The lushness of the garden invites me. The corn stalks are about 10 feet tall and look like people standing in the garden. The ears are forming, and the silk protrudes from each ear. Any day now, the corn will be ready to pick and sample.
The cucumbers continue to produce fruit. Already I have made many batches of my favorite Polish recipe of cucumber sliced thin with skin removed, mixed with vinegar, plain yogurt and chopped onions and salt. For several weeks, we have been eating the sweet fresh snap peas.I love to pick them off the vines. In order to keep them out of the dirt, I put in short wire garden fences. This has made a difference. A few have grown up the corn, but as they were put in at the same time, the corn was too small to support the new vines.The jalapeno peppers have several young peppers. The brocoli is wonderful, and we have already harvested several pieces. Because it is a raised garden, we have not had much trouble with cabbage worms. Perhaps next year will be different.
But the most amazing find this summer was the tiny kitten my neighbor found in her hosta garden on the 4th of July when the temperature was over 100. This kitten who was not more than a week old was left alone. Perhaps his mom was planning to return. We aren’t sure what happened. Perhaps she was in the process of moving the litter and meant to get back to get him. Nonetheless, we took him in out of the heat and harms way of eagles and hawks. We began a routine of bottle feeding him with a formula of evaporated milk, egg yolk and goat’s milk. Eventually, we switched it to 100 % goat’s milk with an egg yolk.
The kitten is now nearly 4 weeks old and weighs a full pound. He has the beautiful blue kitten eyes. Eventually they will change to their adult color. His ears are up, and he waddles much like a toddler. By petting him, we help stimulate his organs which at this age cannot function without lots of help. This is why mother cats lick their kittens all over, helping their bowels and bladders to express. Every 2-3 hours we visit to feed him with the bottle of formula for feedings and lots of touching and petting to mimic the attention his mother would give him.The kitten’s name is Smokey for his soft fluffy gray fur. He has classical tabby stripes inherited from the red tom cat we suspect is his father.
The kitten is 4 weeks old now and is able to use the litter box and lap formula from a bowl. He scrambles like a toddler, jumps and plays,mocks hunting. If he had siblings, he would be learning how to tumble and play fight. Each day I take him to the garden to give him some sun and let him scramble a bit.
Our own cats are very curious, but we are waiting until the kitten is 7 weeks and has had his shots before we let him spend much time with the adult cats.