About once a week I visit the websites of available and adoptable cats online here in Tulsa. But that’s as far as I go.

Part of me really wants to adopt a cat. The other part of me worries about how Charlie would handle it.

Charlie has adapted well to being an “only child.” Back in Texas we had two cats, so he’s accustomed to being around them, though that was nearly 7 years ago.

Dishes and mugs

So obviously I’m torn on the subject. Charlie seems to be having allergy and eye problems right now. Would cat fur make it worse? My first allegiance is obviously to his needs.

Charlie spent over 11 years being somewhat in Abi’s shadow. Because she was much more aggressive and sociable and outgoing, and really I suppose the alpha of the two.

Now he gets my full attention.

Charlie

But I do long for a pet that would cuddle with me. That maybe would encourage playtime for Charlie, who often seems bored. He seemed to like the cats in Texas.

Charlie likes to be petted and brushed, but he doesn’t want to be held. He will tolerate it for a short time. And aside from one night soon after Abi died, he refuses to sleep close to me.

He likes to sleep at the end of the bed. Which some people would prefer, I know.

I still sing the little song to him I made up to comfort him (and me) at night after the lights are out. I pet him while I sing to him and that is our time of true closeness.

White petunias

In other news, my patio garden is feeling the effects of the hot temperatures.

The petunias continue to rally. But plants that I thought were drought tolerant, like the gaillardia, have about petered out.

The photo below was taken before they started turning brown.

Gaillardia

Now they are pretty pitiful looking.

The lantana continues to perform well, as long as I keep it in part shade. The red hibiscus is doing fine since I put it in a much bigger pot and scooted it over a bit into the shade.

The vines turned brown and ugly. I clip them back, but so far only the passion vine has rebounded a bit. It still isn’t blooming again.

The mutant purple morning glory vines seem to be virtually indestructible.

The vegetables are not doing so well either. I’m still getting peppers (that I found I can’t tolerate) off the pepper plant and giving them to either my neighbors or my daughter.

But it is in part shade, so maybe that is why it’s still producing.

Orange cone flower

The two cone flower plants are doing fine. But they are in part shade as well.

The various sedum seem okay, although there are burned spots on the smaller sedum autumn joy’s leaves, and it is in the shade now.

Not much seems to be able to tolerate this heat. And since the containers are on a cement patio, that makes it worse.

But then for everything there is a season. I’m accustomed to having beautiful flowers and herbs and plants through May and part of June. Then it gets too hot and they die back.

Come fall, pansies will rally once more. And probably more of the herbs and vines.

Nearing August now, the objective will be to try to stay inside while the weather is so intense.

What’s going on in your garden or containers?

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43 Comments

  1. Good evening Brenda,

    I think it is so hard to know what is best for Charlie. I only have dogs so I do not know how they would get along with a cat. I think you have to do what feels right to you.

    My containers are out of control we have had so much rain that the plant are the size they typically are in late August. Then on the days we have no rain they look like they are parched and dying.

    Have a wonderful evening you two!

  2. My front garden faces the afternoon Alabama sun. I’ve found lantana, zinnias, Mexican heather, purslane, marigolds, and geraniums to be just about all that can survive the hot sun.
    I vote that you listen to your heart about the kitten!

  3. Hi. You might want to go to your state extension service website for information on plants that can stand the heat in containers. For your state, the website is http://www.oces.okstate.edu/. I went there and found some information on plants, and one stood out as being heat tolerant and good for containers is something called helenium, or sneezeweed. They recommended the variety called Dakota Gold. Don’t know much about the plant, but maybe you know it. Anyway, there also was a link to a gardening TV show produced by the extension service that looked good too.

