We feed everything that wanders through our yard/garden, practically. Here in England, we have grey squirrels, foxes, badgers, jays, starlings, woodpeckers, magpies, crows, tits, wrens, robins, pigeons, and other small birds, and feral cats and neighborhood cats. I don’t feed the deer but only because I have experience with them becoming a nightmare in the garden with little blessings of deer poop everywhere that never goes away or gets cleaned up. Unfortunately, the larger birds have pretty much chased away the smaller birds but I have heard that there are fewer tits and robins and wrens around the last couple of years anyway. I believe that is so because the first two years here, we had plenty of all kinds of sizes of birds. Now we are low on all bird life! And to my everlasting sorrow, no hedgehogs.
The cats that wander through have varied over the years. At one time, we had as many as 6 coming and going during the day. Now we are down to just two, one tabby and one long haired golden colored kitty. The tabby will come up to be petted if I stand in one place long enough. The golden cat is too skittish and never comes near me.
The squirrels are up and down the feeder and adjacent trees and around the yard all day long. They race along the fence railing, jumping over the posts and fight each other for supremacy in the feeder. When one of the cats comes into the yard, the squirrels scatter, run up into the trees and curse and curse and curse until the cat leaves. I can always tell when a cat is in the garden because of the noise the squirrels make.
The golden cat has decided that a very good place to sit is almost directly under the feeder. The squirrels have decided that if they want the peanuts, they are just going to have to race a bit faster to nab one and race away from the sitting cat. For awhile, I don’t think the golden cat was feeling well because she (no idea if male or female but she looks too cute and sweet to be a male) would just sit and watch the squirrels and never budge. Or was she just luring them in for later???
Standing in the house one day, squirrels in the feeder and on the railing and suddenly a streak of gold as the cat races from the side of the house and up the feeder pole to land on the railing herself and swipe a paw at a squirrel. Wowzer. She had never done that before. Since that day, I have seen her several times make a run at the squirrels, never quite catching them but almost giving them a swipe. She then settles into her spot and the squirrels come and go again to the feeder with her just watching them.
I think it’s all for show! Nobody is hungry since there is food out for them to eat. Today, the golden cat came running into the back garden and ran at a squirrel who jumped up to the railing and sat there scolding her. Another squirrel was sitting on the ground just about 4′ away from her. She turned around and saw it and made a half-hearted run at it and I swear she could have caught it before the squirrel decided to leave. It’s almost as if they are playing tag! Tag, you’re it now you run away because I really don’t want to have to go to the trouble of killing you and eating you. Yes, we are ancient enemies. I am the hunter, you are the prey, but let’s just go through the motions and be done with it.