Thursday, October 11, 2012

House Plants Just Don't Cut It

If you've ever visited my house, you'll notice that the only thing "green" on the inside is that which I intend to cook. I have no house plants. I am a terrible inside-the-house gardener.

I forget to water. Or I just forget entirely. My cats chew on leaves, which can be hazardous to their health and to my sense of well being (and bank account).

I have four pets, a child and a spouse, they get fed and cleaned and taken care of... so what's so hard about a plant?

Mostly, everyone in my family speaks up. I need a plant to do the same. My pets meow, pace, body slam me, roll on me, knead their claws, whine, paw at me, and let me know when they need to eat, play, go to the vet or go outside (dog only here... all outside begging by the cats is ignored). House plants don't. It's hard not to notice when Clawdio pees in the shower letting us know he's either mad at you, how their litter box looks or that they need to go to the vet.

Although to be fair, once upon a time MacTroll kept a pot of mint (yes, the weed, that he said tasted good in a mojito) alive for two months. I wondered how he did it because I never saw him water it. Then one day, I bent over to smell the plant. It smelled mildly of mint. But mostly it smelled like cat pee. I'll let you decide if he washed the leaves before he put it in his drink.

Lily, our dog, is young (18 months). This makes her playful, curious and impatient. (Not unlike our son.) When she was 14 months old, she learned to open the backdoor by pushing down on the handle and pushing out. Crap.

Within a few weeks, she had learned to open the backdoor from outside by pushing down the handle and pulling the bar in. Double crap.

Being that cats are not dumb. They watched our smart dog. I shut the bedroom door for a moment to get some privacy while I dressed this morning. The door opened. I expected to see Lily. But no. It was Luke. Why should he let Lily have all the door opening fun?

It takes a lot to remember to lock the backdoor so that Lily doesn't open it herself and let herself out (or in!). She's a bit like X-man when he was five and he forgot to shut the backdoor when he went out to play all the time. If we could train her to open it and close it so that no cats get out, it might not be a bad situation.

All I know is, we obviously have an influence of independence and self-sufficiency around here that transcends from human to canine to feline.

And in our next house, I swear we're going to have doorknobs, so that only species with thumbs can open the doors.

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