Sunday, March 17, 2013

Brooklyn, of a Caturday

I have been cheating on Estorbo this week. First, there was that tortoiseshell kitty at Floyd Bennett Field, who ate my lunch. Then, yesterday, there was this gorgeous tabby at...Home Depot (hushed voice).

Being in Home Depot is like being in enemy territory and wanting to eat the enemy's supper. And seeing in the enemy someone who looks remarkably like yourself.  The enemy has things I want. Like this cat, who lives in the garden - if you can call it that - section, flanked by Round Up and Miracle Gro and peat moss and boxes of bulbs grown with petrochemically rich chemical fertilizers and that you try not to look at, but ogle, anyway. This cat is called, simply, Home Depot, and apparently lives there with three other strays. S/he was in very good condition and very friendly.

We were there to look for soaker hoses - a solution to roof farm watering while we are away in early summer, and our local hardware stores do not carry them.  We found one, and I also slinked (slunk?) out with a bag of Martha's (!) Abyssinian gladiolus (some of mine have turned to mush) and crocosmia corms (which will turn to mush, but I love them, and have never grown my own - and they are South African).

We left the industrial (for how long?) neighborhood and walked in wet snowflakes across the drawbridge over the mouth of the Gowanus Canal (where the hapless dolphin entered that putrid waterway, some weeks ago, to die under the gaze of so many of us). We were headed for Red Hook, about twenty minutes south.  And we happened to surface in it just one block from Fort Defiance.

What was a person to do?

...pull a stool up at the bar and order a cocktail, of course. And a plate of creamy chicken liver pâté with charred sourdough (one of the best deals in town, I think, at $8), and perhaps follow that up with some vinegary shrimp on a bed of matchsticked celeriac...

On our walk back to Cobble Hill the snow turned to persistent mist, and on Columbia Street in the dark we passed Eshete (speaking of Abyssinians - he is Ethiopean) and his coterie of cats, eating their dinner, while he watched. He takes care of them rain or shine, night or day.

We came home, fed our own cat, and then I dived deep into the Internet and came up for air many hours and visions later, with our trip booked to the Kruger Park in June, and dreamed all night of camp sites and beetles and perhaps even a backlit hedgehog or two.


  1. That Fort Defiance calls my name, I want to go to there!
    I love your new friends.....Henry sees the "garden cats" at his nurseries and suppliers, they live there and are always healthy and friendly. :)
    Went to the Militant Garden today, but it was just cold in that open space to plant our seedlings, so we went home.
    The End.

  2. Interesting, both our blue box and orange box stores have many birds in the garden area, but so far no cats. Actually, it's probably better that way.

  3. I will give Home Depot some credit for being responsible with the stray cats. If you take a look, his/her ear has been snipped which means that he/she has been neutered or spayed. So, while the Home Depot crew are taking care of the rodent population, they aren't adding to the feral cat population. Kudos on that point.

  4. Kruger - in June! Waiting to hear more. We were there last March.

  5. I was going to comment on the snipped ear also. Good for whoever bothered.

  6. I remember when I got a gift certificate for The Depot one Christmas.

    This is what happens when you switch teams, I thought sorrowfully. What ever happened to a nice facial?

    But I always find something I need. I find it. No one who works there seems to know where anything is located.

    I bought some pansies there last week. Whew. Now I've told on myself.

    xo jane

  7. glad someone else commented on the snipped ear - my cat is from the US - immigrated with previous cat guardians years ago, to Australia, and has a snipped ear - i wondered if it was an eccentricity of the shelter she was at, or a more common thing!

  8. I should not read your blog before breakfast. Now I want "charred sour dough"...and maybe even the chicken liver. Yum. Re crocosmia, I have now had them overwinter two years in my cottage garden (Z4) when they did not winter in the warmer city garden. (It does usually have lots of snow cover up there.) I'm hoping they spread like the large clump I see every summer in a garden on the cottage road into town.


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