My landlord is doing a small repair project in my apartment this week, so Geoff has very kindly taken the cats to his condo for a while. I was there on Tuesday and Melly was happy as a clam, running around at breakneck pace and rolling gleefully on the thick carpets. Scarlett was still a little uneasy from the trip, but she was clearly thrilled to get lots more snuggle time with Geoff. (Text message received from Geoff: "Scarlett just drooled on my lap.")
When I came home yesterday, it took a few seconds before I realized I didn't have to edge through the door to prevent feline escape. It was liberating to leave the door ajar while I got the mail, and freeing to leave the chewables (hairpins, headphones, cables) out in the open instead of hiding them from Melly. But the apartmet was, and is, eerily still. It's unsettling to be going about my business without a cat on my lap, or creepily watching me, or trying to eat my hair.
Aside from the disorienting lack of feline company, there is another problem resulting from the cats' absence: spiders. Melly, as you know, is a ruthless assassin of arachnids, and although spider limbs can frequently be found scattered about the floor (Melly prefers to snack only on the middle bit), I didn't realize just how much she was doing to keep the population in check. It had been weeks since I'd seen a live one, but in the first five minutes after I got home from work yesterday--this was after less than 48 hours of catlessness--I found two Tegenaria duellica, also known as the giant house spider.
Now, small house spiders and spiders that live outside don't bother me in the least, but Tegenaria duellica gives me the willies. We did not have them where I grew up, so I was utterly unprepared the first time I saw one in Seattle--in the shower I had just stepped into. It was a particularly vulnerable moment of horror, and I've been terrified of them ever since. Therefore, it was very exciting when Melly demonstrated her enthusiasm for dispatching these fearsome beasts, although my appreciation for her talents is much greater now that I am under siege!*
The two spiders I found are each trapped under a glass on the kitchen floor. I'm not sure what to do with them and am considering leaving them there until Melly gets back.
*This might be a slight exaggeration.