Friday, March 03, 2006

War of the Geraniums

Stuff happens here during the night. Stuff that we sometimes can't always control. And, the carnage is getting ugly. No, we haven't shot that yellow dog. She's safe. We've been making sure she's locked in her shed at night, so we haven't had to sing the "Weary Ol' Yeller Barking Dog Blues" for two days now.

It's the War of the Geraniums that's bothering me on this TGIF day. I don't know who the perpetrator is, but my geraniums are turning into victims of nocturnal terrorism. This morning, I found one beheaded and flung on the carpet near its floor-level pot. The poor plant's lower extremities had been dragged through the dirt and left to die a slow death. It was a gruesome sight, to say the least.

Yesterday, this same plant had been rudely awakened from its winter dormancy through a similar dragging process. A few of its tiny leaves along with a clod of its Miracle Grow soil were strewn across the floor in the vicinity of the south living room windows. Looked like cat work to me.

I carefully placed the injured plant back in its position, threw the liberated soil over the roots and tamped it down firmly. Then, I got some water and gave the wounded geranium a good shot of moisture. I figured I'd keep a close watch over the area to see which of the three inside cats or which of the one inside dog had wreaked the havoc on my plants. These geraniums had just come from their Colburn barn hibernation site.

Barbara and Laurie keep a small heater going in the bathroom of their horse barn. Last fall, they told me I could keep my dozen or so pots out there. Seemed like a good deal because hibernating geraniums do take up space in our house, which hasn't got a lot of extra room anyway. So, I took 'em out there, and all remained alive through the winter.

Last Saturday, I brought them home. With a cold wind blowing, I spent part of afternoon outside removing all the dead leaves and loosening up the compacted soil around the plants and their roots. Then, I figured it would be fun to add some other annual flower seeds to each pot in hopes of a color show later in the spring. I also went to the store and bought me a nice watering pitcher, so daily drinks could be evenly distributed to all floral inhabitants.

The south and west portion of the living room is now pretty congested with those pots. Most sit on benches near the big windows, while a few rest on the floor below. Granted, these additions to our limited space can get in the way on an all-out Kiwi-Festus chase where the dog mildly and moistfully mauls the cat head while Festus retaliates in a swat-the-dog game. And, yes, Charlie's lavatory box did get a much-needed change yesterday. Nonetheless, nobody has any excuse to take out their deep-seeded aggressions on my geraniums and their newly-planted associates during cat-dog combat, or to use their pots for bathroom purposes.

I've got a challenge ahead to stop this sneaky, nightly plant terrorism. First thing I'll do is move the floor flower pots to higher ground. Though the cats do leave their tracks on the kitchen counter at night, I'm thinking they may leave the plants alone if they're not on the floor. If it's Kiwi inflicting these attacks, I've got real problems because she can still nibble at the flowers. I don't know if the doggie discipline teachers have any tips for convincing pups that killing geraniums is not a good idea.

I do know, however, there's a war to be won here, especially because these geraniums are innocent victims. If I do catch who's inflicting this merciless damage, while we're all sleeping so soundly, maybe they'll be banished to the bunkhouse to spend the night with that crazy ol' yeller dog and her kitty sidekicks.

Then, they can all sit out there, form a cat-and-dog choir, and howl or meow all night to "The Flower-Pot Busted Blues."


Anonymous said...

try feliwel by charlie's box and the plants. i have some if you need it.

MLove said...

Thanks, Rose Marie. I do have some so will give it a try. Good idea.

I don't wanta have PETA coming after me.


Word Tosser said...

The King and I woke at 3am to the sound of a loud crash. Seems the cat thought it would be fun to play in our extra large cactus plant. The plant hasn't been the same since. It took me 20 mins. to clean up the mess, say nothing of the verbal abuse the King and I did towards Rokon... who sat around the couch watching the clean up.