It is officially Fall.
Fall amuses me for many reasons.
The squirrel thingy though still annoyingly cheerful, is constantly soaked by rain and blown by a chill northern wind. I can see him from my bay window, holding on for his dear useless life while the wind blows his tree to and fro like a teeter totter gone mad.
The firebox thingy is turned on nightly for my basking pleasure.
The hours of darkness have been increased giving us more time for nocturnal mischief.
Wet shoes and boots are left by the front door offering us more opportunities for hairball concealment.
But the thing that amuses me the most about this time of year, is the annual migration of the eight leggers.
Every year as the outdoor temperature begins to drop, eight leggers of all shapes, sizes and degrees of creepy crawliness, begin a migration. Just like their closest ocean dwelling relatives, the salmon, the eight leggers begin their perilous journey up the front steps of my kingdom. Driven by natural instinct to seek out the most arachnophobic two legger on the planet, they congregate outside my house and then commence a several week long siege and a final frontal assault upon the nerve thingies of my male two legger.
How can I not be amused by this?
But wait, there's more.
The annual running of the eight leggers not only causes the two legger to develop a nervous tic, accompanied by uncontrolled swatting at eight leggers both real and imagined, it also provides a rich source of protein.
Before I explain this last statement, please allow me to provide a little known fact regarding eight leggers:
They all snicker.
It is true. All arachnids snicker. The only eight legger that I have ever seen that did not snicker was one that I found in the closet and had died several months earlier. Even so, I can still hear his ghost snickering on quiet nights. They snicker because they are all basically evil. It is a fact of nature that all evil things snicker, ergo: all eight leggers snicker.
Back to the migration:
Once we hear the snickering of the eight leggers congregating in my yard, Me and my fellow felines line up like bear thingies on the shores of an Alaskan riverbed. Ivan is usually stationed right next to the front door. (The two leggers believe he is always there just to greet them when they return home from work) Being big and agility challenged, this is the best spot for him to catch the biggest and dumbest of the incoming eight leggers.
Besides eating them, Ivan enjoys playing a game he calls "Let's Eat Half of Their Legs And Watch Them Crawl In Circles". This game consists of Ivan eating four of their eight legs and then watching them crawl in circles. I once tried to get him to eat seven of their legs and play "Let's Eat Seven of Their Legs And Watch Them Hop" but numbers higher than five confuse Ivan and he lost interest.
Tiger Lily waits behind Ivan and whines about Ivan's spidey thumping technique around large mouthfuls of crunchy, mushy yumminess.
In the past, I have always waited in the hallway to trample the enthusiasm of the craftier eight leggers that thought they had made it through the gauntlet and survived to snicker another day. However, with the addition of my newest minion, Jaq, I have decided that a change in strategy is in order. Jaq has taken my position in the hallway, She is very stealthy and given her coloration, she blends quite well with the hardwood floor. The eight leggers never know what smacked them.
I myself will wait in the bedroom. Any eight legger making it that far deserves mercy. I will give most of them safe passage to the two leggers bed. I will direct a few to take up residence in the light thingy above the bed. I may even allow one or two to audition for the role of "bathroom spider".
Of course I'll munch my share, but I find that a live eight legger can be much more amusing than a digested one.