Suicidal spider cures and the post-Christmas lurgy

The last few weeks have been a bit of a blur at Chez Titflasher, what with the usual runup to festivities, visits, getting the flu two days after Christmas, and being out for the count until the 4th.  I am still trying to rid myself of the lovely chest infection which came in about halfway through.

As the more interesting symptoms (neck boils and hallucinations amongst others – I was beginning to think I had caught the plague) subsided, I was plunged into a manic race researching a potential job, attending an interview on Christmas Eve, mugging upon the company in between bouts of fever, staggering off on new year’s eve to do an undercover visit and then attending a second interview on the 5th.  My winter/spring cleaning has progressed no further and hoovering was done on hands and knees over several hours and between coughing fits.

The weather has got substantially warmer since Christmas and we are now snowless but certainly not frostless. It is still cold, damp and icy up until about midday.  So I was very surprised to find spiders alive and well outdoors.  I have a few which I nuture in the conservatory and whilst a few have succumbed to the cold or old age, I have quite a few still knocking about.

I have however never seen spiders outdoors at this time of year.  Half-grown, they scurry about under the dead leaves on the lawn.  Food is very scarce and I am worried that they are not old enough yet to mate and not big enough to survive the next few months and this may drastically affect the population come Springtime. I suspect that changes in the weather (and last year’s hard winter) may have led to late breeding.



I have also noticed a huge increase in the numbers that are plunging into the foxes’ water bowl.  I am fishing out between six and ten a day.  Call me weird, but I like spiders.  They are hard working, intelligent and great survivors. Whilst I wouldn’t pick anything barehanded that is likely to give me a good nip, only the very large (as M says, “the ones with boots on”) make me pause.  And I hate finding dead spider floaters. With all the moisture about, they can’t be coming into the bowl hoping for a drink and the foxes don’t get anything added to their water that might attract them. I have also moved the bowl several times since this started, in case there was a particular place that the spiders congregated.  No luck – I am reduced to fishing out pathetic, small, crumpled bodies every morning and evening.

By the old spoon and kitchen towel method (pick up any still moving or which look like they are unconscious instead of dead with spoon, drain excess water and place on kitchen towel to dry out) I have managed to save a huge total of 3.  As there is a lot of water about, last night I took the water out of the bowl and had a think.  Human food colouring might upset the foxes’ tummies so I am going to have a hunt for some animal-friendly colouring just in case it is the water’s transparency that is the issue.  However, I do suspect it is something to do with the weather, as I have had a water bowl in the garden for years and although there are a few spider casualties every summer, I have seen nothing on this scale before.  If anyone has any other ideas, I’d be pleased to hear them.

In the meantime, the cats (who have had limited outsides because I was darned if I was going to try and keep an eye on them when I was staggering about, seeing things that weren’t there) have trashed the house even further, found new uses for my internet cables (but Mommi, the modem makes such a nice noise when we push it off onto the floor) and discovered Mewsie’s penchant for well … mewing.

As previously mentioned, he chirps or meeps whenever he feels he is being paid attention, or wants attention and is by far the noisiest of the cats.  Merely mentioning his name will get you a full chirrup, combined with über-cute rolls onto his back or a snuggle at your feet.  It is very endearing but the cats (Arthur, Merlin and Poppet in particular) have clocked onto this.  I heard a whole lot of brrreeping from the front room a few nights ago, so went in to investigate.  Mewsie was sat in front of the fire and the others were, one by one, stretching out gentle paws to touch him.  Every time he was patted, he meeped, which was clearly providing huge entertainment value.  A stern word from me had no effect and eventually he found refuge under the bed.

More fun was had the following days as the others picked upon it and he was pawed every time he walked past anyone.  They had their very own live squeaky toy.  The net result is a much quieter cat and less fun all round.  Clearly, it does not pay to be too cute in this house!


About titflasher

Writer, blogger, animal activist, people activist, dream-catcher maker, mommy to 9 cats and a roving band of foxes ... Blog name comes from my father's suggestion for the title of my autobiography ... after my mother's and my awful habit of flashing whenever the security police took our photo in the dark old days of apartheid South Africa. I love nature, including creepy crawlies and people, find life fascinating and frustrating and have two terrible weaknesses - nictotine and animals in distress ... can't abide the latter situation and can't give up the former. I'm Pagan but not anti-Christian, funny but quite serious, light-hearted but can be annoying. I am warm-hearted until someone p*sses on me too much, then I get soggy and even. Feel free to link me but all the words on these pages is copyrighted, so copy it and take the credit and I will find you and slap you upside the head, hard. The blog is probably best read via category as there is loads on here already, and I just got started :-)
This entry was posted in Animal antics, Londonish life, Wild Thing. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Suicidal spider cures and the post-Christmas lurgy

  1. Paula Ann Walker says:

    LOL. You are the strangest, funniest woman I have ever known. Going to such lengths to save ………. spiders! I like spiders too, and refuse to kill them, but I have tried resuscitation. 🙂 Too funny. But lovely Sam.

    Good to hear you are recovering from your horrible illness.

  2. Paula Ann Walker says:

    That comment should have read, I have NEVER tried resuscitation. 🙂

  3. warriet says:

    love it, the cats and the spiders!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s