Flowering Gymnocalycium Borthii Cactus

One of the strange things I’ve started to do is to take care of some new pets. This is another one of my weird hobbies. Poey Chin tells me I love them more than her.

Today I’m going to share with you one of my successes.

The photo below was from 2.5 years ago, when I first bought the plant. It looks big here because of the zoom but the size was around 1.5 inches in diameter. The smallest pot you find when you buy cacti.

Last year around this same time, the cactus plant put out one flower bud but sadly it did not bloom. This year I was so excited when I saw two flower buds.

One week later, the first flower bloomed.

The next photo shows the entire cactus plant. When there is less sun, the flower will close up. The diameter at the cactus base is around 3-4 inches.

This last photo shows the flower in maximum bloom under full afternoon sun.

I hope I’ve got the name of the species right. There isn’t a lot of reference online and even fewer photo examples. I don’t even know the name of 95% of my cacti.

I don’t think I’m doing anything special regarding the plant care. The soil is my usual 50/50 mix of black soil and “cactus stones mix”.

This species of cactus seems to survive our Malaysian weather well so I keep it outside with full exposure to sun and rain. If it rains too frequently then I keep it out of the rain for a week.

Fortunately it also seems quite resilient to any pest attacks.

It doesn’t seem to propagate. There was a tiny baby growing at the side a few months ago, but I lost it when transferring it to a bigger pot.

Visiting Sushi

Last weekend Sushi was at my parents house, so we made a trip there.

I finally got to meet Sushi again after more than a year. He is now living with my mom’s cousin because he can’t stay in my condo, and my parents are not at home most of the time.

As I stepped in the door, I could see he wasn’t as active as before. Sushi will be seven years old in a few months time so I guess this is a sign of his maturity and aging.

Previously he would be jumping up to greet me, and will be running around in excitement. Now, he just wags his tail going round in circles smelling everything.

Sushi the Shih Tzu

The first thing I did was to kneel down and pet him, and he kept smelling me.

Rachel was so excited she keep shouting his name through the evening, “Sushi! Sushi! Sushi!”

She was so curious but afraid at the same time.

My father carried Daryl and he was much braver. He just looked at Sushi and kept smiling, wanting to touch Sushi.

The funny thing is, Sushi is much more obedient than my kids.

Sushi the Shih Tzu

Physically he looks the same but I could see he has grown older, more stable.

He no longer followed me around, maybe I am not his master any more but just someone in his past.

One habit he still has, is to sit at the feet of anyone who sat down at the dining table. I was eating some desserts when he came over and gave me this familiar look.

Sushi the Shih Tzu

“Give me a biscuit please”

After I ignored him a while, he resumed lying down on the floor but kept an eye on me, in case I changed my mind.

Sushi the Shih Tzu

It was nice to see him again, it was the same feeling you get when you see an old friend.

Always at the back of my mind, there was this regret and sadness that he could no longer be with me.

I feel so sad to remember how, after I got married and moved out of my parents home, he kept waiting in the front door for me to come home every evening.

We’ve had so many wonderful memories together, I hope he still remembers me in his doggy dreams.

Now he has a new home with more people to pamper and play with him, so I know he is in a good place.

I miss him so much.

Happy Birthday Sushi

Happy Birthday Sushi!

Today you are five years old. It seems like yesterday when you came into my life.

I remember meeting you for the first time at the pet store. You were a curious bundle of fur eager to come smell our feet and explore any corner you could find.

I remember taking you home and watching this bundle of fur slowly exploring the house, smelling anything you could reach.

Do you remember how you loved hiding under the sofa? It became your cave for a while until we built you a temporary cave using some cushions.

I still feel the joy of having you follow me around the house, and how happy you made our family. For the first time in many years, we actually spent more time together and laughed together.

I feel so bad each day, that I am no longer living with you. My heart breaks when I picture you waiting at the door each evening for me. Good boy.

Ko ko will buy a special treat for you the next time I visit ok?

P/S: Your niece Rachel sends hugs and kisses. She says, “I want to play with your tail again Sushi suk suk”