Garden Cat

Tommy & Prudence Dozing in A Garden For All by kathy Diemer

Tommy & Prudence Dozing (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

If we’re really lucky, during our lifetime we’ll have a few very special friends.  Friends that are there through thick and thin, good times and bad, richer or poorer.  One of my best friends came in the form of a four legged orange tabby, and from the day he came into my life it has been a blessing to have known him.  Abandoned at my sister’s farm when he was only a kitten, from the second I saw his adorable face; golden eyes staring up in wonder and ears I thought he’d never grow into, I was a goner.  He simply had to come home with me. 

Tommy Nibbling on Nepeta in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Tommy Nibbling on Nepeta (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Tommy immediately became part of the family, strutting his little two pound frame around Beauregard, our 200 pound Great Dane, like he was Goliath.  Right from the start he showed no fear of the great ones that towered over him (we had three at the time), and he cozied up to them every night at bed time as well.  We quickly realized that he needed a pint sized companion before he started to think he was a dog.  Within weeks another box of kittens were mysteriously abandoned at Patty’s farm.  Up I went to pick out a buddy for Tommy, but my husband found one he liked, too.  What to do?  We brought home little Thor, a long haired Maine Coon mix, and Zeuss, a short haired grey tabby.  Our family was complete, or so we thought, until the final feline member joined the clan a few months later.  Gunther strolled in with an infestation of fleas and a non-stop “conversation” that would drive the most tolerant talk show host to wear ear protection.  Yes, four kittens within months of each other were living with my husband, daughter, three Great Danes and a flock of Bantam chickens.  In other words, life was good.

Tommy & Gunther Resting in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Tommy & Gunther Resting (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

I’m not sure if it was because Tommy was the first to man the roost, but he was clearly the father figure to the other cats.  He taught them how to groom each other, to use the litter box, to climb the curtains, and to thunder up and down the stairs at 3:00 in the morning.  They all slept together on chairs, couches, or on the sun drenched rugs during the day, saving up their energy for when we came home from work.  And, for the evening escapades!

Tommy Watching Over Baby Chicks in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Tommy Watching Over Baby Chicks (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

Most of the time all the boys stayed in the house, except for Tommy, who from the earliest age wanted to be outside with me when I worked in the garden.  He loved to sit in a clump of nepeta and contentedly chew on a few leaves while I weeded.  He would sit for hours watching birds, squirrels and butterflies while basking in the sun. Tommy would even hang out with the chickens as they scratched and hunted for bugs. At day’s end, he would happily come inside and plop on a lap, purring contentedly for hours.  And when friends came to visit (especially the ones allergic to cats, or with black pants on) he would quickly pounce on their lap and look up with his inquisitive eyes as if to say: “How’s it going?”

Tommy Playing with Sedum in A Garden For All by Kathy Diemer

Tommy Playing with Sedum (photo credit: Kathy Diemer)

At twenty one years of age, my precious boy passed away.  I promised not to be sad and cry (impossible), instead focusing on the special creature he was and celebrating how wonderful my life was with him in it.  And as I sit in the garden weeding, soaking up the sun’s warm rays, I am very aware that my friend is no longer sitting right next to me as he once used to.  But then I realize, he is here with me . . . and will be forevermore. ♥


  1. A fitting tribute for a much loved companion. Losing a pet is incredibly difficult. I’m sorry for your loss of Tommy. Spending time in the garden is the best medicine for a broken heart. At twenty one he certainly enjoyed a full life. RIP Tommy.

    • Thanks, Sue. This is a tough one for me, as he really was a one of a kind . . . But life marches on, and time and gardening will be the best therapy ~

  2. Even though I’m not a cat person, I feel your heartache because I’ve lived it with special dogs. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    • Thank you, Ann. The hardest part of having animals is the time we have to say good bye. That said, I would never live one day without them. As you know, they bring such light and love into our lives every day ~

  3. Dana Slaughter says

    I have three kitties buried in my garden. Each was unique and so loved. I am so sorry that you lost your Tommy. People claim cats are aloof creatures, but I know how much they endear themselves to us, and how they are part of our families.

    • You are so right, Dana. Every cat has its own individual personality and is affectionate in their own way. All are a beloved part of our families and leave a mark on our hearts forever. Thank you for writing ~

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A Garden for All