This bit below the asterisks an old post of mine from elsewhere, which I’m resurrecting for @SugarSpiceGay, who I managed to talk into getting a spider-catcher last night.
See, the thing is, I used to be afraid of spiders – properly, really “don’t ever go into the living room again” afraid. And this house TEEMED with the bastards. The big ones. Some fast, some slow. Some browner, some blacker. The place hadn’t been lived in for a while, when I moved here. You could feel the sadness of it in the walls. The cellar bristled with all the things that move in, in the absence of people. Chief among those tribes was the spiders, and up they came and up they came, like a nightmare army scuttling purposefully down the middle of the hall each night, after dark.
(I never did work out what the purpose of their commute was. I’m going to assume there was some sort of excellent spider-pub in the front garden.)
And what do you DO with them? They don’t die easily. They’re big enough that if you crush one, there are recognisable organs left afterwards, and you have to have something very long to squash them with because THEY MIGHT TOTALLY RUN ON YOU. And if you try to poison them you end up with one twitching horribly in the middle of the kitchen ALL NIGHT because you (OK, I) was too chicken to kill it properly.
If it helps, I feel really, really shitty about that and always will. Sorry little guy. You are one of my three regrets in life.
Anyway, then I got the cats. The cats eat spiders. Eventually. After torturing them for as long as they are still fun to torture. They pick them up, walk around with them in their mouths and spit them out. They bap at them. Sometimes they eat them. But chiefly, Anton (who is the main spider killer) uses a very bizarre method where he puts his nose on the spider’s body – quite gently it seems – and simply trails the spider around like that as it desperately tries to get away. If it tries to hide, he hooks it out of its hiding place. Wherever it goes, the cat’s nose is on it.
It doesn’t take long. The spiders mostly seem to die of fright and exhaustion. Most do it within only a few minutes of dashing about. They just … stop. And that’s the end of them. When I find a whole one dead in the morning in the middle of a room – and I often do – I know it was Anton’s doing.
It looks like an absolutely horrible end, to me. So I bought a spider catcher so that I could rescue my worst enemy from my best friend.
The bit below was written the day it was delivered.
On the way home this evening I was carrying my spider-catcher. Not because I walk around carrying it, but because it arrived at work this morning and I had to get it home. I was coming down the lane, and what crossed my path but a big, chunky spider, romping along purposefully. It was just the sort I’d bought the catcher for. The catcher in my hand.
I slipped the cover of the catcher off and squeezed the trigger. The soft bristles spread in the damp night air. I was ready.
“Christ, Bob, what happened to you?”
“Maude, I … I dono what happened. I was walking home and there was a thing up in the air. Green it was. Round. These gigantic white filaments came down all around me. Suddenly I was lifted. I couldn’t move and there was a sound, like laughter, from the stars. I don’t remember what happened next. The air was rushing past me … I could feel my heart beating against my exoskeleton … I must’ve passed out. I came to next to the kerb. My knees are bruised. Maude, I was so frightened.” *sobs*
“Oh Bob. Bob.”
*cue eight-legged hug*
I took my finger off the trigger and put the cover back on. Poor little bugger – what sort of a bummer of a Friday night would that be? I couldn’t do it.