Are cats vengeful? I used to have a lovely African violet sitting in my kitchen window. It has thrived there for a couple of years. Enter Lulu. Lulu the Cat loves to sever the leaves. Sometimes she chews them; sometimes she discards them. I surrounded the plant with other items in order to leave no space for said cat. For a time it worked.
This morning Lulu was playful. I heard her bouncing all over the kitchen and den. I eventually went in there to join in the fun. I quickly started to feel more hostile than playful. There on the floor were about eight or nine violet leaves as if they were trying to compete with the shedding tree outside the window. All the bouncing had apparently been Lulu jumping up to steal a leaf, losing her balance and dropping back down, taking a leaf with her. Grrrrrrrr. Poor, poor, pitiful plant. See all those sad leafless stems?
I have now done what I always did when I had small children: I put the plant where the cat can’t get to it. Behind closed doors. In my bedroom. Lulu’s not allowed in there because of my allergies.
Is it time to move beyond awareness? October is breast cancer awareness month. I wrote about this last year, in a very positive way, I think.
I don’t take awareness lightly. It’s the first step toward eradicating a problem. And breast cancer is a major problem. As are all cancers.
I have several friends who are breast cancer survivors. And one dear friend who didn’t survive. I recently asked my closest friend L, who is a survivor, “Are you sick of all this pink ribbon stuff?” Her immediate and unequivocal response: “YES!”
I think it’s safe to say that the “pink ribbon” has become the universal symbol for Breast Cancer Awareness, and there’s the rub. L’s concern, and mine, is that it is being misused to make money, to make a profit, by companies and/or individuals who have no intention of contributing to the cause. I don’t know how prevalent this practice is, but I do know I’ve seen many tacky items with some cheap version of a pink ribbon, and I simply couldn’t believe they were legitimate.
Whenever I think of charities I always return to March of Dimes. Is anyone else old enough to remember what that organization did to polio? They funded research which resulted in the development of both the Salk and Sabin vaccines thus eradicating polio. With that mission accomplished, they turned their focus to the prevention of birth defects.
When I was in elementary school we had “dime” drives with cards that held dimes. We children collected dimes at a time when, for many, they were hard to come by. Everyone was in on this fight. Even parents (mine) who couldn’t afford to give to charity contributed a thin dime or two to the card of their child. No child wanted to take in an unfilled card.
My family didn’t understand the full significance of the March of Dimes until my baby sister contracted polio at the age of two. The doctor sent her to a hospital in another city. Fortunately her case was mild. She spent only a month there. Imagine my parents’ surprise when the hospital administrator told them the bills would be paid by the March of Dimes.
I don’t really know whether it’s fair to compare these two charities. Times are different. There were most certainly some who “cheated” March of Dimes, but I was too young to know that. I do know that many played fairly because we were committed to a very important cause. And we delivered.
I’m idealistic enough believe that cancer research can be streamlined and standardized and we can beat it. Franklin D. Roosevelt started the March of Dimes. Maybe what we need is presidential prodding. Cancer is nonpartisan. When we seriously focus on a problem we can be nonpartisan, too, and we can accomplish anything. Let’s do it! Maybe one day we will have a cancer vaccine. It could happen.