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Gardening with Cats | Yankee Classic

There is a little-known hardy vine related to the kiwi fruit that has a strong attraction for cats, Actinidia polygama. I recall that we once received some plants at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. It being March, the plan was to grow them temporarily in a small alpine greenhouse before planting them in the open ground. The actinidias were indeed grown temporarily. It seemed that every cat in the neighborhood was attracted through the open vents in the alpine house, and within several days all of the actinidias were dead. Little wonder that this plant hasn’t become well established in gardens!

Minette, Felix, and Marigold don’t require Actinidia polygama to keep them content, thank goodness. They ask little, except perhaps Marigold, and have served the garden well. True, the cats have caused a few awkward situations. One day the head of the local unit of the Audubon Society came for tea on the terrace with Mary Ann and me. As we were sitting, Felix came from nowhere with a sparrow in her mouth, parked under the president’s chair — and began to dine. Everyone smiled limply, except Felix. And the sparrow.

Updated Sunday, June 15th, 2014
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