Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Your cats would love to eat your herb garden

Eamon the cat eating my herb garden
Eamon posing beside his salad.
Since I've had such fantastic success with my catnip-growing experiment (see the recent entry here), I thought I'd try my hand at other herbs. I like to use basil, cilantro and parsley in my cooking, and I'd rather not spend $3 on a tiny packet of herbs each and every week. I only need a pinch, after all, and then I spend the rest of the week watching my investment rot away in the refrigerator. It's not inspiring.

So, I started a few little seeds in a clever pot, and I misted those seeds faithfully for weeks. Slowly, they began to take root and I moved the pot out to the sun porch. This is my preferred nursery for plants for two reasons:
  1. It gets light for 6 to 8 hours every day.
  2. The cats aren't allowed to spend unsupervised time out there. 
I can move my plants to the sun porch and feel sure that they're getting the light they need, without being subject to curious noses and sharp little teeth. It's ideal, really.

All was going well with my little plan until yesterday, when I decided to throw open the doors to the sun porch and let the cats enjoy the warmer weather and sunshine while I sat down to work on the laptop. My one mistake was to stop in the kitchen and make tea, leaving the cats alone with my plants. Apparently, Eamon made a beeline for my tender herbs, and he had quite a snack. By the time I returned, mug in hand, all of my cilantro was gone, and much of the basil didn't survive the attack, either.

I have no idea why cats like to eat herbs like this. They're fragrant and spicy, which should be deterrents to sensitive cats, and they're also a bit stringy because they're young and tender. If he'd chewed on adult bamboo to sharpen his teeth, or he'd rolled on catnip plants that were fragrant and budding, I would have understood. But just noshing on herbs? It makes no sense.

So now I must find a new home for my herb pot that is both sunny and completely out of the reach of all cats. The car might be the best spot, at this point.