Thursday, May 24, 2012

sad sads

Parker (photo courtesy of Perfectly Parker)
I'm sad. This morning, sweet Parker of Perfectly Parker crossed the bridge after a long battle with cancer. I fell in love with this little beautiful, sweet girl sometime right before she was diagnosed with cancer. My heart hurts for her humans as I remember more than I desire to, the gut wrenching taste of pain that follows death.

It seems like there have been a number of kitties from various blogs that have recently died. My heart is filled with a mix of intense sorrow and soft gratitude. Sorrow for all the hurting peoples who are acutely grieving the loss of their sweet kitties, I grieve with you and gratitude for each moment I have with my cats now. I know these moments will not last forever, and I cherish each and every one.

I have known for a long time that keeping plants alive is not my gift. Long ago, several spider plants suffered long, grueling deaths to teach me this truth. Recently, some dear friends gifted me with three catnip plant starts that they bought at a fundraiser with my kitties in mind. So sweet of them to think of the kitties. Over the years, I have fantasized many times of growing some fresh nip for the cats. Just imagine, an abundant source of fresh nip whenever it is desired, how perfect would that be?!

When I took possession of the starts, I immediately feared for their lives. How on earth could I care for such delicate little plant starts. They looked so innocent, so filled with potential.

The first night, I left them in the garage. I figured that would be a safe temporary spot while I devised a plan. I started the ponder where I might put them. A quick Altavista search provided me information about ideal growing conditions. Do I plant them in pots so I could move them around the house or out in the yard where they can thrive in the sun and rain.

Keeping them in the house would be tricky as Nahum can't resist leafy green things, especially nip! It's hard to imagine catnip plants in the house lasting more than an hour. So, I started to plan possible outside locations.

After the nip plants spent a few days in the garage, as I pondered locations, I figured I had better get them out into the daylight before they died before even seeing the light of day. So, I gathered some pots, the bag of potting soil and the nip starts onto the outside work table. Before I got any further I thought I had better run inside and do a little more research on the sun requirements.

Several days later, I remembered I had left those starts in their fragile little plastic tray on the work table. I figured the rain we had might have done them some good, I imagined they would be even more vibrant than last I had seen them. As, I was now ready to relocate them into their new homes, I went out to the table - they were gone.

I looked down, and there was the flimsy plastic tray, upside down on the the earth. I attempted to gather what was left of the little plant carcasses and soil, which wasn't much, and placed it back in the little tray. The young plants looked ravaged, like a nip-starved feral cat attempted to squeeze every drop of precious mind-altering substance from their tender leaves. It wasn't pretty.

May 22, 2012
I held onto a glimmer of hope, as I noticed some roots and main plant stalks remained. Maybe somehow I could nurse them back to life.  Maybe. Somehow. Not gonna happen.

36 hours later, hope was but a distant memory.

May 23, 2012.
There was nothing left. A flimsy plastic tray with potting soil. Bits of a few stalks. So much for my dreams of having a successful nip-grow. Next time, I need to secure my growing operation in a feral-proof greenhouse.

I'm curious to hear from others how you go about growing fresh nip and keep it away from the cats so it can grow?

On a happier note, Laura has taken some amazing photos of the kitties - but she won't let me publish the pictures, can you believe it?! But you can still delight in them as she has posted a few of them on her blog, GraceNotes.

There's Rose and there's Buddy.


  1. Forgive my small smile..but it is the way of kitties sometimes..and I hope you find a way. I have had to try to keep anything growing out of the reach of my kitties thru the years despite them having their own grass..which I might add, they disparaged and shunned.

    Katie's Mom

  2. It has been sad.....and we know it helps to have other grieve along with us.

    Mom can't grow plants either. She has grand plans of putting some "cat safe" plants in one of our balcony planters, but considering she never remembers to water them, we aren't holding out much hope. :)

  3. Nip is particularly hard to grow with cats around! First piece of advice is research first, buy later and plant promptly :)

    I read someone grew nip in a hanging basket from a tall pole in their yard. Not very convenient for watering or harvesting, though. It will keep the cats out of it if the pole is tall enough. Might consider a hanging basket from a plant hanger on your house. Be aware hanging baskets dry out quicker than pots.

  4. The peep has promised me a nip garden this year. I know she's working on it as I saw little baby nip plants started earlier in the year. They have been removed from my presence as my dad managed to sniff them out at some point and... well... you probably can imagine what happened. Anyway, she says she rescued some of the babies. Check out my blog posts from way back... "the cage" parts 1 & 2 to read all 'bout her plans for my nip garden.

  5. Strange but true--plants and flower displays are torn up or dug up, except for my large orchid collection. No cat ever goes near them or touches them--lucky for me!

  6. Always sad when a sweet kitty loses its battle! I hurt for the humans they leave behind. I have grown some nip but it's outside and no one touches it.

  7. Your tale with the nip plants would have been my tale. I'm cat happy but plants hopeless. Can't give you any advice but go and cuddle your kitties!

  8. So sad to hear about Parker. My friends had to put down their beloved cat yesterday. I tear up every time I hear of a kitty passing. I know the pain of the humans left behind. It is so hard. Purrs and prayers.

  9. Heres the good news...catnip has many varieties (like around 100) and grows as a weed in South Dakota! Very easy to grow and will spread everywhere! I personally allow batches of it due to my many cats (house and feral) and many friends cats benefit as well. As far as keeping them from attacking it..they dont seem to smell it unless the plant is disturbed. Then a minty like smell fills the air. I believe its more potent when fresh as they dont eat it to the ground. Unfortunatly I dont know the name of the variety that I have. Also, they dont care for catmint that much, and spider plants actually have some of the same affects as catnip but not recommended for cats to eat.

  10. RIP sweet Parker :o(
    I don't know how I managed it, but my Catnip sprouted very fast and is now a giant bush! Maybe we have different growing conditions here in Australia. Or maybe it helps that my cats only like dried catnip!


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