Why pets love a garden

NICK BARNETT
Last updated 07:00 28/09/2012

You don't have to have a garden in order to have a pet, but it helps. A garden is playroom, bathroom, bedroom and balcony all in one, with smells to boot. In fact, some pets love their garden so much, it's almost as though they're growing there.

This week's cover-cat is Tari, who's one of those cats who needs to supervise whenever garden work is being done.

Tari

Diesel's part of the shrubbery. The great thing about gardens, from a pet's point of view, is how there's always a sunny bit - almost as though it's been planned that way.

Diesel

The second great thing about gardens, from a pet's point of view, is that there's usually lots of shade. Bailey here is regulating the amount of UV he gets.

Bailey

Fergus is a curious guy, who loves it when flowers and bugs come out. So spring is a good time for him.

Fergus

Our collection must have a subcategory of "cats peering out at you from garden beds", because there are so many such photos around. Expect to see a coffee table book devoted to them one day (I assert copyright on that idea).

Koka

As a rule, nothing growing in the garden is of any interest to a hungry cat. But sometimes you have to take a little exploratory taste. Here Carli tests if the leaves are al dente yet.

Carli 1

Carli 2

Few foodstuffs are as safe from cat predation as lettuce, but you do have to watch out that puss doesn't squash your plants. This is Fuzz, in among the salad.

Fuzz

You see Lou's eye? In the cat world, that's the equivalent of a "Do not disturb" sign.

Lou

Minxie doesn't quite melt into the foliage but is doing a credible job of trying.

Minxie

Tigger's hiding place has been discovered.

Tigger

Scruffy-faced dogs with rhyming names are in season: Ella (left) and Bella.

Ella

Bella

Here's another Diesel, perfectly situated for sun.

Diesel 2

Mr Bingley (left) is a budding botanist and takes great interest in all plants, especially ones that may eventually become cakes (lemon syrup cake, perhaps?). He's been known to steal cakes and scones, and to gobble the bread left out for birds (which he ignores). Meanwhile, Tilly checks out the spring bulbs.

Mr Bingley

Tilly

Slight problem, Bella: it'll take more than a single blade of grass for you to achieve concealment.

Bella 2

Brina looms among the blooms.

Brina

Oscar the tiny Shih-Tzu puppy is dwarfed by towering grass.

Oscar

Garfield is perfectly camouflaged in his favourite spot.

Garfield

Sun and shelter - Gingy is in the ideal place.

Gingy

Meet Tai, lover of sun-warmed stones.

Tai

Another devotee of warm rocks is Mr Kitty. Also a good place to watch comings and goings.

Mr Kitty

Tiger and Boca soak up the rays.

Tiger and Boca

Khepra's a climber.

Khepra

Coco can handle the sun - just by switching the eye setting to minimum.

Lilac

Sammy forgot to put his tongue away.

Sammy

Now some exotic plantings. First Layla.

Layla

Second, Nitro.

Nitro

Third, Mouse.

Mouse

Fourth, Poppy.

Poppy

It's always amazing how those plant pots are in such perfect positions for cats! Missy here is sprouting from a strawberry planter. RIP Missy.

Missy

Finally, a pet who's really taken spring planting to heart: Scarlett will take root if she stays too long.

Scarlett a

Scarlett b

Scarlett c

Thanks to all for posting your photos. Please email me your own photos, or go to the Four Legs Good Facebook page and use the Upload Photo button. While you're there, browse through the 2000 photos that readers have posted by clicking the Photos link.

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