I have mentioned the trouble we have with the cats that come into our garden. Well, actually, to be perfectly honest I don't have a problem with them. I'm not a particularly cat-type person, preferring dogs. I don't dislike them, but to me you can't have a relationship with a cat the same way you can with a dog. Most cats are self-sufficient and only really need humans to feed them (occasionally) as well as providing a home. Most, if not, all cats wander around away from the home and find food around their neighbourhood (actually decimating the small animals that live in the wild, such a mice, voles etc. as well as birds.) and returning to their home base to rest and sleep. The two cats which come from our neighbours come into our garden and sit on the roof of the shed and wander along the top of the fence, and when they do and either of our dogs see them, it sets them off barking and all hell seems to be set loose. Which is what dogs do. I'm not sure whether it's just because they think of the garden as their territory, or that, instinctively, all dogs simply don't like cats. Who knows?
Anyway, I went to Homebase last week and purchased a spray which is supposed to deter cats (and dogs, apparently.)I have absolutely no idea what it has got in it that cats don't like. I have sprayed it on the roof of the shed and also on certain points along the fence. It does seem to have worked, although you have to re-apply it every two days or so. I imagine it will get washed away by rain and natural evaporation. One of the cats came in and went on the shed roof and appeared to be oblivious of the spray. I re-applied the spray yesterday and we have since had no cat invasion. Alfie keeps going out into the garden and seems disappointed that there are no cats to keep and eye on. You just can't win, or so it seems. Anyway, I think we really prefer the quiet life, rather than either dog barking when the cats appear.
The other thing I've been doing is setting up a bird-feeding station which Carol bought from Amazon.
A metal construction which you set up with the central pole stuck in the ground with sections which screw together with arms or branches that fit on the central pole and to which you attach feeders. Some are clear plastic whilst others are made of metal mesh. We have had a good range of birds come to enjoy a feast, such as blue tits, sparrows and starlings. But over the past week we've had pigeons come and hog the whole feeding station and sitting on the water bowl and making a meal of the food on offer and, so it seems to me, putting off the smaller birds and emptying the feeders. I have now managed to rearrange the feeding station so the pigeons can't sit on the thing and take over. Also, there is a group of starlings which come and seem to always go around in a gang, rather like naughty schoolboys, making a lot of noise and eating virtually everything in the feeders. I think that starlings are the sort of birds which do make a lot of noise and are always in groups like this. In general I can say that this addition to our garden has been a success.