Animals I'm fine with. Firstly animals are interesting and I will visit them frequently each day, assuming they're not free to visit me (like the rats). Secondly animals will indicate by sounds or body language what their needs are, whereas plants just wilt and turn brown (or yellow). And how am I supposed to know what that means?
So I was both delighted and dismayed when the colleague I had been mentoring during last year bought me a rose in a pot as a thank you present. But this was a good 6 weeks ago and the rose is still thriving. The original flowers faded and were turning brown, so I dead-headed it, but I have a new flower and two more buds coming, so it seems happy.
The reason it isn't just a shrivelled brown mass is that I have finally found a sensible place to put plants. We don't have a kitchen window sill and if I put things in the conservatory (the logical place and in fact where the cacti live), I just forget they're there. I'm not in there enough to be aware of them, particularly as they don't jump up to greet me or mew at my approach. Ditto the other rooms with window ledges.
But this time it dawned on me that the perfect place is the window ledge in my study. Which means that every time I stop typing to gaze out of the window for a moment, I can admire my plant and it's proximity means that I can regularly check whether it needs water.
If it manages to last a bit longer, I might even buy it a friend.