Gardens at Effingham: Where Cats Tell the Tales

A Cat Sleeps in Our Garden


Maine Coon Cat Named Tessa at Gardens at Effingham
Tessa Cat

A Cat Sleeps in Our Gardens

A Cat Sleeps in Our Garden

Days fall short now, time cutting across day’s light, night coming too fast—before supper, before work can be done, before we are ready.

Gardens have been put to sleep—by us, or by nature—and while inside we work by light, outside, this early darkness awakens late fall’s chill. 

Against this vague, ambiguous drift of days between November and March, skies sketch a steady kind of gray.

Tigers crush where Lilies sleep. A cat sleeps in the gardens today. He’s tucked in and around himself right now, curled up on a large, flat stone between a rose bush and a forsythia bush. His markings flank and imitate this late fall day around him. 

Leaves are mostly fallen from the black walnut trees behind him, the roses lie dormant and sad after an early heavy frost last week, the mulch, well withered and now covered by brown crunchy leaves, work together to provide just the right amount of camouflage for his heavy tiger-striped frame.

Chokeberry Changing Colors in Fall
Red, Orange, and Yellow Chokeberry in Fall

Meet Daddy Cat

He is a large cat. Daddy cat, perhaps, of the feral cats in this area. A show cat with markings parallel and perfect. He is a traditional striped cat, though with tufted fur, tufted ears, and a tufted chest. I remember the first time I saw him sitting on the brick path leading up to the garden gates. Stunningly beautiful, striking in that he just sat for the longest time, square on his haunches, front paws tight and connected, dark ribbons of stripes at perfect intervals up his legs. And that face. A large, perfect stare, eyes wide open, unafraid, as if saying something, but what, exactly?

He seems tended to, a house cat let outside, an un-neutered cat left free to roam where might he may. I’ve only seen him twice, this tomcat unafraid. Unlike the feral cats who run skittish and fast, this tiger lumbers up our long drive, sauntering past the Weigela, passing by the just-last-summer planted dwarf-mounding chokeberry bushes, brushing past the dwarf cameo flowering quince. His haunches define his fearlessness, his size alone big enough to take down another male cat foolish enough to enter his territory, his domain, these, our Gardens at Effingham. 

Daddy Cat in Red Rose Garden
Daddy Cat in Red Rose Garden

Most Beloved Cat is enthralled with Daddy Cat. She does, in fact, seem to have a crush on him. Most Beloved stares out the music room window, watching, waiting, tail swishing slowly, to and fro and back again. She’s thinking about going outside to meet him, then remembers she’s an indoor cat, the only indoor cat, at Gardens at Effingham.

Most Beloved Cat Gazes Out the Window
Most Beloved Cat Gazing Out the Window

Watch the cats
from your inbox


Recent Posts

Ninja cat sits on a shelf beside a basket of yellow flowers

Featured: Ninja Finds a Forever Home (And Other Black Cats in Fall)

Ninja Finds a Forever Home Ninja is Happy to Find a Friend From the Journals of Most Beloved: Ninja’s Story October Greetings and All that Jazz- Chilly night here mid-October and yikes! Days are short now. Not much daylight to lounge about basking in the golden rays of the sun. The dark descends quickly now.…

Keep reading
Photo of Most Beloved Cat a little white cat at Gardens at Effingham

The Journey Begins

Welcome to Gardens at Effingham: Where Cats Tell the Tales. My name is Most Beloved. I write the cat tales, and I especially like tattling on the garden cats. I live in the big house at Gardens at Effingham, and have the luxury of being the only indoor cat. I had a rough time as…

Keep reading

Celebrate the Seasons! Gorgeous Garden Photos by Most Beloved

A Note from Most Beloved Sometimes, I journal my cat tales. Sometimes, (okay, quite a bit of time) I nap. Oftentimes, I munch and crunch on num-nums while journaling. And the rest of the time? Time when I’m not napping, paw-printing my way through my cat tales, and snacking on num-nums? I snap photographs of…

Keep reading

Ode to Joy of Being a Cat

From the Journals of Most Beloved: Ode to Joy of Being a Cat From the Journals of Most Beloved Ode to Joy of Being a Cat Scherzo. Forte. Crescendo without dénouement. Succession of notes, days metered in the click-click of 4/4, key of A (for August heat), unstable and trilling, repetition the same and in…

Keep reading

Loading…

Something went wrong. Please refresh the page and/or try again.

, ,

3 responses to “A Cat Sleeps in Our Garden”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: