R.I.P. Cactus

Date of birth: Unknown

Date of death: (I'm pretty sure) November 22 2010

I did not know him well.  He was living in the large planter in my backyard when I moved in.  He stood out amongst the other grassy plants cohabiting the planter.  Upon first inspection, I was appalled to see many snails covering his pads.  (Of all the places for a tender bellied snail to live!)

I removed them; that marked the beginning of our friendship.

Although we lived together for a few months, I barely knew him.  I don't even know what type of cactus he was.  I believe he was a prickly pear because of his flat, thin pads all clustered together.  I may have seen a bud bloom on him once.  

As time went on, I began to think about cleaning up the cluttered planter.  Everything had to go except the cactus.  It wasn't because he has especially pretty.  Plus, he was going to stand out like a sore thumb amongst the tulips and other plants I planned on planting there.  People would ask me, "Why do you want to keep that ugly old cactus anyway?"  It was because I just felt that I had no right to uproot him.  He was a healthy plant whose home was the planter for I don't know how long.  

For the last couple of months, he has lived in the planter alone.  It has been a rainy season so I haven't had much cause to go over and water him.  Our only interactions were when I came outside to smoke on the backyard deck and would glance at him.  Everyday, he was there always there standing so tall and verdant green.

On November 22, I went outside for my first smoke of the day and was astonished to see that he had tumped over.  He had completely fallen out of the planter and his roots were hanging out of the ground.

What ended his life?  I can only speculate.  There are several cats that hang out by the planter to watch birds in the nearby tree.  Perhaps one of them pushed him over.  Maybe it was the weight of all the rain that had been constantly falling.  Maybe his root structure was not as strong as it looked and all it took was a gust of wind.  I suppose we'll never know.

Even though I do not know how old he was, I cannot help but feel that he was taken prematurely.  It will be sad to look out on my backyard and see him missing.  


1072 views and 3 responses

  • Dec 7 2010, 7:46 PM
    Jeff Hammel responded:
    Poor cactus. I will miss him too
  • Dec 8 2010, 10:32 PM
    fulldisclosuredana responded:
    He is a succulent. You should be able to just re-plant him and he might be fine.
  • Dec 8 2010, 11:01 PM
    geoffsamek responded:
    So sad! I hope you are right fulldisclosuredana, it's a rad cactus, maybe now we can move him.