Kiddo#2 asked me if we have ferns in our yard. Living in the swamp, it’s a good bet we have some of everything growing in our yard, so I told her I’d show her some when we got home. And then, “Why?”
She’d just discovered my Garfield comic books from back when I was in grammar school and Garfield was still funny, so I wondered if maybe she was trying to track down the plants Garfield always ate.
Kiddo#2 said, “Cats use ferns in their nests.”
I said, “Cats don’t make nests.”
She shook her head. “In the Warriors books they do.”
She’s read each of the 25 existing Warriors books three times since discovering them six weeks ago. This is not a joke: when she found out the local library let you fill in a raffle ticket for every hour reading, she sat down and filled out 48 tickets. And that was only for the past two weeks. My girl!
I said, “Perhaps the authors of the Warriors books have mistaken cats and birds…?”
When we arrived home, I pointed out the ferns, and she cried out with more delight than I’ve ever expressed for a plant. “Now we can make nests!”
You’re going to make nests?
“We did that the last time I was at ###’s house, but she didn’t have ferns! But we have ferns, and we have the softest moss I’ve ever found!” And then, “Can we make nests?”
I thought of the mess, and I thought about running 37 plush cats through my washing machine to extract the sap from their fur, and I thought about plants rotting away in Kiddo#2’s bedroom…and then I thought, Wait a minute.
I said, “Do you know what cats love in their nests most of all? They love weeds.”
That sound is either the lightning flash of the most brilliant idea in all human history, or else it’s the sound of some demon firing up the barbecue after the most evil idea.
Kiddo#2 said, “They like dandelions.”
“They do!” I nodded. “But here, let me show you some other plants they adore in their nests.”
I took her to every single flower bed and showed her all the plants which cats most love to use for nesting material. To be fair, I did warn her away from the ones with thorns and the ones that are sticky, but I was informed thorns are important for warding away your enemies and sticky plants are useful for holding the nest together.
She showed me the softest moss on earth, growing in the rocks under our deck. May they pull it up? Yes. Yes, they may.
And here I am, looking forward to the next playdate. Cat nests and a weeded garden. Go right ahead and do that.