Tag Archives: millers

The Miller Invasion

Each year, around this time, you get stories of the miller moths that migrate through Wyoming. People hate them. The cats love them.

Right now, Obi is laying under the coffee table. The Boy is giving him advice on how to catch the miller walking around on the floor. Obi has obviously knocked the dust off the bug because he’s not flying.

“He’s getting away, Obi,” says The Boy.

Obi blinks up at The Boy. What do humans know about catching millers? Nothing.

***

In the upstairs bathroom, we have one of those big mirrors with the medicine cabinet behind it. Last night I had the side door cracked while I brushed my teeth. Obi was chasing a miller.

It landed on the top trim of the mirror. It disappeared over the top and Obi stood up on his tippy toes to see. As the door to the cabinet slammed shut, I knew just what had happened.

I opened the door.

A miller fell to the counter.

He wasn’t dead, but he was in his final moments. I did the standard 30 seconds of trying to point to the miller to show Obi. We all know how pointless pointing is with a cat. So I grabbed his head and directed it toward the floundering bug. And waited for his eyes to focus.

At last, the brown kitten saw. He ran back to sniff the bug.

He walked away.

That miller was broken.

***

Happy Independence Day!

Advertisements

Naughty Snapshots

On Thursday, my turtle-shaped thumb drive disappeared. Friday afternoon, I was at my desk and caught this:

image

Obi says his interest in the penguin is only circumstantial evidence of his guilt in the turtle abduction. I contacted legal counsel for him, via Facebook, and  his advice was that Obi should step away from the penguin.

We’re waiting for the bill to see if Obi has to pay in tuna or cheese.

***

Last night I was upstairs turning the fans on in the bedroom. Obi had a miller moth cornered over the bed. He caught it. He shoved it under the sheet. Then he went for another one.

No bugs in the bed! I said.

***

When I got up this morning, Obi had a lot to say. The Boy came inside and asked if Obi was telling me he was naughty. What? Obi? Naughty? Evidently, when The Boy went outside for the first time, a bunch of millers flew away from the doorjamb. Problem: they flew out.

Obi went with them.

The Boy caught Obi on the porch. The brown kitten was so focused on his prey he probably doesn’t even know he was outside. But he got in trouble anyway.

***

The Boy and I finished painting the stairwell today. He had already done most of the work but there was some super high stuff that I needed to do because it was too high to mask off and I can paint a straight line – yay for years of studying art.

After the super high stuff I was touching up some spots behind the kitchen door. Suddenly, the half closed door swung open and smacked me in the head. A brown kitten stood at the top of the stairs, glaring pointedly.

We will NOT be shutting this door again. Not okay.

***

Obi, who can climb ladders, wants to know why it is okay for me and not for him.

***

Last night, or early this morning in fact, I was sneaking to bed well after The Boy was sleeping. To keep the light from waking him I brushed my teeth with the bathroom door closed and turned off the light before slipping out.

I closed the door behind me to keep Obi from thump thump thumping the cabinet doors.

As I snuggled down into bed, I heard the thump thump thumping of cabinets and the trill of a brown kitten. I got up, assuming I’d locked him in. I flicked on the light just in time to see Obi run IN to the bathroom. He’d thumped the cupboards in the reading nook to trick me into opening the door.

I was not amused.

Okay, I was a little amused.

***

If you’re looking for nudey pictures, go away and clean your eyeballs with soap. This blog is snapshot stories about my kitten being naughty. And this last one about how naughty YOU are.

Miller time!

The miller moth has returned to Wyoming! As of this week even Cousin Spade, in the western corner, finally has some to chase. He’s been stalking the door for weeks.

Obi is having a great time hunting this week. He has an interesting new strategy where he catches a moth and runs it to the cave in the living room. I don’t know if this is so we can watch, which would be quite considerate of him, or because he likes to keep everything in his cave.

Once the miller is in the cave, Obi and Oli sit outside and wait. They pounce on it whenever the miller attempts to leave the cave. The result is, unfortunately for me, that there’s a pile of moth carcasses under the sheet when I move it to do sit ups or fix up the cave.

Obi has been removing books from The Boy’s bookcase as he tries to climb it in an attempt to get to high flying moths. Trying to help, I picked him up and lifted him over my head. He was inches from a miller. Of course, he didn’t see it.

Oliver saw me holding Obi and immediately started pulling on my belt loops, insisting on his turn. Poor grey kitten. I could hold Obi straight up over my head for hours. But Oli’s extra four pounds and super long body make it hard to even get him to the ceiling.

Oliver may also remember how Poco and I hunted millers. I could just toss her toward a bug and she would grab it, flying through the air, and have it eaten before she landed on the floor.

My sweet grey boy has no skills. He has no athleticism.

He has no millers.

Carnage! And a hero’s tale.