    As for cats, we had a pair of siblings since their birth. The extremely friendly male died last November at well over 15 years of age. We waited three months and got another young adult male who has proven to be pretty friendly but not nearly as smart as the one we lost. The remaining sibling of our original pair, an unsociable female, didn’t really like this new little guy but did tolerate him. He wanted to be a her buddy but she wouldn’t go all out for that. She just passed away last week at a month over age 16. Having our new little guy around has kept our house from seeming completely empty now that both of our old cats have passed away. That has been a nice help. We think our new cat would benefit from having a more sociable cat around as a friend, and we told each other that when the female cat died we would go right out and find another cat. But now that we’ve experienced her death, we realize we hadn’t thought about how emotionally spent we would feel when she passed away. We just don’t have the emotional reserves yet to search for and get to know another cat so soon. These things can take time, and you probably will know the right time to get another pet just by how up for it you feel.

  4. Enjoy Charlie and I would wait on a cat. I don’t think senior animals adapt well to bringing another pet into the home. I’ve enjoyed hearing of Charlie’s transformation stories and how he enjoys having his mama all to himself. I’m not a fan of bringing home an animal and then returning it; I think that messes with an animal’s psyche.
    I’m going to buy another prayer plant today since I killed the last one, so I may be seeking your advice on its care.c
    Carol and Molly

  5. I’m going through a similar angst with my little blind yorkie, but have decided to give her a place in the sun, so to speak. She doesn’t have any stress, I keep her protected at all times and she is such a good little girl at this stage of her life that I’ve decided to wait to bring in another pet. She’s had so much abuse in her life that I hate to shake up her little world. Until then, I just look at plenty of doggie blogs.

  6. I really enjoy your blog and I have only commented a couple of times… but not only do you need to consider Charlie you need to consider the cat.. I have five cats, two of which are kittens that I rescued… it has caused so much problems with the three adults! I know cats very well and did everything that is suggested for acclimating them to each other… it’s been almost 3 months and still the adults are in a twit! For your sanity maybe you should just consider you and Charlie for now.. anyway just another point of view… I’m in the Pacific Northwest and we’re having horrible hot weather also… I’m looking forward to fall?

  7. Brenda, I wonder if you’d consider plants that are native to your state? They might be more tolerant of the heat. I do believe climate change is real but perhaps native plants might take the heat better than nursery plants. Just an idea.

  8. My thought is to wait until after your eye surgeries to find another pet. That would be my motivation with the surgery.

  9. I just got a Golden Doodle puppy today. I have two cats. One is 14 and the other is four. So far they have not interacted. My cats are not cuddly. I am wondering if I am crazy since I am old and physically far from nimble.

  10. WHY RISK UPSETTING THE NEW FOUND BALANCE YOU AND CHARLIE ARE ENJOYING. I THINK YOU SHOULD NOT GET A CAT, BE HAPPY WITH CHARLIE AND HIS NEW FOUND FREEDOM OF BEING YOUR BABY !

  11. Brenda, if you just get to the point where your heart is saying, Yes, it’s time, let’s go look at kitties, what about your animal shelter? Our Cty one has real deals every so often for Seniors. Oops, I’m older than you. And they also have adoption days w very low rates. So ck them out.

    We recently fostered a kitten. I might have told you. Her daddy is 94 and he took her from her outdoor mama way too early, then had a stroke. So we took her in. She was only 4 wks old. Megan fed her every two hrs and carries her all over as we have three dogs. It’s two mths later and she isn’t going anyplace. She rules rhe roost and swats at the dogs even. She is a love. When she’s tired she gets on your chest and sucks her toes before going to sleep. She is so much fun. She really helped heal my daughters heart after the loss of her horse Tee in April.

  12. were Charlie’s allergies bad before you put the eucalyptus in your house?
    I bought a live wreath of it once and had no idea that it was why I couldn’t breathe!
    my eyes watered and my head got stuffy and my nose… it was terrible! I was miserable.
    and I always loved (still do actually) the smell of it. just can’t tolerate it in the house!
    weird. because in all the healthy living stuff you read it’s a major one for easy breathing.
    except not for ME! 🙂 maybe not for Charlie either!
    just a thought.

