Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Introducing Spaz

Life has this strange way of giving you surprises... and the other week we had Spaz arrive in to our lives and it looks like the little beast will be hanging around.

It's kind of reminiscent of last year when Romeo arrived, and you might notice that there is a certain resemblance between Spaz and Angelina (very similar markings) and they look like they could be related.

The other kitties are slowly warming up to having another beast around. Romeo has been the easiest (which is no surprise he seems to have one of the temperaments that is more easy going), Houdini is not bad as long as the new guy understand who the boss is, and our little girl is still not happy with the whole thing and will take some more time.

It's been just over a week now and things are slowly starting to come together and there is a tad less hissing going on.

Spaz is a real charmer... and it's almost impossible for me to say no to a baby (he is just over 5 months according to the Vet) and he has been worming his way into our hearts here at home. Like our previous stray that arrived and never left, the new boy has been eating like a pig and sleeping for hours at a time. Yesterday he slept almost the entire day and we chalk it up to the stress of being outside and starting to catch up on some nutrition. The little guy has huge rabbit feet (like Houdini) and we have the definite impression that this is going to be one monster of a kitty as well.

As mentioned, he has had his first visit to the Vet (his follow up for his vaccinations is at the end of the month) and next month he will be going in to get "fixed" so we don't have any male kitty issues at home. I am pretty sure that things will even out over time and that Angelina will come to love and accept him, it took a while but she finally came around to Romeo and he is one of her best friends now. Time will tell.

Romeo checking things out

Our little love monster has come a long way over the past year and has a great relationship with the other 2 beasts, all while staking out his own territory.
Romeo is probably one of the most independant kitties that I have had to date and he is often exploring the neighbourhood but always comes home as soon as he hears us (or the sound of us shaking food) and is a real charmer.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Community Garden Update

The community garden plot is still around, it's just that we didn't use it last year due to the contamination issues presented by the Public Health Department. It was decided that we would come back this year to plant flowers (and hopefully have a real garden plot available next year if the city can find a solution) and here is a view of the beginning of the season. You can't believe how much of a disaster the space was after leaving it unattended for one year. It took a huge day of work to clear all the weeds and grass that had taken over and it was no easy chore to try to turn all the soil. Since the composting portion of the garden is not currently in use, I ended up filling almost a dozen huge bags with garden debris to make room for planting.

Since this is a flowers only garden (nothing edible can be grown in the soil and container gardening is not terribly popular in a garden environment) I planted a variety of perennials that can easily blend in to the flower beds at home (they will have to be moved when they decontaminate the garden) and added a ton of annuals.

I was also lucky enough to get a sizable donation of different plants and flowers from the Loblaw's Garden centre for the whole community garden that we used to brighten up the space and try to keep the garden alive and vibrant while waiting for the city to find a solution.
Kate and I took the plants and divided them up amongst the gardens in the front 2 rows that face the street. We are trying to make the garden look attractive from the street even though it is hardly being used.

We have gone from over 40 people to less than 10 in the space of 2 years and it is heartbreaking to see the first Community Garden in Montréal in the process of slowly dying.

Hopefully our efforts will give us hope for next season, the city says they may have a solution and I hope that this vital resource is kept alive, there are still tons of people interested in having access to these kinds of resources and they are becoming an endangered species. You would think that in this day and age that we would want to ensure that we have enough green spaces in our cities and encourage the residents to be part of the solution.
This is the end result of our work for the Garden this year. We managed to take our space and transform it in to a beautiful garden that was well visited by all the neighbourhood butterflies and bees. There were many times that I would pass by to water and would discover one of the local cats hanging out in the flowers (more than likely after butterflies or humming birds) and there was at least a bit of nature and some pretty flowers to admire.
I still have high hopes for next year and hope that we have a real solution and can re open the garden to the previous and new gardeners who want to take part in this kind of activity. I miss the camaraderie of my fellow gardeners and how beautiful the garden looked when all the plots were well taken care of and people could grow their own food. It was always such a trip to see all the different vegetables and plants that were growing and I discovered lots of new plants that I had never seen before.
I do miss having those fresh veggies to eat like carrots and beets that I unfortunately don't have the room to grow at home. Here's hoping there is a creative solution for next year.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Angelina taking 5

Angelina taking 5 and relaxing beside the deck as she waits for either one of the pesky squirrels or some hapless Butterfly to come by. She is always dainty and ladylike as she waits.
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Houdini & the Apple Tree

Houdini loves "his" Apple Tree and it's a regular spot for sharpening those claws (sorry tree), playing around and climbing the branches.
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Morning Glory

This year the Morning Glory has been as big and beautiful as ever, and the beautiful flowers are lighting up the Urban Jungle each morning with their vibrant shades of purple and pink.
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