Every June I get a less-than-welcome seasonal reminder from my small but feisty feline tribe about which plants in the garden best suit their playful needs and yearnings. The plus side in all of this I suppose is the marketing spin I’m about to put on an otherwise frustrating and wholly miserable situation (I’m trying to employ the same amount of drama here as the cats feel necessary to use on me).
Organic cat toys. What a thought? With such focus and attention on sustainability and the timeless and enduring legacy of Bob Barker, organic meets the pet population, in this case the feline aspect. And in an otherwise dim economy, why spend so much on overpriced, plastic pet toys when you could just grow your own? No, no. Catmint (or catnip depending your regionalism) isn’t on the menu at this house. My felines deserve the best and demand the choicest esoterica I have to offer.
For casual lying about why not plant a handsome, all-natural, and green faux shag carpet? Carex appalachica fits the role nicely, forming comely tussocks of soft green grass-like blades. It really is a great sedge, adaptable to sun, part sun, and shade. It thrives regardless of the setting (and the lay-down aggressor), seeding politely between other rock garden plants.
If you’re in the market for some kind of attention-getting stick, why not the pliable and readily acquired larkspur (Delphinium grandiflorum ‘Blue Butterfly’)? With minimal investment you can plant a small stand capable of withstanding feline aggression and onslaught that still manages to bloom!
For the high-rollers in the crowd, maybe you’re looking for something a little more refined–a truly unique cat toy. I suggest Callicarpa americana (American beautyberry). This Zone 5 dieback shrub sprouts new, flexuous green growth late in the spring, blooms in mid-July, and bears some of the most gorgeous fruit imaginable on a shrub. Despite my desire to enjoy this choice accession amid various variegated perennials, a new crop of kittens recently demonstrated the versatility of the central leader as a teaser toy. Who’d of known?
It turns out that my physical presence with a camera is enough to strike fear into the eyes of my privacy seeking cats, otherwise aware that their actions, however cute and photogenic, are unwelcome. Photos of these fine products are presently unavailable.
Thanks to Angel, Spidget, Gidget, Annabelle, RD, Tar Baby, Tiger, and Duncan for their assistance with product development.