I don’t know if this is legal, but you can force things to bloom.
This is true of all sorts of things: forsythia. Hydrangeas. Frozen humanity.
When I was a wee little girl, every January or so, my Mom would launch her offensive against winter. Armed with gloves and shears and a desperation for seeing some life, she’d do battle with the old, frozen forsythia plant on the side of our house, slicing off several branches. Like a defiant flag staked on the edge of enemy territory, she’d plunk those bare sticks in a vase in the house…and wait. Within a week, the seemingly dead forsythia would burst into yellow blossoms. Life 1, Winter 0.
By all accounts, this has been a peculiar winter in the Ringoes, NJ metropolitan area. We had thundersnow. We had the Polar Vortex. At this point, you couldn’t surprise us with a yeti on a unicycle playing the accordion. We’re weary old battle axes with red noses and blue hands. We’ve ceased calling each other by name and reverted to caveman dialogue. “Oog. Pass Tabasco.” “Glurg. Good hot. It heap strong.”
But even the Ringoes tundra gives way to a certain force. Meet Rose.
In the weeks before she came to us, reports of Rose’s condition were unwieldy. She was paraplegic, like Tashi. No, no, no, she was just incontinent, like Lacey. Naw — she was completely normal, except she purred to the tune of “My Baby Rides the Morning Train.” We weren’t sure just what to expect.
It turns out there’s absolutely no way we could have been prepared for Rose.
The tiny meteor shot out of the South in full blaze. From Moment 1, Rose gave us the equivalent of jazz hands and a sing-songy, “I’m heeeeeeeeeeeeeeere!” She’s Tabasco and flowers and vitamin C, a wild riot of celebration.
All of a sudden things were blooming. Little cartoon hearts were swirling in circles over everyone’s heads. Rose was the Auntie Mame bent on bringing magic and mischief and springtime to a frozen tundra. Her chatter pulled laughter from the somberest faces, and her acrobatics put the entire circus to shame.
Spring was springing very, very early and very, very wildly.
It’s no surprise that Rose’s former foster mama feels some bittersweetness. Although there’s always joy when a cat can come to Tabby’s Place, there’s no denying that Virginia felt the mercury drop several degrees once Rose became a Jersey girl. Rose’s gain was her old friends’ loss. But they’ve been forever graced by this little bloom — and they love her enough to rejoice as she brings her springtime tour north.
So what about those mystery Special Needs? It turns out that Rose was hit by a car when she was just a little bud. Initially the trauma left her unable to move her back legs, but she recovered marvelously and can now get around gracefully. Her only lingering lament is that she can’t control when and where she goes to the bathroom.
Did I say lament? Silly human. Rose couldn’t possibly force herself to care about her bathroom blips. Even if she somehow knew that this makes her “less adoptable,” she would scarcely mind. Not being adopted = getting to stay at Tabby’s Place. Getting to stay at Tabby’s Place = spreading joy to humans. Spreading joy to humans = Rose’s motor.
We can hardly wait to see what she has in store for calendar spring.
Photo credits: Forsythia, Foter.com / CC BY-SA. Rose: the magnificent volunteer Jess.