So, yesterday...I took advantage of the quiet afternoon by taking a short nap. I like what I call "power naps"—about 20 minutes or so, and all is well. I took this Easter nap on the couch in the living room with the original Charlie and the Chocolate Factory playing in the background, Eustacia sitting quietly in the chair with her laptop, and husband downstairs watching the Masters (N0. 1 had already left to go back to school). That was the setting.
I woke up from my nap and sat on the couch for a few minutes to get my bearings—you know, let my brain catch up with the rest of me—and that's when what Eustacia calls my "insect radar" set off the alarm. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw a centipede at least two inches long crawl out from under the couch and walk across the room.
I gasped, which is part of the radar system, and Eustacia and I both tucked our legs under us in case the thing changed course. I yelled, "Get Tiger! Get Tiger!" He likes to toy with bugs and then eat them, so Eustacia grabbed the cat and pointed him toward the thing who was leisurely meandering. But when Tiger put his nose to the bug, it took off at break-neck speed and headed straight for the fireplace. Tiger chased him, batting at him, but the centipede squeezed himself between the brick and the wood trim and disappeared.
Poor Tiger was out a playmate, but he is patient and sat down to wait. That gave me time to wonder how long the thing had been beneath my nap couch and had it been crawling around while I was sleeping and had it crawled ON me. I shivered.
We looked up some facts about centipedes on line. The house variety, which is what we had, apparently, has 15 sets of legs, each set attached to a body section. They are nocturnal hunters and eat smaller bugs and spiders, and they can live five to seven years.
At least 15 minutes went by when the centipede crawled out again, and Tiger was back on the chase. They went back and forth on the tile in front of the fireplace, running and chasing, playing dead and not being fooled. Another thing we learned—when one of those 30 legs falls off, it still moves for a few minutes while the bug heads in another direction.
Husband joined in for a few minutes, long enough to capture this photo and to encourage Tiger to continue his tormenting.
Once Tiger had most of the legs pulled off, he finally had enough of the game and ate the thing. I'm sorry we have lost a spider eater, but Tiger is pretty good at that himself. Spider eaters are important to have in a house, but if given the choice between a creepy bug with too many legs and long antennae or a cuddly cat, I'll take the cat.