On the balcony

The spring is very much here in Stockholm! The weather is lovely and we are planting the flowers and working in the garden and on our balcony when we can.

The cats are helping us (according to them).

Jossan sniffing campanula

Jossan sniffing campanula

But, this is not how it is supposed to be!  Jossan is my angel, she only sniffs at little campanula flowers.

Claire and her salad choice

Claire and her salad choice

Albert eats them as salad! Which is what Claire does with my small pelargonium plants that are ready to be planted in the big pots.

Albert and pelargonium; a view from the inside

Albert and pelargonium; a view from the inside

But, the worst of all – look where Leroy is sitting!

Leroy, Albert and Claire; all doing the things they are not supposed to.

Leroy, Albert and Claire; doing the things they are not supposed to.

The net must go up soon!

First plants on the balcony

Today we had one sunny day after a lot of rain and cold last week, so we tried to arrange the balcony a bit. We want to grow plants that cats like to eat (like lettuce and Roman salad), also, herbs that we use in cooking and flowers that are not poisonous to cats.

It is a whole summer project, I guess, but the first plants (if I do not count pelargoniums that hang outside of the net, towards the street) have moved to the balcony today.

Albert: “Work fascinates me. I can watch humans work for hours and hours.”

The cats smelled the plants carefully (that is, all cats except Albert; Albert chewed on everything but rosemary). Jossan chewed on some salad as well. The cats seem to appreciate our efforts (or, at least, they do not complain, and they showed a lot of interest in gardening).

“Rosemary, what is that good for?”

“Salad, on the other hand…”

“… yes, salad is tasty!”

Miii: “Hmmm, lavender…”

“… yuck! That is probably not edible (if you are not Albert, that is)! It smells like a hand soap!”

Leroy, The King


We are turning our balcony to a kitty jail!

Kitty jail – the net is put! The cats are exploring the new floor.

The balcony is towards the street, on the southern side of the house. It is about 6 x 1.4m in dimensions and has two doors, one from the dining room/kitchen and another from the living room. It is pretty big. We decided to put the net on it and arrange it so that we and cats can enjoy time there without a cat falling over the fence (they would not really fall because they are clumsy, but they may jump if a bird flies too close…)

Balcony – the kitty tree is out

We have a lot also, some 1200 sqm, and Maven, Leroy and Miii go out and run there when we are out. Maven even takes walks with us through our neighborhood, without a leash. Miii and Leroy are pretty disciplined, but Maven is  best in that aspect of all of our cats. Jossan is not too obedient, and Albert never showed any interest (so far) in going out. We took Jossan out on leash since we moved here, when she was not pregnant, (it is not like a dog leash, Jossan has a little vest and a rope attached to it, at her back, it does not go around her neck. It is comfortable for her!). Jossan used to go out without vest before we moved, but she was a bit stubborn and did not come immediately every time I called her.

Leroy – living a fat cat’s dream – you are out without having to go down the stairs! And your bed is out too!

It is good for cats to get fresh air, but under controlled forms; too many cats die in traffic or kill birds and cute small animals. I know they are predators, but I find it very hard to think of our fluffy balls as cold-blooded killers.

Maven knows what I think about her killings; I screamed in horror every time she brought me dead, half dead and even – alive and unharmed ‘presents’. She was very bad when she was younger. She did not kill any bird or a mouse in about two years now. Leroy caught flies a few times, and Miii found a snail once in the garden and was very proud about that. 🙂 She yelled and meawed so that everyone in Stockholm heard about her ‘catching’ a snail. Jossan is a real killer, and Albert would be the same. And I am not sure how obedient he would be. He is like his mom. An independent kitty. Independent cats cannot go out and  do whatever they want. But they should get fresh air.

We bought a plastic black net (black so that birds can see it; then they do not fly into it) and plastic tiles for the balcony. We only started arranging the kitty jail and they seem to like it so far.

Leroy, Miii and Maven still get to go out to the lot as well as to the balcony when it is sunny. Jossan is pregnant, so going out to the balcony is very good for her; she can get some fresh air that way.

Jossan is enjoying the spring weather

Cats really love to feel the wind, sniff all the exciting smells and listen to birds. Happy cats!

We will put more shelves and some plants (the question is – which plants are at the same time not poisonous for cats and taste so bad that Albert would let them grow? Hmmm). It will take time, but we are looking forward to the project!