Monday, June 14, 2010

$700 Lilies

My mother-in-law, Nancy, is truly a nice lady who would never intentionally harm an animal of any kind, but there was a period of time where we thought she was totally trying to kill our cat, Jordan. To this day it seems fitting Nancy preferred to accidentally poison our feline friend using plants since her nickname is Herbal Nan. For instance, she once brought a Wandering Jew into our house that proved itself to be toxic, but our hearty former street cat weathered that storm on her own. It wasn't pretty, but she made it through. On another occasion, however, Jordan required a pretty major intervention to over come her symptoms...
About six years ago Herbal Nan joined us for Emma's very first June ballet recital at the Academy of Movement and Music. The theme of the show was flower faeries and Emma and her class were portraying Tiger Lilies. Nan brought an honest to goodness Tiger Lily as a gift for our family to plant in our garden as a way to remember Emma's big day. Adorable, I know! What was not so adorable was the fact Jordan ate the lilies while we were at the show. Lilies, especially Easter, Day and (you guessed it) Tiger Lilies, are the number one most toxic plant to cats. We are talking about acute kidney failure, coma, and death with in 24 hours if you don't take quick action. Thankfully we did. Three days in the emergency vet, four charcoal stints, and $700 later our beloved Jordan was good as new.
We were relieved and broke.
In that instant I decided these lilies deserved a place of prominence in our yard. I planted them right by our front door and they are nothing short of spectacular every year. They grow to about five feet and become so swollen with flowers they need to be supported with stakes. We all get a chuckle over our prolific Tiger lilies because they behave like they know their value and each year do everything in their power to prove their worth.
What is even more interesting is the first Tiger Lilly always blooms during the week of the June Recital at the Academy of Movement and Music. Emma performed in La Bayadere last Saturday and just look how Herbal Nan's $700 lilies showed off for Emma on her special day...
I think that bit of Elsmo garden lore is the cat's meow.

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