The great love affair…
I learnt something new this week, and that is that Tills apparently make a very good chew toy for cats! My seleriana x ionantha was growing very well indeed, and after removing two pups from its first round of pupping, I noticed it was giving out three more pups (see pics below).
My joy was short-lived however as one morning I checked on my Tills to find quite a number of them on the floor and leaves scattered everywhere! I then noticed my neighbour’s cat looking warily at me from about three feet away. Now this cat has been in and out of my garden for months, but I am an animal lover so I have never felt the need to chase it away since it is basically harmless. I even tend to call out to it when I see it rather than chasing it away. And indeed for the past few months it has done nothing other than laze around and sunbathe in my back garden.
But on this particular morning, I opened the door to be greeted by my T. exserta, T. Instant Gratification, T. Curls and Curls, T. intermedia, T. streptophylla x T. ionantha and T. seleriana x T. ionantha on the ground! So I promptly chased the cat away (now my sworn enemy!) and did a quick check of the damage. Thankfully most of the plants were mainly intact, although a number suffered broken leaves and had bite marks. Unfortunately the seleriana x ionantha bore the brunt of the damage. I suspect this is because I had this plant suspended by fishing line whilst the rest were wired up. This meant that the rest of the plants were almost in a wire cage and therefore the darn cat could not chew through it, in effect saving them.
After checking the damage I stomped my feet a couple of times at the cat and continued to give it really dirty looks (hey, I am a real bad-ass!). I did the same the next time I saw her and I am happy to report I have not seen the cat since, although I am keeping a close eye out just so I can make it known that she is no longer welcome here!
Anyway, the remnants of my seleriana x ionantha can be seen below. I doubt I can save the mother plant, since most of its leaves were torn off. I also did not put it under shelter post-attack and it has been raining heavily every single day since, so it does not look to be salvageable. Instead all I am left with are three inch-high pups which will likely take a good couple of years before it is even recognisable as a seleriana x ionantha. Sigh… thank goodness I had removed the first round of pups already. Even more thankful that the cat had not damaged the hybrids, otherwise I might have to arm myself with some water guns!
First round of pups
Happy growing everyone, and remember to keep a watchful eye out for cats!
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