Looking Out My Back Door – August 18, 2014

The days and nights have been delightful recently.  My idea of delightful is temperatures in the high 70s or low 80s and cool nights in the 50s with no humidity.  We’ve had rain recently and all is lush and green outside.

Kentucky Wonder Bean Blossom

Kentucky Wonder Bean Blossom

My pole beans are growing like crazy.  I swear they’d crawl across the roof if they could reach it.  My poles are about 7 feet tall and the beans have grown higher than that and are waving in the breeze looking for something to latch on to.

Purple Triumph Pole Bean Flower

Purple Triumph Pole Bean Flower

The clethra flowers have such a heavenly aroma and attract so many bees. 



The white rose of sharon is the last to bloom…

Rose of Sharon

Rose of Sharon

The photo below shows a Great Black Wasp.  I don’t recall seeing one of these before.  I happened to be out by the loosestrife and the brilliant blue of the wasp’s wings caught my attention. 

Scolia Dubia

Great Black Wasp

The phlox that I cut back earlier in the season are blooming now.  The flowers seem to be larger and the heads more compact than the ones that I didn’t trim which are tall and scraggly.  I definitely will trim them all back next year.  And I will deadhead these this year and see how much rebloom I get.



The photo below shows my beautiful beans in all their green and dark purple glory.



And now my cat story.  Graycie is quite an unusual cat.  I told you in an earlier post that she was afraid of her water dish.  She has to stick her paw in it several times to get an idea of how deep or far down the water is.  And then she hesitantly drinks.  It takes her a few laps to feel comfortable with the level of the water and once she is, then she really slurps it up.

Her litter box is in the basement and she has never had a problem with using it….until recently.  I noticed that it seemed like she was ‘going’ less often but in larger quantities when she did go.  Like she was holding off using the box until she absolutely had to. 

She sleeps on the bed in the guest room most nights.  I have a sheet and towel spread out on the bed for her and she’s never had a problem until about a week ago.  I walked into the room one morning and there was the towel all scrunched up in a ball and she was sitting on the bookcase looking very remorseful.  I felt the towel and it was damp!  Oh, no.  I knew from past experience cats who urinate outside the litter box are trying to tell you something.  And most often that ‘something’ is that they have some sort of medical problem that needs attending.  Maybe she had a urinary tract or bladder infection….maybe a kidney stone.

It was then about 5 a.m. and the veterinarian’s office wouldn’t be open for hours.  I made my coffee and started thinking about the situation.  She didn’t act like she was sick.  She was eating normally.  I just couldn’t figure it out.

Thinking that I’d have to get her to the vet’s whenever he was able to fit her in, I got dressed and went to the store.  I do some of my best thinking while driving.  I don’t know why that it, but it is a fact.  I thought about the change in her usage of the litter box in the basement.  And I recalled that she didn’t hang out in the basement like she used to.  She loved to prowl around down there and sleep on top of big cardboard boxes but she hadn’t been doing that recently.  Maybe she was afraid of the basement for some reason.  Maybe something frightened her down there.

So by the time I got home I had decided to set up another litter box in the upstairs hall outside of the guest room.  I did and she did.  As soon as I put it in place she hopped right in and used it.  No problem!  So I was right, it was a ‘basement thing’.  I watched her later that day, and even if the door to the basement was open a few inches, she would walk as far away from that door as possible.  She has been using the upstairs litter box with absolutely no problem for a week now and has not once gone down into the basement.

I’ve researched this on the internet and you’d be surprised how many people have reported the same thing…their cat is suddenly afraid of the basement. 


One guy said that he finally found out what the problem was…there was a snake that somehow got in and was hanging out by the sump pump.  He caught the snake and showed it to the cat and the cat watched him bring it outside.  That was the end of the basement problem.

But there are many, many people who have no answers.  Some of them think that the cat might be seeing ghostly apparitions and they are spooked.  I did have a cat once who would sit at the bottom of the stairs and would watch something, something unseen by me, going back and forth at the top of the stairs.  Her eyes would move slowly from side to side as she intently stared at the top of the stairs.  Freaked me out!

So, in any case, either I have a snake in the basement or a ghost or something else.  Now I’m not too keen about going down there now myself.


One thought on “Looking Out My Back Door – August 18, 2014

  1. KerryCan

    I would take a ghost over a snake any day of the week! That whole story is very unsettling but it was clever of you to figure it out, so Graycie could go back to being a good girl again. I can’t believe how good your garden still looks. Everything here is looking so tired and chewed upon. I need to plant more late summer flowers, I guess. Or pole beans!


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