Careful, I’m packin’

The tree on the right has Mall Rat's Knee.What a freakin’ gorgeous day Saturday was! A bonus day – it was supposed to be rainy and chilly, and instead it’s been absolutely beautiful outside. The snow is utterly gone at last, the grass is coming up thick and bright, the apple trees are in bloom, and so are the dandelions. Dandelions grow so thickly around here this time of year that it is easy to overlook their distinctive characteristics. But according to World Weeds: Natural Histories & Distribution, by Holm, Doll, Holm, et al., the dandelion has many notable qualities. But a weed is just a plant in the wrong place.

Did you know that pioneer settlers planted dandelions as ornamental flowers? Or that a single plant can produce 2,000 seeds in a season? Or that it takes a breeze of just 4 mph to keep a dandelion seed airborne on its parachute? Saturday was the sort of day one would notice (I would notice) such things about a weed.

Saturday was just the sort of day when a person (this person) can’t wait to finish her breakfast so she can hop in her car, pop in some music to go to the dump by, and run her errands out the length of the morning.

I have too much crap. I really do.But daing it, she can’t. I can’t. I’m moving. I have to pack.

I packed all day. I packed books and papers and school supplies. I packed glasses and dishes and the odd bit of laundry.Move over, kitty. I feel the same way.

I packed both my belts, my alarm clock and my necklace made of Irish horse-shoe nails.

Eventually, all this indoor exertion put me in a cranky funk.

So I hunted up the member of my household who would be most sympathetic to my mood. I have a little silver tiger cat who can’t tolerate any deviation from his normal. He likes things regular — his naps on time, his food just so, and my attention on the dot. And when things are irregular, he retreats to the shadows beneath the bed clothes.

One September, I took both my cats and moved into a two-room suite in one of the campus residence halls. A single day in a residence hall is a hundred separate deviations from normal. We lived there until following May, but even then there were still residents who knew him only as the lump at the foot of my bed.

And that’s where I found him today.

“I’m going out for a walk, kitty,” I said. “Mind the fort.”

“Whatever,” he sighed and resumed his nap.

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