  13. Poor little Charlie–for the first time he gets to be #1. I would hate to see him have to go back to #2 if the cat is more assertive than he is. Also, you might end up with a cat that won’t cuddle either. Summers seem to be getting hotter and longer–or is that just me?

    1. I think on the one hand it might give him a friend. But you’re right, he’s #1 now and I think he likes that. There’s no way I’d let him slip to #2 spot.

      1. Hi… it has been my experience that bringing another furry baby into a relationship with an older dog or cat is not best for the senior.. give Charlie all your love and attention for as long as he’s in your world and then get more furries. In the meantime, share your love with local animal shelters and charities.

  14. Brenda, FYI, since you have an “open” patio, be aware that a cat will DEFINITELY climb out if it gets a chance, endangering itself and possibly suffering harm from people. They can be very destructive to plants & gardens and some plants are toxic to cats. Don’t get me wrong..I LOVE THEM! We have eight, all either strays or homeless who have come our way .. and all have a ‘STAY FOREVER’ home. We have them all neutered/spayed. My husband has built huge wire pens off our porches so they have access to outdoors through cat doors but are safe from predators. They claw our furniture and we have one tomcat who continually marks our furniture etc. We have to spray with nature’s miracle quite often. Some of them are very physically affectionate and some are not. They definitely have their own unique personalities. Lastly, as gross as it is, some dogs will eat out of the litter pan! Just some food for thought for you. Contrary to how this sounds, we enjoy them tremendously!

    1. I worry about all these things. I might just wait until I no longer have a dog to adopt. But I can’t say for sure. I would not let a cat outdoors. I’ve had cats that were in and outside, and I’ve had cats that never went outdoors.

  15. Hi Brenda!
    I have seen people in my FB dog groups suggest fostering cats/dogs when someone is considering another pet. Not sure how that works, but might be worth a check. I sometimes read about “foster fails”, which means they decided to keep the pet themselves.
    Here in Kansas City, my container garden is still going good, but I definitely must water daily. I have a large courtyard, & its partly sun & partly shade. I grow a lot of sun coleus for foliage color, as well as annual flowers.
    Some petunias, zinnias, & always dragon wing begonias!

    Is there a way to post pics here?
    Also, I keep wondering, what kind of tree is “Jade”?
    Keep cool! Give Charlie a pat for me!

    1. No way to post a pic here. But you could send it to my email. Jade is a Ginkgo jade butterfly tree.

  16. Charlie might enjoy a new friend … he may be lonely for another animal around. But be aware that not all cats are lovey dovey and want to be held or patted. We have two former shelter cats. One is part Maine Coon and loves to be petted especially around her head and face but she is deathly afraid of being picked up. Probably something unpleasant happened to her in her young life before she came to live with us. Then we have a huge Asian Bombay who requires and great deal of love and attention and is a real lover but if he is frightened or startled he will attack viciously. So … if you are looking for a cat, take time to get to know them a bit and their personalities as well as letting Charlie “visit” too to see how they might get along. Good luck … a successful adoption is just wonderful for both you and the one who is “saved”.

    1. I love to look at them online, but I’m not willing to do it yet. Too many things to take into consideration, especially Charlie.

  17. I had a cat that for the first several years would not let me touch him anywhere but his tail. Later on he would lie by my leg in bed, but beyond the point where I could reach him to pet him. He would lie there and purr and I would feel the vibration in my leg. After he died, months later, I would feel him there at that spot on my leg. Then one day his best buddy showed up and they went off to heaven together. Even the ones that won’t let you pet them can be very fond of you. I am sure Charlie has deep feelings for you but has some condition like autism, that means he doesn’t cope with being close or petted.

    1. I know that Charlie loves me, but that, much like me, he cannot show his feelings that well. That is okay. We love one another in our own special way. I don’t like people that close to me, but I like pets to be close.

