4/1/11

New Moral Dilemma. Involves cats (or possible opossumss, maybe even skunks.)

Drunk CatImage by javierespada via FlickrNew moral dilemma. Very flummoxed.

New to gardening, I followed my neighbor Peter's advice and made a slug trap thusly: I took an empty can of tuna, buried it up to the rim in my raised bed and filled the can with beer. The slugs, being genetically predisposed to frat party antics, drink the beer, fall in the can, and drown. I have to admit that I feel bad about my murderous behavior, but that is not my dilemma.

Here's my dilemma: Every morning I check on my slug trap and half the beer is gone! Granted, there could be some evaporation, but not that much! No! I think animals are drinking the beer. I think I am contributing to the delinquency of some neighborhood cat, although it could be an opossum, skunk, or even a raccoon! We have them in our suburban jungle.

The question is: how much beer can a cat drink before it becomes a lout? Before it starts making bad personal choices or weaving on the sidewalk? I don't want to corrupt any animal, but I don't want slugs eating my basil! So, as you can see, I'm in a bit of a pickle.

Hmmm....Thoughts? !!!
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25 comments:

Patrizzi Intergarlictica said...

Thank you Margaret, for writing to us about your dilemma.

This is an easy one.

Juan) Construct a tiny (1" high) barbed wire fence around you basil. This is a non-lethal alternative to the electified wire fence. Personally, I don't like bbq'd escargot.

Tew) Be pro-active! Take the initiative of arranging an AAA meeting nearby. The Animal Alcoholics Anonymous program is very accepting of all creatures great and small, crawly, slimey, pawed, clawed, stinko, and otherwise.

Best wishes,

Tony Van Helsing said...

What would drunken slugs get up to?

Vanda said...

Just put the tuna next to the beer, so the cat (or opossum, even skunk) doesn't drink on an empty stomach.

It's also possible that the drowned slug is just the one that had a drinking problem and couldn't stop. There might have been a nice little slug party around that bowl of beer. In the morning they all slugged home safely, except that one guy with the problem.

Rois said...

I suggest putting a ring of crushed egg shells around your plant,they will shred a slugs belly if they try to cross the egg shell.

I personally have no problem turning another animal into a lush if it means they stay out of my garden beds.We have to move a huge part of our garden due to the neighbors cats using the beds as a litter box. Ew,ick,gag.
So here's a toast to drunken slugs and other critters.

Joanne said...

Sheesh Margaret, a tuna can? What better way to draw a cat. You're contributing to the delinquency of cats. There goes the neighborhood.

Coppertop said...

When you have slug traps and drunk cats to label your post, that is a good day.

Petrea said...

I'm worried about Scout. Dogs love beer.

Bec said...

As long as it's not the neighborhood kids taking sips (from an old tuna can . . . ewwww). We can't find out tortoise George - maybe he made his way toward your garden Happy Hour!

Star said...

"How much beer would a stray cat lap, if a stray cat could lap beer?" Somehow, it's just not the same....

This post also introduced another moral dilemma...should responsible pet owners be letting their pets wander out of their own property? As a lawn owner and gardener, you'll be finding other "surprises" left by other people's pets. (I think my opinion can be read easily between the lines. Just in case it can't, one concept: "cat runs.")

If you think this post is too polemical, please feel free not to publish it! Thanks for your funny and thoughtful posts.

Margaret said...

Well, you have all given me much to think about.
Patrizzi: AAA can meet in celery. Not much is happening there.

Vanda: It's true! Those slugs might be having a roaring good time, except for the poor guy who didn't know when to stop.

Rois: The eggs shells are out!

Joanne: You humble me the most. I didn't really think about lingering tuna smell. Poor kitties were just looking for some albacore, no doubt.

Petrea: We're keeping a close eye on Scout. She did get a tongue full and then sneezed and sneezed.

Star: Of course, it could be the skunks.

Daisy said...

One solution would be to serve really awful beer! My slugs only want the best. Otherwise, I think it's lovely of you to serve the cats tuna with their beer. too bad cats don't eat slugs. But chickens do. Maybe borrow a chicken or two to graze your garden?

I use barriars ... large yogurt containers with the bottom cut out to fit over the plant work pretty good. Much better than having to dispose of the corpses of drunken slugs!

TheChieftess said...

perhaps salt in the tuna can instead of beer??? Or ringed around the basil??? or coffee grounds??? or borax???

still giggling...but empathetic!!!

Vanda said...

@ Daisy: Chickens eat basil too. Actually, chickens eat pretty much anything.

Daisy said...

Vanda, my neighbours' chickens must have been well mannered. They only ate the bugs. Maybe there were enough bugs to satisfy ... maybe the bugs were served with beer and the chickens too drunk to walk very far? Or, most probably, maybe it only works with some crops.

Thank you for warning of this ... I might have been on numerous black lists because of beer sodden chickens eating peoples gardens. 8-o

Jean Spitzer said...

Margaret, at least you're doing some gardening, so you have my admiration.

Sounds like there are many ways to go besides beer, from all the responses.

Margaret said...

Daisy: I love the barrier idea because disposing of the slugs is really gross. I will try it!

Chieftess: Do you know? Do I want salt or borax in my soil? Coffee grounds is probably ok, but then I'll just get all the wildlife hooked on caffeine!

TheChieftess said...

I'm not sure Margaret...I used Borax around the house to keep ants out...not sure what the chemical content is...I'd ask at a good nursery that is environmentally conscious...

TheChieftess said...

I've also heard of orange peels around the plant...not sure what it deters though!!!

Lindsay N. Currie said...

Okay, this made me laugh really hard. Being that I live in Chicago and have virtually no wildlife (excepting some scary rats LOL), I can't help with the situation but I can't wait to see what your resolution is!

MelRoXx said...

slugs? uurrgg! i hate them! drunken slugs? omg hate them even more! lol

altadenahiker said...

I plant two kinds of stuff: Things I like and thinkgs I don't. Then I pretend to like the stuff I don't, cleverly enticing the snails and slugs over to the kale and swiss chard. They leave my Snickers crop alone.

TheChieftess said...

Excellent strategy Hiker!!!

... daisy... said...

Ahahahahahahahaha poor cat! :-D Beer is healthy! (I know what I say... I love it and I used to be a cat in one of my previous lives!) :)

Susan Campisi said...

I'm glad my cats are indoors or they'd be finding their way to your beer party. And we have enough issues in this house without adding alcoholic cats to the mix.

zocy said...
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