Rats, Cats and Owls

My neighbour, Vera, was telling me her latest gardening adventure. She took up gardening since become widowed a few years ago. Steep learning curve.
Her zucchini were the “hanging type”. So, she strung them up along her clothesline. Looped the long vine over the clothesline line, the vegetables hanging from it, all neat in a row.For someone fairly new to gardening, she actually had a pretty green thumb. The zucchini flourished. Grew like crazy. And brought the entire clothesline crashing to the ground!


Vera said,“My son asked me,”Ma, are you crazy?””

I reassured her the clothesline sounded like a good idea at the time. That the problem was her zucchini just grew too big.

I noticed ripe tomatoes strewn across her lawn.


She had the same problem as I did. Something was taking a bite out of all of our low-hanging fruit. Noting the bite marks, it likely was a rat! Yikes!! The nerve of the animal…biting a tomato and then, moving on to the next. Never completely eating one of them. Goldilocks of the garden.

“Do you think this will scare them off?” She pointed to some objects she’d placed in a tree.


“No, Vera, I think that only works for birds. We have to come up with a better plan.”

I really didn’t know what to do. I didn’t want to put out poison and risk my dogs getting sick. Or worse. Or killing a bunny.

“I throw all the tomatoes with bites in them on the lawn. I hope the rat eats them instead of the untouched ones.”

“Let me know if it works for ya. I’ll do the same.”

My hubby thought about building some kind of box where the animal would enter and eat the poison. It sounded risky to bunnies though. I told him I’d think about it longer.

That night, an owl was spotted on our eaves trough when I stepped out to toss a bag of garbage late at night. We live in suburbia so the owl was a rare sighting.

The next day, I noticed a black cat lurking about my gardens.

Trust Mother Nature to send in the troops to get the job done that I couldn’t bring myself to do.

3 thoughts on “Rats, Cats and Owls

  1. Vera is a very creative gardener! The things in the tree to scare off mice (I hope mice not rats!) are too funny.
    I learned an unusual way to keep birds from eating strawberries this summer. Early on, before the berries ripen, paint some small rocks/stones red and place in with strawberry plants. The birds will be attracted by the colour and descend to devour them … but they’ll quickly discover the “berries” are inedible. Maybe they come back a few times and try again, but no go and eventually they give up. By the time your real berries ripen, the birds will have long since decided to give your berry patch a pass.
    I saw this on the Facebook page of my local gardening club. I don’t know if it works, but it worked for the person who tried it!

    Liked by 1 person

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