We’ve all had moments where something fortunate happens to us and it can’t be explained by logic or reason. Some call it luck, some call it fate, some call it divine intervention. One of those moments happened to me this week.
WARNING! The post includes the following: cats, rodents and bugs. If you’re turned off by any of these things, I urge you to click away now and come back tomorrow.
When I started this blog two months ago, I vowed it wouldn’t turn into a blog about my cats. Just so you know, it’s still not going to be a cat blog, but this story does involve a cat, so I have to make an exception. It’s more about bugs, which isn’t much better.
First, let’s meet Stinky.
Stinky is one of our first cats together. We got her and her brother from some friends almost 15 years ago. Her brother, Calvin, is since deceased (RIP buddy). In human equivalent years, Stinky would be on Medicare by now. She’s a self-confident old girl whose partying days are behind her. She doesn’t care, for instance, that this pose is not a good look for her. She lets it all hang out and we let her do whatever she wants. At her age, she’s pretty harmless.
However, there are times when she surprises us and acts all kitteny and spry. About two years ago, she shocked us by bagging her first mouse (I’ll spare you the picture, and yes, I took a picture). We didn’t witness her kill her prey, we only saw the damage. She dropped it on the patio and then laid down next to it, all proud of herself. Luckily for us, the mouse was gone the next day and we didn’t have to worry how to dispose of it. We presume it met its second demise at the claws of some other ravaging animal that happened upon a free lunch. Such is nature.
After the mouse incident, we realized Stinky’s days of being harmless were over and now we had to be mindful of whatever she set her eyes on out in the yard, whether it be bugs, birds or chipmunks. No one is safe now.
Fast forward to this week. I’m reading a book all comfortable on my nice new couch and for reasons unknown I decide to check on Stinky. Despite the collar she wears to keep her within the bounds of our invisible fence, she’s been known to not care too much about the shock fence and sometimes crosses it despite the zap to her neck.
When I look out back, I’m instantly relieved to see her still on the patio, but this relief quickly turns to fear when I see that she’s crouched over the edge of the porch staring at something. This can’t be good, since cats stare at only two things:
- Imaginary objects that exist only in their pea brains.
- Living things that are smaller than them that they’re thinking of killing.
I’m instantly aware it’s something in Category #2. I can just about make out what that something is — looks like a meaty spider. But because it’s fairly dark outside, I can only make a positive ID if I get within inches of it.
I don’t have many choices here. Get closer and see what it is, and freak out. Consider that whatever it is might jump on me when I get very close, and freak out. Pick Stinky up by the hind legs and drag her away from what she wants to maim, kill and eat, and freak out. Basically, I’m freaking out. And Dave is nowhere to be found, so that is not an option either.
With my crappy options, I proceed anyway. I opt for picking Stinky up by her backside and she begins to growl at me. Not a problem, since I don’t have far to get her in the house. When I get to the door and deposit her inside, I glance back to see what it was she was so intent on investigating.
Meet the praying mantis.
I suspect what I thought was a balled-up spider was just the head of this thing. What will give me nightmares for months to come was the fact that it RAN AFTER ME while I was carrying Stinky inside. I barely made it in before I slammed the door shut on it.
Can someone please explain to me why bugs can’t just simply be gross? Do they also have to torment me by chasing me down?
It was long, ugly and FAST! Apparently they can attack and kill prey larger than themselves. Read more about that here, but only if you’re not eating right now.
Once safely inside, with the door shut, I began to thank God that I got up off the couch when I did. I don’t know what made me go check on Stinky, but I’m convinced if I hadn’t done it at that exact moment, I would have had to try and get this disgusting creature out of her mouth somehow, some way. I can barely think about it without wanting to throw up. I like to think it was divine intervention that saved me.
I’m sorry if I grossed anyone out here, but if you stuck with the story, thanks. You’re a better person than me.