Buffy the Beetle Slayer

Living in the house we have Hector, the rat terrier who would roll over in submission for a butterfly, Spike the cat who is all white, deaf and clueless, a lizard who (I have heard) eats crickets raw (some things do not have to be seen to be believed) and Buffy, the fluffy gray and white beetle slayer.

The beetles are an inch and a half long, residents of the backyard, kin to grubs, shiny and black as my dad’s old Imperial and positively prehistoric looking. They cling with velcro tenacity to carpet, socks (ohmygod) and little cat feet, which makes them fun playmates for cats, which, it is well known, like to bring their playmates home.

Before anyone considers this a sad story, please note that Buffy does not KILL the beetles. She brings them in the house and plays with them until she gets bored and then abandons them, whereupon they make an immediate beetle line for the back door, retracing Buffy’s steps as if they’d dropped breadcrumbs. So far, they have turned up in the laundry room/closet, the bathroom, the bedroom and other places one might otherwise feel safe without shoes. One even attempted to set up camp on my bedside table last night along with all those books I have been meaning to read.

I want to write a letter to Dr. Phil or Redbook — the headline on the subsequent advisement on the can-this-relationship-be-saved article would read, Can Owner Accept This Cat’s New Relationship? Subhead: Will Cat’s Clinging Coleoptera Break up this Happy Home?

Did you know that there are more varieties of beetles than there are plants? Why would you? Why would anyone except desperate cat owners scouring the internet at 4 in the morning for answers to a fundamental question . . .

Why do we keep pets anyway?

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