Chopstick Cinema

Celeste Heiter's Adventures in Asian Food & Film

The Watched Plot

Each morning when I awake, while my laptop is booting up, I head for the garden to see what magic or mischief has happened while I slept. This little ritual is of particular urgency to my cat Mochi, who comes barreling down the hallway and nearly knocks me off my feet in her haste to get out the door for a long nap in the sunshine. After ten years of living in a walk-up flat in an old Victorian building, with its never-ending parade of fellow-tenants, each bringing with them their own feline antagonists to challenge Mochi's sovereignty over her domain, now that we're in this new place, the old girl can't get enough lolling about in her own private little kingdom.

Of course Mochi has wreaked her own brand of havoc on my gardening project. During the ground preparation process, she seemed to think all that newly-tilled earth was just one giant litter box for her pooping pleasure. But with persistent supervision, I have managed to deter her from that. Nevertheless, if I don't keep a close eye on her, she will still indulge in the occasional dust bath in one of my newly-planted flower boxes. And just yesterday, she broke a flower pot. Itazura neko! (that's Naughty Cat! in Japanese)

With visions of Spring Rolls and Asian Stir-Fry dancing in my head, my mornings in the garden are spent watering the rows and hills of vegetables I planted last week, and admittedly, [like any first-time gardener] over-scrutinizing them for signs of life. But like the 'watched pot', the more I look, the less seems to be happening. I planted my first few rows of seeds a little too early, when the ground wasn't quite warm enough and many of the plots were still in shade from the fence. So my crops are a little slow getting started. But now that it's so much warmer, I'm pleased to report that my radishes, leeks and mesclun greens have reared their pretty little heads. Can the rest be far behind?