We let Ripley out into the back garden for the first time today and she showed us just how not kitten protected it was. Even though Jim the Hubby and I had hastily spent time over the weekend sorting out guards, such as new stone bricks laid in front of small holes in the fence, and putting up screens – plastic bags and TV dinner trays that we would no longer be using, to cover over holes in the fence, that we honestly hadn’t thought about before we had something small enough like our new kitten, Ripley, who could actually fit into and through them!
A just-for-now solution – plastic bags and bricks
I know that our screens and guards were basically just household and waste things that could withstand her jumping on them, water during rainy days and evenings and/or bits and bobs that we’d just come across and thought “yeah, that’ll do for now”. But when your 13 week old kitten is being let out into the garden for the first time, you don’t want to spend loads on a just-for-now solution. Besides, I am adverse to spending money on re-fencing and sorting out every tiny gap as it would take a fortune and more time than we had – and believe me, if you were all to check your gardens, I’d bet you’d come across some holes and gaps that you didn’t even realise existed before you looked.
Ripley had really started wanted to follow her sister, Buffy, and brothers, Akira, Caesar and Loki out into the big unknown adventure that is the back garden. So, as good parents, we wanted to kitten-proof the garden to ensure she stays in it until she a) is used to it and knows where to come back to if she does venture past the fence/gate and b) is a bit bigger – big enough to actually handle going over the fence and into outside our pack domain territory.
At just 13 weeks old, Ripley is still small enough to even fits under our garden table legs, which we thought were fairly flush with the ground but apparently not enough to stop our little wiggler getting down and under….
Chicken wire to the rescue
So, after a trip to our local Homebase, we came home armed with a rather large roll of chicken wire, which is now surrounding our entire garden and has even been used to enclose the bins and patio furniture and every other near-the-ground thing that lives in the garden, including Gordon the gnome.
Yes, our mini terror – as she’s definitely turning into 🙂 – has decided that inside the recycling and rubbish bins is where her next adventure lies! But, for now, we have kitten-proofed our garden to the best of our abilities and look forward, now that summer is here in Scotland, to watching our five rescue cats enjoying the great outdoors.
Ripley’s first ever garden outing
Her first outing saw her making my work space – the patio – her personal assault course and my laptop, which I was working on at the time, her very own jungle gym!
What kitty-proofing lessons have you learned? Feel free to share you stories with me via firstname.lastname@example.org