Peevish Pen

Ruminations on reading, writing, rural living, retirement, aging—and sometimes cats. And maybe a border collie or other critters.

© 2006-2018 All rights reserved

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Location: Rural Virginia, United States

I'm an elderly retired teacher who writes. Among my books are Ferradiddledumday (Appalachian version of the Rumpelstiltskin story), Stuck (middle grade paranormal novel), Patches on the Same Quilt (novel set in Franklin County, VA), Them That Go (an Appalachian novel), Miracle of the Concrete Jesus & Other Stories, and several Kindle ebooks.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Mantis Rescue

Buford the deaf cat is a mighty hunter. He’s the best mouser we have. Unfortunately, he brings his work home with him. Today, for instance, he left a decapitated rat on the doormat. Odds are good he decapitated the rat on the doormat, bit off a few hunks, and decided that the food inside was better. He then went to the sliding glass door where I was sure to see him and asked to get in. After he’d had his snack, he went to the back door and asked to go out. That’s when I saw his, uh, handiwork. It was still fresh. (My husband removed the corpse.)

An hour later, Buford was at the sliding glass door again. He stared intently at something and looked ready to pounce. Thinking I could save a critter, I went out and found the object of Buford’s interest—a praying mantis. It didn’t want to be picked up, but I managed to herd it onto a twig. Then I hoisted the twig into the ficus and pried the mantis off. Disgusted at the wastefulness of humans, Buford stalked away.

Mantises must like the ficus. Last year, a mantis left an egg case in its branches. Months after the ficus came indoors for the winter, dozens of little mantis babies hatched out and scurried around the den—to the delight of the resident housecats.

Anyhow, I suppose this mantis was happy to have a safe haven in the ficus. Buford wasn’t happy, though.


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