The Plot Thickens: Watering Can Wrangler

by Cat Crazy

watering can_lr

Just when you think you might have a handle on things, those 4-leggeds get the upper hand again.

Remember how I was musing that the water-bowl wrangler seemed to have eased off splash duty now that we were using the cobalt-glass water bowl downstairs?  Well, I found out yesterday that that was only because she’s on to bigger and better things.

Okay, I should step back a moment and explain that first, I live in an old farm house and second, I have a small jungle (of plants) in the funny little room between my kitchen and living room. I suppose it probably once was a dining room of sorts before someone added a woodstove that juts 4 feet out from one wall into the room.  There’s no space to add even a modest table with chairs, so the space has ended up more of a sitting room than anything else.  That’s where the majority of my houseplants end up from the end of October until the end of May.  Since I’m not actively using the woodstove, and the room has windows facing south and west, it’s pretty brightly lit most days, and I supplement with compact fluorescent bulbs on timers.  Now because I have a lot of plants there, and my house is heated with drying forced hot air, the plants — many of which are small trees — need a lot of water.  So I have this plastic gallon-and-a-half watering can with a wide opening and a long neck that I use to give my plants the water they need.

I also should explain that I’m a writer by profession and work from home, which should mean it would be easy to remember to do something as simple as water the plants I walk by 20x a day, but I’m a writer who is always on deadline and who gets distracted by louder and more insistent things (and beings) than my nicely behaved plants. Since it takes 2-3 fillings of that big watering can to give all the plants their weekly drink, I often have a bit of water left over in the can. Of late, I’ve been leaving that water in the can and tucking it by 2 of my “trees” so I am more likely to remember to water them mid-week when they are starting to dry out.

Unfortunately, the best laid plans of mice and this woman have clearly gone astray.

During breakfast, I filled the watering can late last week to make my first pass through the jungle and I left the can at the eastern edge of my long plant stand on which many of the potted plants sit. Of course, that is also where the infamous downstairs water bowl sits.

While I was eating my breakfast, I noticed that Fireball had is little orange face in the watering can and was drinking tap water out of the container, not 2 feet from his proper water bowl with nicely filtered water free of leaves, dirt, chlorine and fluorine.  It hadn’t even been sullied yet by “Mac’s mits.”  Heavy sigh.  Okay, it’s a novel experience, so I won’t react and maybe it will lose its appeal.

Well, I did water the plants and ended up with about a half-a-can of water still in the container after my third filling.  I tucked the can back into place near the “trees” and went about my week.  Two days ago, I noticed that the watering can, which now was only a quarter full of water (since it had worked effectively as a reminder to give the big plants some extra moisture midweek), was pulled out away from its habitual spot.  I put it back. I reasoned that since the cats love to get behind all the plants and look around, they might have nudged it out of the way going in and out of that space.

Next morning, that same watering can was laying on its side when I came downstairs.  Hmmm, that couldn’t be an accident, could it? But I was under a really tight deadline on a really big project, so I stood the watering can up (which now had just a wee bit of water in it) and went about my duties.

My friend who is staying here for a few months remarked last evening that she’d seen Mac in the stove room seemingly without a head. When she looked closer, my darling girl had her face buried deep in the watering can, presumably having a drink. Hmmm again.

When we came back last night, the can was well out into the room laying tipped over on its side. This time, it was clear that the water had been drained out onto my handmade rug. Rrrr.  Time to abandon denial and deal with reality: the cats are doing this and they are doing it deliberately. My friend graciously offered to empty the can to make sure there was no water left. She put it back in its customary spot.

This morning, the can was dragged back out into the room and left on its side just as you see it above.  Clearly, the 4-leggeds are not pleased that the distracted human has finally wised up and removed water from the watering can. What can we get into next?

(c) Copyright 2014, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Photo my own.