AKA: Nocturnal feline chaos.
Living here in Colorado we have a number of interesting creatures that are unique to our area. Sometimes when I use the word unique and interesting they are used to describe something that is not all together pleasant but not justified to be totally eradicated. Like the common house fly, for example. They are pests and they do potentially carry disease but hey, frogs got to eat right? And we like frogs. I used to feel the same way about the Hummingbird Moths that would fly around at night in my back yard. I wouldn’t see one for weeks, only late at night when I would look for something with a flash light would I come across one of these giants. These are enormous, to imagine the size just think of a HO size train set, these would be Mothra fighting Godzilla in your little HO scale town.
Here is what Whitney Cranshaw has to say about these insects:
A family of insects (Sphingidae), when in the caterpillar stage, is known as hornworms. About two dozen species of hornworms are found in Colorado. Although all feed on leaves of various plants, most are innocuous, attracting little attention and causing little, if any, injury to garden plants. Tomato and tobacco hornworms, which feed on tomatoes and a few related plants, are an exception, being true garden pests.Adults of all hornworms turn into large moths, known as “sphinx” or “hawk” moths. Most fly at might and are rarely seen. A few species, however, fly during cloudy afternoons and at dusk when they feed at flowers in a manner similar to that of a hummingbird. -By Whitney Cranshaw, Colorado State University Cooperative Extension, Specialist in Entomology
I am sorry but I have to disagree with him on one point. They may be innocuous to plants but they are not innocent little creatures. They seem to have only one purpose in life, to be the perfect Cat toy.
To set the scene, let’s look at my peaceful household at 10pm on a Friday night. The kids are quietly playing video games and my wife is reading in bed. I, on the other hand, am out camping on the prairie with out a care in the world.
So I can only tell this tale from my wife’s point of view. One of our three Cats find the prize of the night, a Hummingbird Moth. She manages to capture it with out too much damage and runs into the house with her prize. The other cats are quite jealous and want to play with it as well, so they follow her inside. They go all over the house looking for some one to show this marvelous prize. The last place they look is the bedroom, (Why look further) and find my lovely wife nearly naked under covers in the bed. That’s when the cat runs up, jumps on to the bed and lets loose the Mothra of back yard insects.
Immediately pandemonium begins, as the other cats rush to claim the prize. Mothra starts swooping from ceiling to the bedroom window and back. The cats are rushing back and forth hoping to trade up to a new toy. Patty is yelling for the kids, and trying to get her cloths on before they come into the room. I of course am completely oblivious to this. Remember I am miles away in my Hippy Prairie Mobile.
But even if I was in bed, while it is happening, I would still probibly sleep through the whole thing.
I sleep soundly.
You can imagine that I heard all about it when I got home the next day. Yes, Mothra was still in the house, under a towel in the hallway. It was placed there, waiting for me to toss it back into the back yard. Now the cats have become much better at capturing these things and it is nearly a nightly event to be brought a nice flying toy. I keep a fishing net at the door to the garage just for such an event.
Soon the weather will be too hot for the hummingbird moth and we will have a new guest in our house.
The nearly perfect cat toy the Seven Year Cicada. I just can’t wait.