As you know, I adore animals. In fact, even though I’m not enamored with every species, I try to appreciate them for what they are. I image the scary looking ones are more afraid of us than we are of them. At least that’s what I tell myself.
For instance, take spiders. I don’t mind them, except maybe the brown recluse. Suffice it to say anything whose venom can eat away part of my face with a single bite is something I’m more than willing to avoid. Now don’t get me wrong; it’s nothing personal. I’m sure they’re perfectly delightful creatures in a creepy spider kinda way.
Sometimes I wonder what a lizard is thinking when I’m watching it scurry across the floor (yet another present from one of my cats). I can imagine its fear. This is precisely why I keep what I call “My Rodent Tupperware” to capture and release the not-so-pretty-things that make their way into my home.
I’ll save a fly in the house if I can catch it. But when it comes to fleas, ticks, ants and yellow jackets, those suckers are goin’ down. I suppose that makes me a hypocritical pacifist, doesn’t it? Otherwise, I feel sorry for pretty much every other scary-looking critter. After all, it’s not their fault they were born ugly…snakes, bats, tarantulas, lizards…they all have a hard lot in life. Besides, ugly is in the eye of the beholder, right? I’m sure someone in this world thinks the naked mole rat and the blob fish are beautiful.
Last week I saved a lizard from being tormented by my cats, Dash and Jack. And while I was on the phone with Loretta, I also saved a fat spider crawling through my kitchen. Since I’m a multi-tasker, I quickly grabbed a paper towel and gently scooped up the fat arachnid while continuing to gab.
Before bringing it outside, I peeked into the crumpled paper towel to make sure I wasn’t squishing the spider. That’s when it launched itself off the towel like a bungee jumper in free-fall. I yelled to Loretta, “Oh my God!” I’m guessing she figured I chopped off a finger or two.
Here’s what happened: When the spider hit the floor, a bunch of baby spiders swarmed out from under her. I’ve never seen anything like it. About 30 tiny spiders (I lost count) scattered about the floor, probably scrambling to find mom who I’d already instinctively scooped up and brought outside.
All the while Loretta’s asking what happened. “Don’t ask me!” I said in a panic. “I know next to nothing about spiders.” So did mom arachnid give birth the second she hit the floor when her sac broke open? Appears that way.
Watching those little black dots crawling in all directions, I immediately felt guilty. How would I ever reunite them with mom who was probably trying to get back inside? (Motherly instincts are powerful, you know.) So Loretta told me to put a paper towel on the tile to get the spiders to crawl onto it.
Let me tell ya, it was like trying to round up, well…a bunch of freaked out baby spiders. I only managed to save 6 of them. Hopefully those babies found mom outside and are now living together under my pink azalea bush. Yeah, let’s go with that.
Sadly, many of the others perished on my kitchen floor — unless they simply played dead. If so, I fell for it. So in the near future when I see a spider cruising across my kitchen floor, I’ll tell myself it’s one of the surviving few. No doubt someday I’ll awaken with it crawling across my face but I’ll refrain from smashing it against my cheek.
I am, after all, a pacifist…albeit a hypocritical one.