s would come first. I am lucky my girls behave around the decorations....

  26. Happy New Year, Skeeter. I look forward to seeing your gardens as they grow through the coming seasons.

  27. Happy Anniversary and Happy New Year to you Skeeter!

    Your girls are so good and your decorations so fabulous! I can see how they love DIRT -- see, your decorations didn't include dirt! LOL

    Glad to hear from ya.


    (The Musician and I are heading to California for some warmer temps... I won't announce our absence on my blog, but The Archaeologist son will be at the house full-time taking care of Charm.)

  28. Hey Skeeter, welcome back. I hope you had a wonderful cruise, Christmas & New Year. Happy Anniversary too.
    It is 28º as I type. It will get colder closer to morning. I will probably loose a lot of stuff as I've been sick & can't get out to cover anything.
    Your girls sure were good while you were away. A mommy to be proud of her girls.
    The little 4 footed baby here just wants to sit in my lap & sleep. She is very good about going outside to potty. She is a deer chihuahua. She will leave her mommy & come to me. She talks to me also. A lot of company.

  29. Welcome back to the blog! I'd like to say how totally thoughtful it was of you to leave out some amazing toys and play options for the kitties while you were away. It looks they had some fun but at least left the trees upright! Happy 2010.

  30. OMG - I used to have two cats who looked exactly like yours! I miss them very much as they've both passed now. And they did the same thing to my plants!If I could have them back again, though, I would not care - just patiently clean up the dirt and fix the plants.

  31. Your decorations are all beautifully done(-:
    My cats stay outside mostly but they would be tempted with a potted plant too.
    I think my angel wings plant is a goner cuz its outside and it was in the teens.)-: Every year I say no more plants that need to be treated special during the winter...(-:
    Happy New Year!!!!

  32. Christine, Hello and thank you! I am not an avid gardener such as the Master Gardener Tina here at “In the Garden”. I am just someone who enjoys digging in the dirt and creating new focal points of interest in my big yard. But come along for the fun ride…

    Cameron, thank you! Is there room in your luggage for me to crawl inside? I am so ready for warmer weather and winter is just beginning. Arg, gonna be a long cold one this year for sure…

    Lola, Thanks and wow, that is cold for Florida! I hope your pretties don’t all croak on you! But think positive, that would leave room for new pretties! I love it when my Cheetah gets in my lap, she so warms me up with her body heat and her sweet purrs. If only Sheba were a lap cat then the Saint could get him some warm legs too. Hee hee… I hope you are feeling better now. Being cold is bad enough then being sick on top is a real bummer! Take care of yourself and stay warm….

    James, thanks and yes, leaving something the girls are allowed to play with works wonders. They do toss the toys into the trees at times but then they just stand there and look at it then me. I say my stern NO and they bore of that toy and move on to another one. This did not come natural as I have spent many hours training them furry ones…

    GP, I am sorry you lost your fur babies. They bring such joy in our life even with their messes. They are so worth the clean ups! Unconditional love is something I will always value in life from my furry babies….

    Cindee, I too say no more plants in the house then it happens again. Argggg. My kitties must stay in for all the evils lurking beyond our woods like a busy street. I hope you don’t loose your Angel Wings to the cold. Are you receiving lower then normal temps out there? We sure are getting them here in GA. Burrrr I tell ya….

  33. I am in awe of your beautiful and artistic Christmas decorations. Where do you store everything when it isn't on display?
    We store ours in the attic.
    My dh and I have 2 kitties too, and it is fun to read about yours.
    Do you have any tips on how to prevent cats from clawing furniture? We are getting a new sofa in a few days, and our girl cat shredded a corner of our old one!

  34. Terra, I am lucky enough to have a huge storage closet in the upstairs of the house. It is so large that it has its own AC/Heat vent. I keep the door open as the cats love this closet in the winter. It stays so much warmer then anywhere else in the house. They have baskets and cat beds on top of the storage containers. I am a good packer too so lots of my decorations fit into 7 large stackable plastic containers. The remainder fits on shelves in the closet...

    We have scratching posts in the house for our fur girls. They never scratch the furniture as I have been on top of them with that from the time they arrived in the house. When they went for the furniture, I would pick them up and place them near the scratching post and they learned it was okay to scratch the post but not the furniture. I am with them most days as I am a stay at home mommy to the kitties so it was pretty easy to train them. It is when your back is turned that they can get into trouble… With our beloved boy Skeeter (rest his soul) we trained him to stay off the new sofa. When ever he jumped up on the sofa, we would say a stern NO and put him back into the floor or into a chair or a kitty bed. He soon learned to never get on the sofa and therefore, not much hair on the sofa. The sofa was old when he passed and the girls arrived so we let them on the sofa. We “may not” allow them on the new one when we replace the old one as we are going to get leather…