Even if it results in my contracting malaria or some other nature-related death. At some point I enjoyed the outside world, and to an extent, I still do. I love going the beach. I love soaking up the sun. I greatly appreciate varieties of foliage and the carbon-reducing part they play in this world of ours. The greenery I appreciate from afar. One, I don’t want to kill it, as my black thumb is wont to do. Two, there are bugs and animals and THINGS in there.
So today, as I took my shift as cat-watcher while Fatty sat contentedly amongst the vast foliage my mom has decorating her lawn (she is a firm believer in foliage), I was eaten alive by mosquitoes, had a minor heart attack when a snake slithered out suddenly in my direction and very close to me (to be clear, I am not afraid of snakes, and having lived in FL my whole life, I know what black racers look like and that they are not harmless and that they are more scared of me than I am of them, but having one appear suddenly when you are not expecting them…), dodged bees flitting about collecting nectar (I AM afraid of bees, though…I will make every effort not to kill one as I know they are much more helpful to the world than they are harmful but I do not extend the same courtesy to wasps, also, there was a giant super-sized bee that apparently is a bumblebee but in 33 years of life I have never seen one), witnessed some weird leaf bug and admired (from afar) giant caterpillar.
Fatty minds none of this. He just settles himself amongst it all and gets cozy. He’s happy there. My discomfort is worth that. I certainly wouldn’t brave that for a human.
I was under the impression Nature and I had an understanding. I would recycle and do other things to reduce my carbon footprint and in return, Nature would leave me alone to view it quietly from inside, or on the beach. Nature is not holding up its end of the bargain.
- The boyfriend saved a baby lizard from the ravenous cats.
- I made the boyfriend save a baby dragonfly that was in the house instead of killing it.
- At Big Brown, where I work at night loading packages into an igloo-like pod that will later be moved onto an airplane for transport, that container was filled with crickets. People ship those. And I keep forgetting to google to see what animal one feeds them to. One of my co-workers suggested fish, which I’m pretty sure is ridiculous. Lizards?
- While loading said cricket container, I was hassled by wasps. I really hate wasps. In fact, I dislike most flying insects as they are rather unpredictable and can end up in your hair. Strike 2 is those that sting or bite. Bees get a reprieve because they do useful things, like pollenate and make honey. Wasps and hornets, eff you. I will Raid you till the cows come home. Anyway, we discovered that the reason for wasp hassling was that there were 2 GIANT MFing NESTS above my head. Gah.
- At home doing work on the computer, picked up my phone off the desk to discover there were ants on it. Looked at desk to discover there were ants ALL OVER IT. When it rains a lot here, sugar ants find some place of entry and come inside my house. They have hit both upstairs bathrooms and the pantry downstairs but why they were all over my desk is a mystery to me. Ant bait. Sorry.
- After discovering the ant colony, I looked down next to my desk to discover a pincher bug.
- Silverfish in my bathroom. Those things are DISGUSTING. Sprayed it with hairspray, assumed that sufficed, turned around to see that it was gone. Fast forward to yesterday, when I pulled my clothes out of the hamper only to have what I think was the same silverfish squiggle out of the dirty clothes over my foot. BARF BARF BARF.
- Then there have been the not-annoying-but-amusing nature incidents, like the random turtle the other week and yesterday I saw a squirrel run by with most of a donut in its month. We have CRAZY squirrels.
Yes, I am vegan, and yes, I am all for animal rights, but I reserve MY right to my personal, nature-free space. LET ME BE!
Sometimes I’m half tempted to let my cats out just to see how they would really interact with other animals. They’ll spend hours cackling at a non-moving lizard just outside the window. Taco stares down Stella, the big Boxer that lives a few houses down (she’s actually afraid of him, this amuses me).
The other day there was a random turtle on the sidewalk. Snapper turtle.
Those things have bigger claws than the cats do and a dinosaur tail. The cats didn’t see it, but Stella sure did. Her owner was holding her back while we studied it, and probably for good reason. I think “snapper turtle” is an apt name.
Anyway, I occasionally wonder how my spoiled little brats would react without a window barring them from actual contact and smell. Would they be so big and bad? Or would they cower in the corner like Taco does when people he doesn’t know come into the house? The bunnies that eat the grass outside in the morning don’t look all that concerned. Nor does the giant neighborhood stray that comes by to ‘bow up every once in awhile. My guys act all big and mighty but I’m guessing they really wouldn’t know what to do with themselves. I’m fairly certain they would starve within days. Their natural instincts have been replaced by recognizing me and the boyfriend as the giver of food. I’m certain they have lost all intrinsic knowledge of how to catch their own food. With how much they fight, they have a better chance of catching and eating each other. I think Moosh would win. He’s bigger, even though he lets Taco push him out of the way to eat his food.
I will give them this — they are excellent bug chasers.
But, as the crazy cat lady and overbearing kitty mommy that I am, my fear of them getting outside FAR outweighs my curiosity, so they’re safe…for now. Until someone pukes on my brand new sneakers. Then their asses are on their own.