About a year ago a friend of mine was out trying to buy milkweeds for her gardens. That reminded me that I wanted a milkweed, too. I went searching but couldn’t find regular, everyday milkweeds at any of the nurseries. I’m thinking that, perhaps, if we were to rename them, say, butterfly bushes, the nurseries might carry them. Anyways……..
The last nursery I stopped at had an interesting tree near the checkout stand. Looked like this:
I wandered around the nursery looking for plants that I didn’t have, that I needed, that I wanted. I found a few, but I kept coming back to that tree with the Chinese lanterns hanging on it.
I had not seen any for sale so I asked about it. The plant lady told me that it was a Gomphocarpus physocarpus, that it was in the milkweed family, and that it always had monarch caterpillars and butterflies on it each year. She said she thought it was about ten years old.
I asked her if she had any for sale. She had “a few in back” so she went to get me one. It was just a little thing on July 17, 2018:
Here is what mine looked like on May 26 when I saw the first monarch butterfly on it:
It looks like this today, full of Chinese lanterns:
This thing blooms year-round, and I have seen monarch butterflies on it, lots of caterpillars, but no chrysalises. I’m thinking there might be some predators around who snack on the caterpillars before they can hide in their chrysalises.
Here is a 31-second video of a monarch caterpillar chomping down on it:
I discovered that Olivia is keeping a diary.
She just made this entry a few minutes ago.
I found it only because I had gone out to the kitchen and she followed me, thinking she was going to get morning food, without closing and locking her diary.
I would never break into and read someone else’s diary.
Olivia had her first vet visit yesterday. Picture below.
Said vet questioned the date of birth, provided by the El Cajon Animal Shelter, as November 21, 2017.
Said vet thought it more likely that it was November 21, 2018. That would make this little girl just 7 months old instead of 1 year & 7 months old. That certainly would explain her small size (7½ pounds) and her boundless energy.
Said vet approved of feeding her whenever she wanted to eat, as much as she wanted to eat, and we’ll see if she “puts on weight and grows up to be a full grown cat.”
Said vet approved of the food I was feeding her, which is not kitten food. Said vet said at her actual age or perceived age, adult food was fine.
If she is only 7 months old, she’s a very well trained and/or smart little 7-year-old. She has learned that she cannot go on the top of the piano, tables, and countertops. She’s not happy about being banished from the bathroom countertops, though. Oh, well.
Next visit to said vet is scheduled for January 3, 2020.
Zoey the Cool Cat came home at 12:16 p.m. on July 1, 2019.
I don’t know what all is in it because it’s so beautiful that I haven’t opened it. There’s an envelope on top from the Pet Emergency & Specialty Center, probably some sort of sympathy note.
Originally I was planning on creating a memorial in my reading garden because I wasn’t expecting something this beautiful. I’m going to leave this inside and create a different type of memorial in my reading garden. Jim and I haven’t decided yet when, or even if, we will open it.
Rest in peace, little girl, and thank you for twelve years of your love and antics. You’ll always be with us.