Tag Archives: moths

The Thunder Channel

Jim and Mary live across the street from us. We don’t talk a lot about them because Kitten Thunder doesn’t seem terribly interested in what goes on past our sidewalk. But, if they are looking at their OutTV, this is what they would see this week on The Thunder Channel:

The light goes on on the porch at dusk and the front door, if it wasn’t already, is open so you can see light through the front screen. The Girl, holding the brown kitten, look out the windows of the screen. Sometimes they step out on the porch and look at the walls of the outside entry. Then they go inside.

A while later, the entry way light goes on and the porch light goes off. The Girl and the brown kitten look outside again. The Girl shakes her head and says something to the brown kitten.

Later, the porch light goes back on and The Girl examines the walls and ceiling of the outside entry through the window. She steps outside. Sometimes she holds the door open and waves her hands in the air. Sometimes she brings the brown kitten out and holds him above her head and HE waves his hands in the air.

They go back inside.

A while later, The Girl comes back to the screen door. She is in her pajamas; she wears pants and a t-shirt. She looks all around the outside entry through the screen door. Then she grabs a broom and goes out onto the porch. With one foot, she holds the door open as she sweeps at the ceiling of the outside entry. If a cat gets near the door, she jabs him with the broom as well. The Boy arrives to pick up the cat and turn off the porch light so the only illumination is the inside entryway.

The Boy and The Girl cheer. The lights are turned off and the door is closed.

The Thunder Channel’s evening program, Girl Gets Millers In The House, is over for the night.

***

I’m still dressed and I’ve already caught the first miller of the night. I nudged him off the wall and, as he flew into the air, I swatted him right into the house. Wa HA! I am master miller catcher! He landed on the wall at kitten eye level and Obi promptly knocked him down into the cold air return. The brown kitten wants a new miller. I told him he’d just have to wait for that miller to come back up.

***

Happy Father’s Day to all The Boys out there – whether your children are furry ones or people, you are appreciated. Especially my dad, who taught me the most important skill in the world: the claw.

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What’s Ridiculous

Oliver was stomping on me after work last night. Since he was never going to make a decision on where to lay, I made it for him. You might think he would object to being knocked over and pulled to my side.

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You’d be wrong. He stretched out like this for ten minutes while I rubbed his belly and scritched his armpits. But then I got the camera out.

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And he stretched.

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And ended with his legs together. Like a gentleman.

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Obi thought this was ridiculous. You know what else is ridiculous? The complete lack of millers in this house. We worked at it for an hour and only attracted one to the porch – which I did manage to get inside – and he only lasted for ten minutes.

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Ridiculous.

 

 

Bed Bugs

The Boy has been out of town for a couple days. This, of course, means that I’ve received extra attention from Kitten Thunder. Especially at night. And, now, from Mr. Bear as well.

Lately Mr. Bear has taken to sleeping tucked under the blankets behind my knees. This isn’t where Oliver sleeps. Oli sleeps in my arms, under the blankets, with his head on the pillow. Now, though, he makes sure Mr. Bear is settled before he comes to bed.

The first night The Boy was gone, Kitten Thunder and I read until late in the night. I turned out the light. Oliver left to go get Mr. Bear.

Then it happened. Something fluttered in my face. I new, of course, that this was a miller moth – they tend to dive bomb faces right after the light goes out. So I sputtered and waved him away and settled back down. But he came back! Again and again! Eventually, I figured out what was happening…

Not wanting to be outdone, Obi was tucking HIS favorite toy into my bed as well.

He brought millers to bed for a while last night, too. But hopefully, with The Boy’s return, this foolishness will stop.

The Boy got a surprising welcome from Kitten Thunder. Obi demanded a belly rub; this is not surprising at all. But then The Boy decided to take a nap – he’d been up since 3:30 a.m. mountain time. I figured he’d have company. Even if Oli didn’t nap WITH him, I figured he’d have two aura snugglers.

But no.

I didn’t realize, when doing my figuring, that The Boy had set up a perfect storm for neglect upstairs. First, the best box in the world has returned. That’s where Obi spent his afternoon. And second, The Boy opened his closet to hang up his suit. That’s where Oliver spent his afternoon.

You can’t blame them, really. Closets and boxes are fleeting. The Boy is forever.

***

It’s Thunder Thursday! I just spent way too much time looking at pictures of LOL cats. And this is the one I picked.

 

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.