Death of a Pet

Well, not in the true sense. It’s more the death of a visitor.

I’ve had spiders that are outside of my house in the mountains. While my wife used to freak out when one got inside, she has become brave enough to dispose of them.

When I saw this guy up close how it caught the bugs, we became friends. I’d seen it before, but it was more personalized as this happened only inches away, separated by a pane of glass.

(Before thinking about writing this, I came upon this article about people killing spiders. By then, they have become a very interesting species to me so I’ve stopped any further massacre. I view them as an accomplice against real pests). The article said this:

Spider massacres like these are even more jarring when you consider that spiders and humans are not so different. Though our evolutionary paths diverged at least 530 million years ago, we share many of the same organs and body parts – such as kneecaps – and similar brain chemicals, from dopamine to adrenaline. No one has ever studied spider emotions directly, but it’s easy to imagine that they might be more relatable than you would think.   

Equally, their brains are hardly heavy on their spider shoulders (or in their legs – there sometimes isn’t room for a full brain in a spider’s head), but there’s increasing evidence that some kinds are capable of remarkably complex intellectual feats, such as planning strategic detours to trick their prey. They may also have their own unique kind of intelligence, in which they’re able to use their webs to help them think.

I could have opened the window and cleared out the webs, but one of them came every night at sunset. I watched it grow to an impressive size (I don’t know if it was male or female yet until next year if there are any hatchlings).

I even named it Fred, after an acquaintance. That personalized it for me. It became familiar as I watched Jeopardy to have Fred come to the center of it’s web, and start the nightly hunt.

I looked up what kind of spider Fred was, and I think he was a orb weaver spider.

By morning he/she was gone. It hid up in a crack in the window.

It’s been getting colder where I live and I knew it would be time to lay eggs (if Fred is female) and die. I wanted him to last as long as possible

Earlier this week, I noticed that Fred didn’t come to pay a visit. I knew where it lived and finally checked the space yesterday and he was gone. I was even going to retrieve the body and bury it, but there was nothing.

I’ll clean out the webs now and see if a progeny shows up next year. Even if it is a female, it will likely be Fred Jr.

It was traumatic for me when I lost my 3 dogs, not so much for Fred. But, I was sorry to see him go, and that short time of the night when he appeared now has a hole in it.

Life goes on.

Leave a Reply

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.