Lately, I feel as though I ran the zoo, even though I have just two animals. I need the dog to go out, but the cat tries to squeeze through and dart out the door while the dog stands by and watches. I grab the cat with one hand and snag the dog's collar with the other and shift them to their rightful places—the cat inside and the dog going potty. Today, they both got out, and the dog chased the cat, and the cat ran up the hill where I couldn't get to him. And then he slid under the fence and took off through the neighborhood where he roamed for at least 30 minutes. I just wanted to sit down.
Along with the mammals I seem to have some creepy crawlies to watch as well, spiders that have camped out in my yard. Actually, last night I walked out onto the enclosed back porch and was startled by a big, meaty, black spider that was meandering across the floor. He didn't seem startled by my gasp and "holy crap" outburst, but he was startled when I turned my empty glass over his fat body and trapped him in his spot. He spent the night there, and Husband killed him this morning. I felt he was too big to squish. The job would have required a mop up.
But back to my yard, there is a whole host of funnel spiders that scurry when I approach their weird funnel webs, and one that hangs from the bottom of the garage door when I open it, and there are your typical non-threatening small spiders you'd expect to find in the window sill. And then there is this—look closely between the green trees:
Not dangerous, the Internet says, but it makes my skin scrawl. As an exercise in tolerance, I check on it every day, sometimes several times a day. I stand as close as I can to this web and watch the spider form its work and tend to its food. I swear she writes words in this knitted wonder, something like "Some Pig" I believe I saw the other day. You can see some of her scrawling just below her left leg.
Spiders are unsettling to me, but the thing I can stand about this one is that it has its place. It rests in this spot and never leaves. Should I go to the web some day and find it empty, that's when I'll be freaked, because if the thing isn't in its place, then where might it be? On my back porch? In my shoes? Crawling on my neck while I sleep?
A place for everything and everything in its place. This spider has its place, and I have mine. As long as those two things don't intersect, we'll all be fine.