Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thanks for the tree, jerk.

Last weekend, we woke up late to the sound of a cat meowing frantically outside. Thinking I'd finally have a cat that I could adopt and call my own, I threw open the front door only to find…this:


An oak tree? Did a cat spirit really leave this for us? We looked around but no one (and no cat) was to be found. Okay, so someone left us a tree. What were we supposed to do with it? Roland had just planted a baby oak in our front yard a few weeks prior, and we were kind of looking forward to watching it grow over the next 100 years.


Still, the prospect of replacing it with a tree 4x as big was mighty tempting. And we couldn't very well anger the cat gods by ignoring it. So, Roland uprooted our baby tree and replaced it with our front porch gift (at least, we think it was a gift. If someone put that tree there for safekeeping that was a bad idea). After planting the new tree, Roland went inside to put away his tools. He was gone for less than 5 minutes before heading back out to finish cleaning up. Less than 5 minutes. When he came back outside he was greeted with this:


Someone must have waited for the very second that Roland turned around and then ran up to stake our tree. Not only did they drive the stake in the dirt, but they meticulously secured a twistie-tie around it before they vanished by the time Roland appeared back at the door. There was no one even around. What are the chances that the person who gave this tree to us was walking by holding a stake and twistie-tie at the exact moment Roland went inside after planting? The chances are not good. We were kind of creeped out -- was someone watching us from their window? We don't know any of our neighbors. But, whatever. We diligently watered it every day even though it started to dwindle because our benefactor had pulled it up by its roots (rather than dig it up) before giving it to us.

Flash forward to this afternoon. I get home from work and go outside to check the mail. What do I see?


A note, fastened to our sad little oak tree, chiding us for not watering it (even though we did). This really was a magical tree. Not only could it meow to get our attention, it was now sad at us for what it misinterpreted as neglect. And why not guilt us about the state of our lawn with SEVEN exclamation points while it was at it?

I thought about calling Roland to see if I could go ahead and uproot it in angry rebellion, but decided against it. When he got home he found the note and yelled into the wind, "I did water it! There are no roots!" (We're pretty sure our mystery "benefactor" is tapped into the wind and heard him.)

Thanks for minding our business, neighbor! Here is a tip: if you leave someone a gift on their front porch (like a tree), it is theirs to do with as they please. It does not make you overlord of their yard. Thanks.


  1. Do you think the cat tree fairy wants you to plant catnip in return for its oak tree gift?

  2. Any signs that the tree is getting happier?

    1. No...sadly it's completely dead now.