When plants and animals realize they’re unwanted

I stopped caring about my houseplants when Lily was born. It dawned on me, why do we keep carrying these things around? They looked ratty, and left stains on the window sill.

One by one I started thinning them out: to the worm bin, tossed there without sentiment, back to the earth.

Our cat Phyllis got the picture too. She came down with some kind of kidney failure. The vet said we’d have to manually drain her every day, in the bathtub. We were there at the clinic with Lily, about three months old. Yeah, right: manually drain the cat every day.

We put her down soon after, but then the rats came.

My hippy friend Myki insisted that houseplants are living creatures, and it’s important to interact with them, even if it’s just leaving music on for them during the day. He regularly stroked their leaves and spoke to them in a soothing voice. He was a smart guy, and by association I started doing it too.

I’ll admit the times I let him stay in my apartment when I was out of town, the plants all looked visibly happier. They seemed to “sing.”

Which leads to me my mother-in-law’s dog, Minnie. Dawn thinks there’s bearing to the Monkey’s Paw story with this dog, as her family had another Boston also named Minnie when they were growing up. That Minnie was the perfect dog. This one is not.

Minnie gets seizures, needs a shot of liquid valium in the ass if she gets a bad one, and now she’s blind in one eye, only 4. She doesn’t really have hair, so when she jumps in your lap it kind of feels like a snake.

I don’t like dogs with beady eyes because they make me nervous, and this one also yaps when she’s around our dog, Ginger. I don’t have room in my life for it.

It seems like new parents tend to stop caring for their pets when they have kids. That seems unfair to the pets, but I can relate. You run out of space.

 

About pinklightsabre

William Pearse publishes memoir, travel journals, poetry and prose, and lives in the Pacific Northwest.
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