Tuesday, April 27, 2010

opening day

Happiness is hunting moths with Willow!

Today was the official start of moth hunting season and Willow was rearing to go. I had spotted a moth on the front porch earlier that evening so we started there.

The routine goes as follows: the first one to spot the moth calls out to alert the other so both are focused on the same prey. Usually the moth is high off the ground so my job is to give it a gentle tap to get it flying lower. Willow tracks it and when it gets too low, she pins it with her paw and carefully brings it to her mouth. Then comes the quick snarf followed by a look of delight. We're then ready for the next one.

This night the first moth was a wussy moth (technical speak for a small, easy to capture moth). I assisted in the hunt several times by knocking the moth lower. Willow made a few attempts but then Nahum stole her joy and made the kill. Willow was devastated.

Before she could linger too long in self-pity the second moth appeared - this one was a prized giant moth, practically a small bird! Willow's eyes became big saucers as she tracked the moth's every move. The tension on the porch rose with the sound of her hunting cackle, the moth's fear evident. Willow boldly pushed the other cats aside to get first crack at the prey. This moth's preservation instinct was strong as it remained near the ceiling fluttering with wild abandon as it tried to cheat death's call. One more gentle assist with the moth stick and wham! - the death blow was swift. Theo appeared out of no where and ended it.

Willow was crushed. Twice now she missed her prize. No amount of consoling helped to clear the disappointment from her normally cheerful little face. I could think of only one thing to do - check out the hunting conditions on the back porch. Sadly no more bugs were to be found. Willow leaves the first day of moth season with the thrill of the chase but is unable to bag the big moth.

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