  18. We had a lot of rain over 2 1/2 days about a week ago – several inches. That helped make up somewhat for the rain deficit we’ve had this summer and there is no substitute for a good long soaking rain. The grass is much happier and looks much better, and is growing again. I’d been watering my gardens and broke down and watered the lawns front and back, too, so I had plenty of flowers in the garden and relatively green grass. But it was evident the heat was causing things to struggle. It remains to be seen what kinds of blooms I’ll get in August/September. Typically my hostas don’t send up flower stalks until some time in late August/early September. And while one of my hibiscus (Rose of Sharon) shrubs surprised me no end by starting to bloom suddenly about 10 days ago, the other two show no signs of doing anything, so maybe I’ll have September through October or later flowers. The weather moderated here some, the past 2 days have been much lower dew points and the temperatures are in the low to mid 70s during the day – it makes a big difference in how everything looks and feels, including me. No more sweating droopy draggy and panting for air when outside feeling like I’m drowning in a hot tub. We will have this relief at least through mid-next week, thank goodness! I feel for your plants, Charlie and YOU on your patio. The concrete soaks in the heat and continues to radiate it into the night. Would it be possible to rig up some kind of removable shade sail to cut the stress a bit on your plants? Think something up with a full size sheet, maybe? I found this DIY from Apartment Therapy. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you could use iron on hemming tape, on light-weight material that would probably work. https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/how-to-make-your-own-shade-sai-139258

    1. Thanks for the link. I’ve already gone over to look at it. I keep thinking I’ll do something like this. Then I go outside and lose the will to do it.

      1. Brenda,

        There are ready-made shade sails available at most big-box hardware stores, such as Lowe’s and Home Depot at an affordable cost. They also have installation services available. These shade sails are made of a much stronger material than what was suggested in the Apartment Therapy article, they are truly for the purpose of blocking the sun, are generally mold and mildew resistant, have sturdier hardware, and would last much longer. Perhaps your son-in-law could install one for you as they are fairly easy to install. Best of luck surviving the heat.

        We are in the midst of a very unseasonable heat wave and the general consensus is that summer needs to be over now!

  19. The heat does do a big number on our flowers and plants. You guys in Okla. get that intense heat. I am surprised you get your flowers as pretty as you do Brenda with the heat you deal with. Just think in a few months you will love Fall by you. Hugs to little Charlie.
    xoxo
    Kris

  20. Brenda, I totally understand your struggle with becoming a kitty momma again! Since Charlie did do well with cats, he might do so again. Would it be to painful to adopt a kitten or cat on a trail basis? Most shelters would agree to that. I so get wanting a pet who will cuddle with you. It’s very comforting, and we all need that.

    I am sick of watering. We in southern IL need rain so badly – it’s predicted this weekend, and I am looking so forward to that! It just seems to calm and restore me. My hibiscus and herb garden are thriving., but my new trees look like fall already. 🙁

    1. I don’t know that I could get attached to a cat and then give it up. I don’t know if I have that in me. I want to go to Petsmart on Saturdays and see the adoptable pets they bring there, but I know that would be hard to resist, seeing them up close. And I rarely go into stores on the weekend. But I am tempted!

      1. I think your heart is telling you to do just that! Charlie sounds pretty independent, and my prayer is that a new kitty would be comforting for both of you!

  21. I can sense what a hard choice it would be for you to get another pet. I have no idea what I would do if in your position. I guess when the time is right the answer will be obvious?
    Some of my plants are doing fine, others fading away; I am just letting them all do their thing. I am short on energy to do much else I guess. My phlox are gorgeous right now. I have both purple and pink. And I am harvesting lavender. We have cooler weather for a few days so I hope I can trim my yew today.
    I am getting ready to take the poms to the “beauty shop” soon; their favorite outing! I don’t know what to do with myself while they are gone for 3 hours! I miss their presence.

  22. I too have flowers weathering away. I’m constantly replacing plants. What should I do about the heat? P.S. I love Charlie!!!! I too had a Yorkie (Maggie Mae) I miss her so much!!!

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