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One giant leap for cat-kind!

One giant leap for cat-kind! One giant leap for cat-kind!

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Cats and plants are a bad combination. My parents have a lot of both.

Each summer, without fail, at least one plant is destroyed, because it is the chosen napping spot of a horde of cats. The “if it fits, I sits” idea comes into play, full force. Four cats sleeping in one flower pot is just a regular day for the chosen victim.

The plants along the house also turn into a cat haven each year, especially for the youngest kittens. Before long, the plants are paid back for the loving shelter they provided, by becoming a fun fort for the kittens to utterly destroy.

The plants that live in the house year-round, usually fair a little better. Sure, the house cat occasionally chews on the plants (she needs her greens, too), but they don’t have cats sitting on them or making holes in the leaves with their claws.

Of course, to every rule, there is the exception. I had one of the barn kittens in the house for a play date. It was having a grand old time exploring the kitchen area.

My mom had a little poinsettia sitting on the floor by some Christmas decorations. The poinsettia was meant to be a gift for my boyfriend, since the two of us are getting him into the plant hoarding hobby. My boyfriend said he was reaching the maximum number of plants he could handle, but that didn’t stop my mom from setting a few more potted friends aside for him.

The kitten sniffed around on everything a few times, including the poinsettia, before moving on to whatever caught its attention next.

Pretty soon, the naughty little cat was back by the poinsettia. The kitten seemed to be contemplating if it could squeeze between the plant and the wall, as cats would try. My mom and I knew it wouldn’t make it, so I was prepared to catch the pot when it inevitably started to crash and burn.

Instead, the kitten took one giant leap – and totally missed clearing the plant. I managed to snatch the kitten from midair and flopped it across my lap, but not before the damage was done.

The kitten’s leap landed it directly on top of the plant. There were only five branches on the poinsettia and three of them now lay flat, snapped off right near the base. Another branch dangled a little, but looked mostly OK if we leaned it against the one remaining branch for support.

Poor plant. Poor boyfriend. Bad cat. My mom was unimpressed that I let the cat jump.

The kicker of it all, is that my dad walked through, looked at the poinsettia a little puzzled, then went about whatever he was doing. My mom and I laughed when he said nothing.

He said, “I thought it used to look fuller.”

Yeah. Yeah, the poinsettia looked bigger before the kitten killed over half of it in one giant leap for cat-kind.

Also, the goop from the broken branches on the poinsettia probably attracted a lot of cat hair. My boyfriend is allergic to cats. Needless to say, that poinsettia is still in my parents’ house.