There are bodies everywhere. Kitten Thunder, it seems, likes to hunt down millers. They like to beat them. They like to kill them. But they don’t eat them. And why is it, I’d like to know, that moths are the one thing they won’t organize into piles? Why do I have to wander room to room picking up one miller at a time?

It is fortuitous that last week I introduced you to Annabelle for Thunder Thursday. For this week, she is a hero. Yesterday, her building caught on fire due to a burning cigarette in a receptacle. With fans running to fight off Minnesota heat, my friend Libby didn’t hear the alarms. Annabelle responded to someone in the halls knocking on doors. That is when Libby heard someone calling out about the fire.

Those of us with cats have probably gone over what we’d do in an emergency hundreds of times in our heads. I know from responding to a tornado siren that Oliver doesn’t react well to being moved quickly and against his will. He feels my tension and turns it into his own. If I had to leave the house fast could I get both Oli and Obi into the carrier?

If the smoke detector went off could I get Oliver out of the spare room’s box springs? Could I talk the firefighters into hauling a box springs out of the house with my cat in it?

Libby grabbed her purse and picked Annabelle up. They walked out of the building through a smoke-filled stairwell. Anna did not flinch or cry. She stayed calm in Libby’s arms through the smoke and out the apartment building and past fire trucks.

Her neighbor Lori was told to leave her cat, Tinkerbell, by the police. She refused to leave her. Luckily she had time to get Tinkerbell and get out safely.

The fire damaged enough of the building that Libby has to move out. Her belongings are wet but otherwise okay.

Someone else’s cat succumbed from smoke inhalation.

So kudos to our kitty hero, Annabelle, who stayed calm when calm is what was called for. Her reaction to the situation kept a bad thing from becoming a miserable event for Libby. Sometimes that’s enough.

"Bird!"

Things that go bump (thump thump) in the night

Well, if you’re following social media in and around Cheyenne you know that the miller season is in full swing. Suddenly. Last night. We went from one or two millers and evening to clouds of them.

My favorite part of miller season is that it turns cute little sparrows into fierce predators. The sparrows fly around intersections – where the millers are attracted to the lights – like fighter planes. As you’re waiting at the light you can watch a sparrow pin a miller to the ground and yank at legs and wings like hungry kids at a barbecue.

We’d lost Obi for a while last night and I went searching for him to assure myself I hadn’t let him out by accident. He was upstairs. Watching. I saw the miller on the ceiling and came back downstairs. A little while later, Obi was down in the living room with us. He’d caught the miller and brought it to Oliver for a game.

Later, when we’d all gone to bed, Obi wasn’t settling down. He thumped and bumped around in the darkness for hours. He shuffled the miniblinds. He ran from one side of the house to the other. He launched himself off the headboard.

Then he was up on that half wall by the staircase. Then there was a loud thump. Then…nothing. The Boy and I, discussing it this evening, had both listened for the cries of a broken kitten.

Let that be a lesson to you, Kitten Thunder: if you’re going to get injured, be sure to remain conscious so you can let us know you need help.

Otherwise, we’re going back to sleep.

And now for Thunder Thursday! I bring you Annabelle, my friend Libby’s sweet tortie.

A close up of Annabelle's sweet tortie face.

* * *

Pots, like boxes, are purrrrfect for cats.

* * *

Well, not ALL pots.

Return of the Moth, Man.

And it begins…

Last night, I received a text from The Boy about Kitten Thunder. They were watching a miller by the front door. I, as it happened, was having an argument with a miller in the garage of my old house. Seems he wanted to be wherever I was sweeping.

Miller season has arrived.

Pretty. Tiny. Tasty.

Millers, in case you are unfamiliar, are small brown moths that migrate from somewhere east of here to somewhere west of here in early summer. Then they come back in late summer. At least those who weren’t eaten by cats come back. Miller season for cats is like some-big-dumb-tasty-trophy-animal-that-invites-you-to-shoot-it season for hunters. It is something they look forward to all year.

In fact, Cousin Spade is already looking for millers every time my dad opens the door. They are four hours further west. And these millers are early.

Millers are actually very pretty when you take a close look at them. But they can wear on your patience. For one thing, they are attracted to light. Great because it is easy to attract them for the cats. Not so great because when you go to bed they are attracted to the light on the clock. Imagine the flutter of dusty wings in your face. Imagine the sound of them flittering by in the dark. Imagine a 14 pound cat leaping from the headboard to catch the one that has landed on your chest.

Ssssh, The Boy doesn’t know this is coming.

Last night as I was taking out my contacts, Kittens were Thundering under the bed. They were together. So I thought each was the cause of the other’s Thunder. Then, as I was brushing my teeth I noticed Obi tucking the loose ends of my pillow under.

I brushed.

I watched.

My brow furrowed. The Boy asked why.

I spit. Then, “I think Obi is shoving a bug under my pillow.”

And indeed he was. It’s going to be a long summer.