Saturday, 4 September 2010

Fatboyfat answers your questions

In the first of what will hopefully be a long and award-winning series, I've agreed to help out my loyal readers with their problems. I've been around, I've seen a lot of things, I've done a few of them, too.

Think of it as the gift that keeps on giving.

Our first question comes from Muriel from Pigeon-under-Mimsy in Gloucestershire. And, joy of joys, it's gardening-related.

Muriel: My neighbours' cats all use my back garden as a huge open-air litter tray. Any idea how I can keep the furry blighters at bay?

It's a common issue for many homeowners, Muriel. The thing is, cats are notoriously territorial. They like to mark out their own acre of turf, so to speak, and will shy away if they think they're encroaching on another cat's space.

This is why (a) I have a cat and (b) I've trained him to crap next door.

However, this isn't an option for everyone. So what you need to do is to make your garden as unwelcome as possible for the local feline population. You need to be putting something out there that they're not going to want to go near. And the answer?

Tiger manure.

Now, I know what you're thinking. This might seem a little odd. Counter-productive, even. But think of it as fighting fire with fire. Or perhaps fighting poo with Really Big Poo. No cats are going to come anywhere near your herbaceous border if they think they're going to come snout to snout with Shere Khan, are they?

Now, I'm not going to pretend that this is an issue-free solution. The scent of tiger manure is quite alluring to other tigers. If you're unlucky, you might find all the local tigers making a bee-line for your garden. Which will make those impromptu barbecues a little unpredictable, to say the least. So you would need something that would scare off tigers.

At this point you might need to fall back on elephant dung. Not literally "fall back on", of course; that would be a mistake. They don't do Stain Devils for it, for one thing. But out there on the veldt, there's only one creature that tigers respect, and that's the common or garden elephant. Well, African or Asian elephant, if we're being picky, but you get the point.

Now your garden is well and truly Jumboed, there is the slight chance that the odour will attract any other passing elephants. This won't do your lawn many favours. But you must be very careful at this point as you're now entering a scatological arms race. What is there in the animal kingdom that is above elephants, poo-wise?

No, not blue whale. That would be quite tricky to implement if you're more than a few miles from the Pacific. Get yourself to the other end of the animal kingdom. Think smaller.

Mouse droppings. That's what you'll need. Scatter them around, mice will soon be attracted. Before you know it, the elephants will be history. Of course, you could argue that having a garden overrun by mice is not exactly an optimal situation.

Easy answer. Get some cats in.

Fatboyfat is open to new questions. If yours doesn't involve "Sir, where were you on the night of 17th July?" please leave it in the comments below.

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