Cauli Le Chat

Cauli Le Chat
Cauli Le Chat, MPL Roving Reporter

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Gotta Go Walkies, Says the Rhododendron

I can hardly believe this as my minion is typing this sentence.  (Why do anything yourself when you have minions?  Classic feline sense, there.)  Today (July 27) is "Take Your Houseplants for a Walk" Day.

"I've Gotta Go Walkies!"

Where to begin with this one?  We could start with some obvious observational preliminaries, such as

  • Houseplants don't have legs and are therefore non-ambulatory; and
  • Houseplants sink roots into the soil, which, in a natural environment, securely affixes them to terra firma, and, inside a building, solidly situates them in pots that they cannot move from place to place without assistance from an animal (human, canine, or feline, for instance).
Ergo, houseplants cannot go on walkabout.

Of course, I get what the holiday promoters are saying:  humans should carry their houseplants around outside so the plants can experience nature's wonders first-hand.  One website suggests that carrying houseplants around one's neighborhood "enables them to know their environment, thereby providing them with a sense of knowing, bringing on wellness."  I'm afraid I must disagree.  Awareness does not automatically equate health and well-being.  Just ask any meeces that realize they are within snagging distance of my claws.

A houseplant's environment is, by definition, the human structure in which it has been placed by its supervisory person.  Taking it outside would merely introduce it to an alien environment in which it doesn't ordinarily live.  This may afford the plant a "sense of knowing," but it could also be quite stressful as the plant attempts to adjust to the strange and varying conditions encountered outdoors.  Slobberdogs could rush up and relieve themselves on the houseplant (shocking, I know, but I've seen it happen).  Kitties looking for a bit of greenery to aid in hairball disposal could take a quick nibble.  Humans could drop the pot, with houseplant suffering an unpleasant soil displacement.

I can tell you that, for indoor-only kitties such as Junior (of Junior's Farm), going outside the house is downright frightening.  I can only imagine that a houseplant, which is accustomed to being rooted in more or less the same place (a pot, inside a home), would find being suddenly removed from its safe, familiar indoor environs to be threatening and confusing.

There is a counter-argument that plants communicate empathically or (for lack of a more precise term) telepathically, and therefore they would easily adapt to being carried in a natural outdoor environment amongst their exterior-dwelling kin.  You may be surprised to learn how conscious plants actually are--read The Secret Life of Plants, by Peter Tompkins and Christopher Bird, if you have an objective mindset--so going walkies would probably perk-up your languishing houseplants.  I've been in your house, Scowl-Face, so trust me, it's a good idea to get some fresh air.  Just saying.

How could "plant walkies" be effectively accomplished?  If the human caretaker protected the houseplant and provided a safe and reassuring ambulatory excursion, then the plant would feel safe to absorb external stimuli from the outside world.  Exploring, after all, is a fun part of living--ask any cat--so sensing the neighborhood, however plants may perceive it, could be an invigorating encounter.

My advice to you home-bound houseplants:  consider yourselves lucky.  All the humans I know have butterfingers, and the slobberdogs--well, the less said, the better.  Take an umbrella or raincoat--that's all I'm saying.  Those slobberdogs can be quick, and they drink a lot of water.

Show Your Houseplants Some YouTube Videos About the Outside World, Instead--Just Saying,

Cauli Le Chat
MPL Roving Reporter
Holiday News Beat

P.S.  A natural (pun intended) musical closer for this posting is "The Trees," by Rush, from the LP Hemispheres (1978).

1 comment:

  1. I know the plant in the photo is not a rhododendron. I just happen to like that picture.


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