Thursday, March 22, 2018

Remembering: Cats Among the Leaves

In the five years since I last posted, a lot has happened in my life, both good and bad. The saddest thing, though, is the loss of my cats, Luke and Peppermint.  Luke died in the spring of 2016, just after his 18th birthday.  And Peppermint left us this January, at the age of 17.

I knew I would have to write this post, because Luke and Peppermint have been very much a part of this blog over the years. A look at the "pets" label confirms this. They loved to come investigate when I was doing something with the plants, either some actual tending task, or just moving them around to take a photo.  Each was very sweet in his own way.  Luke was a shy, serious, and reserved little man (except when we broke out the catnip; then he was a total stoner dude).  Peppermint was bold, kittenish even in old age, and affectionate with everyone. They were buddies to each other, and to me and my husband. Rest in peace, guys.

Peppermint hiding out behind some Hedera helix
Karen and Kitty, a portrait of Peppermint and me, by my husband Robert Cairone
Luke peeking out from Hibiscus rosa-sinensis
Lounging in one of their favorite places, the sunroom

Despite these sad losses, we are not cat-less here among the leaves.  Let me introduce you to Lily.  We adopted her three years ago when one of my stepkid's friends needed to re-home some of her pets.  Lily is pretty, active, curious and loving.  She has the adorable habit of sleeping in plant pots.  Here below are photographs of her doing just that, and below that is my husband's striking portrait of her, entitled Jungle Cat.

Here and above: Lily lounging in the pot of a variegated Monstera deliciosa
Jungle Cat, by Robert Cairone

She also follows me around when I care for the plants, especially when I water. (I have a hose that attaches to the kitchen faucet, which is long enough to water every plant in every room of the house. I don't know what I'd do without it. Lily, however, thinks the hose is a toy.) But she is also a plant eater, a problem I've not had with my cats before.  I've caught her nibbling on Hibiscus rosa-sinensis and Saintpaulia leaves. So she bears watching to say the least.

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