Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter Snack

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.


dive said...

Hee hee hee.
What a hilarious and totally gross post, Robyn!
Hoorah for Tiger! What a hero.
The part about the still-wriggling dismembered legs is not going to help me eat dinner but the laughs were worth it.

Weirdly, the Gene Wilder Willy Wonka was the only movie I watched over Easter, though I managed to stay awake as I love that one.

Rich said...

I once woke up with one of those buggers crawling on my face...i kid you not.

Cheri @ Blog This Mom! said...

I'm not gonna lie. I'm a little bit traumatized.

Scout said...

Dive, Tiger IS a hero.

Rich, I think my heart would have stopped.

Cheri, these things move worse than spiders. All those legs!

lynn said...

OMG. How could you sit and watch that? I'd have been ill on the spot. Ugh. Also, why did I have to click on the photo and put myself through that? Blek. I hate creepy crawlies. This is not my favourite post, Robyn. Scared the pants off me. You're still on my Christmas card list but off my faves of the day. :( xx
Charlie and the Chocolate factory is fantastic though.

RICH!!! Now I'm positively fainting...

Shazza said...

Can I hire Tiger for my house?

MmeBenaut said...

My oh my, how exciting. Tiger is very brave eating that centipede. I would have been terrified that it was poisonous and my great big foot would have stamped and stamped on it until it was just a few specks to be swept up with a dust broom.

We have spanish millipedes here - so many of them that they are regularly squashed underfoot. They are harmless but quite a nuisance as they don't know that the house is out of bounds and, sadly for them, if they venture inside they don't last long. There is nothing quite so nasty as seeing a jet black millipede emerging from under the kitchen sponge or shaken out of the shower curtain. Eew!