Much Ado About Houseplants

I’ve had this philodendron for at least ten years… and… I really like it… I’ve meditated with it… a story for another blog… it’s been through several moves with me… and it really is thriving in the light at the tiny house…

Enter… kittens…

Thelma and Louise… immediately decided that Philly was a giant green… wiggly… toy… and they went after her… unfortunately… philodendrons are toxic to cats…

But… they wouldn’t leave it alone… I tried moving it… but honestly… there’s essentially no place in this tiny space that I can move a plant… or anything else… that they can’t get to… so I did the practical thing… I went to Amazon… Amazon is a close tie with Google for being my favorite internet location

Of course, I found what I was looking for… a spray that was touted as being a cat repellent and trainer… perfect for keeping cats out of house plants… I ordered the smallest size they had… thinking that I could quickly get a larger size if I needed it for the other plants… Bertha… rolled her eyes… and mumbled something about a cold day…

Anyway…

The trick was to spray the plant three times a day… while the kitties were watching… and they would be repelled by the citrusy smell… which isn’t offensive to people… easy peasy… right…

Wrong…

Have you ever tried to get two cats to look at something at the same time… while you sprayed it… and… said… NO…

Let’s just say… it sounds easier than it is… usually they would be messing with the plant… and I could catch Louise but not Thelma… and… even holding her… did not guarantee that should would look at said plant… while I sprayed it… and Thelma was behind the couch… seeing nothing…

Of course… as soon as I released Louise… she dove right back into the citrusy smelling plant… and Thelma quickly joined her… I guess it wasn’t offensive to them either…

So… I Googled some more… supposedly… the philodendron will burn the cat’s mouth if they bite into the stems or leaves… the main problem would be diarrhea… and if they actually ate the whole plant… it could be serious…

After much internal drama… and I really don’t do drama anymore… I realized that if the kittens were really biting into the plant… they would do the Mexican Hat Dance like I do when I find a hidden jalapeño in my nachos … so… mostly they were just swatting… they haven’t had diarrhea… and I would know… because I clean the litterbox… so it’s unlikely they ingested any…

That’s when the plant went back to its spot and I quit spraying it… interestingly… they aren’t bothering it now… knock on wood

Although… Bertha… did enjoy seeing me chasing kittens and attempting to turn their heads toward the plant… as I sprayed… she reminded me… sometimes… I just make too much of things…

Well… maybe…

Jane

 

 

Take Time to Smell the Litterbox

I live in a tiny house with two 25-inch closets in my bedroom… one for clothes and one for utility stuff… other than my kitchen and bathroom cabinets… that’s all of my storage.

As you might imagine… I have spent countless hours arranging and rearranging my stuff to make it fit… it’s to the point that when I needed to do some caulking… I wouldn’t buy a caulk gun… because… where would I keep it after I used it… so I bought a little squirt tube instead… haven’t used it yet… hope it works and there isn’t any left-over… because… where would I put it..

So… I finally had my utility closet just the way I wanted it… it worked… and my little suitcase just fit under the bottom shelf… ready to grab at a moment’s notice… life was good…

Then… I temporarily lost my mind… and decided… I needed kittens… yes… plural… two little two-pounders… and so began the saga… where to put the litterbox… and the cat food… and all the things that it takes to care for meowing fluff balls…

Of course… the litterbox was the most troublesome… I tried putting it in the tiny bathroom… I couldn’t sit on the toilet without turning sideways… and my constitution didn’t work sideways… I tried putting it near my chair in the living area… but I could smell it… I tried changing litter brands which helped but didn’t fix the problem… I tried putting it near the front door in the living area… not only was it an eyesore… although it is covered… I could still smell it some…

And all this time… I knew… that the utility closet was the perfect place to keep it… there was room for the box… there was room for the scoop… there was room for the extra jug of litter… there was a shelf for the cat food… it would be the perfect spot… except… I would have to move some things around… including taking the suitcase to the loft… and I didn’t want to…

Well… Bertha let me smell the litterbox for a while… she walked around with a clothespin on her nose… until finally she couldn’t stand it and reminded me of a lesson, I learned a while back… when one thing changes… everything changes… change never takes place in a vacuum… I couldn’t expect to add kittens to a tiny house without making adjustments…

Then she reminded me of… my priorities… creating a space that is functional… calm… and pleasant… one that I love being in… one that doesn’t create excess…

So… what would it be… stressing over and smelling the litterbox every day… while the suitcase just hung out in closet… or climbing the steps to grab the suitcase when I occasionally wanted to go somewhere…

Well… you know the end of the story so I will save my words…

Jane

 

PS… be sure to grab a copy of Bertha-Size Your Life! and Becoming Bertha. Just click on her name and Bertha will take you straight to Amazon…