Watching geraniums grow and kittens gobble up chicken left-overs is my new pastime.
I have to be sneaky peering out at the six kittens which visit my porch—if I plod instead of tippy-toe or open the metal door too loudly, they scatter. Before they approach the porch, the kittens hide in the coiffed lilac bushes next door. Then they move into for the kill, or the lunch, when they have looked to the right and to the left to make sure no other cat is around or feared most of all – a human.
One night I looked out the storm door to see one yellow tabby kitten swatting a moth, then he jumped and darted. I love that the kittens feel comfortable and safe to play here. Sometimes the mom rests at the door. I have found other young cats resting on the burly mat, too.
Watching the geraniums is an exercise in stillness and watching the lights and darks flame across the leaves or flower petals. I have cut six clippings off and added them to water in an old milk jar. Many green-thumbs have taught me to do this—the clippings will grow roots. Planting them is a cinch, then. I vaguely remember Ruthie Brown talking about that to me once or twice in her store. My Aunt Leona had the family’s main green thumb for a long, long time. But then Edna also grows geraniums and mothered a jade plant for 30 or more years. Isn’t that a Jade Plant at the North River Road Nursery in town?
Back to watching. Watching plants grow solves a lot of stress because breathing slows as the eyes caress each shoot or branch. Plants like Aspens have a collective; other plants show those who care to study them, that they warn each other of danger or malaise. Some people, like me, believe that plants respond to love and attention. Chris, the daughter of my friend Patt Morgan-Lloyd, is such a green thumb herself. She brought me one of my first geraniums that is growing in my kitchen window. Daily and tenderly, she tends to her garden of wild flowers including holly hocks before the afternoon winds whip through the valley. I have planted some of those seeds she brought me, as well.
Talk about growth. The rhubarb in my yard is six feet tall and last year’s dessert was fine, fine, fine. I want to try to make a rhubarb and strawberry pie myself this year. I have frozen strawberries on hand when I do pluck the rhubarb stalks.
When I kick back in my big chair, I like to watch geraniums in the middle of my living room and I think about the kittens exploring the yards and all the cats who need food and water and a veterinarian’s help. I like to watch these living things grow as much as I like to help Cats Alive SLV to thrive. Donate. https://www.facebook.com/FeralFriendsSLV/
—Nelda Curtiss is a retired college professor who enjoys writing and fine arts. Contact her at [email protected]