3 Stick Insects And Other Stories

Posted By on 31st August 2020

‘Every day’s a school day’ that’s what Peter used to say, and he was right too. Why? Well, I’ve just spent the last 2 weeks learning how to look after 3 Indian Stick Insects. Feel free to laugh, everyone I’ve told so far has found it highly amusing.

Why, I hear you cry, would I be doing such a thing at my time of life? Aren’t 3 cats enough to keep me busy?

Well, the stick insects were a surprise birthday present for my niece’s little boy.

They were going on holiday for the preceding 2 weeks and asked if I would look after the little critters whilst they were away, then deliver them to the caravan as a surprise for the final (birthday) weekend.

“Of course,” I said, after all, how hard could it be? I once had 5 cats.

Harder than you might expect, it turns out.

The little beggars are well named, masters of disguise, staying stock-still for hours amongst the sticks of privet, which is their favourite food. One day it took me until 6.45pm to spot all 3 of them.

This is the only photo I managed to take.

Towards the end of the first week, it was time to put fresh privet in the tank. I’d devised a method I thought would work, but was surprised how much they moved once they were being handled.

All went well, or so I thought, until I noticed one of them lying on his back in the corner of the tank, legs in the air. I was horrified. How could this have happened? Had I scared him to death? Was it a heart attack? I felt so guilty and responsible.

Then it occurred to me that some insects do ‘play dead’ when they feel threatened, could that be happening here? If it was then he was very good at it. I was convinced.

Imagine my delight, when, the following morning, he was up and about. Such a relief.

A few days later another of the little blighters managed to get out, still puzzled as to how he did it, but fortunately I spotted him sitting on the outside of the tank!

Another thing that puzzles me is, why cats prefer drinking out of muddy puddles? Mine have fresh water in the house but prefer the dish in the garden meant for birds and hedgehogs.

However, the other day I caught Grayson drinking out of the sawn-off stump of the rotary clothes drier!

I give up!

In other cat news, Isla has had her 2nd litter and was whisked off to the vet for a 3-month contraceptive jab to give her chance to wean the kittens before being spayed.

Which is probably as well because Harry Potter has discovered he has hormones and doesn’t seem to understand the concept of incest, fortunately Isla has a mean left hook.

But he’s still a big kid at heart.

The hope is that eventually they will be able to catch him and get him neutered too, but I suspect that’s just another story waiting to happen, because as we know HP is a character.

And, as if to prove my point, the young furry wizard has ‘one white one and one black one’, need I say more? I could burst into a rugby song, but it’s too early in the morning!

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