Posted by: canthold | January 29, 2008

Pet Projects

I have a cat on my lap and it’s just heaven. Getting a cat after losing my last two – one after 23-years and one after 5 – I’ve gotten back that thing that I’ve been missing. I’m really a cat person, after all. My love for Mooch doesn’t change anything, though I feel like I’m cheating on him with Pearl.

Crazy Dog

We still don’t have a rabbit, but the house seems to be leaning in that direction. I don’t know if it’s a good thing or a bad thing, but my biggest objection that rabbit poop would cover our floors was obliterated with the realization that my dog would go around eating it – and therefore I wouldn’t have to clean it up. (Gross! But thank you.)

My oldest daughter got an Ant Farm for Christmas this year. This to me is the next worst thing to getting a spider farm, but I’ve tried to keep an open mind. Really, I have. Coincidentally, we started getting a few stray ants in our bathroom when it rained. There were only a couple scout-ants at the beginning and I caught them for the farm. They swiftly crawled out the two tiny air-holes at the top of the kit. I put tape over the holes and my youngest and I caught a few more while her sister was at school.

Of these five or six, one started digging and ended up in the middle of the gel. The others crowded to the lid and tried to squeeze their way out of the tightly sealed farm. I felt bad for the critters and freed them. The diligent digger died from exhaustion finally.

I tried again to add some more ants. By now after having enough rain in our little town to require the TV stations to BEEP BEEP the warning from the Emergency Broadcast System for the flash flood warnings, we had enough ants to make filling a farm with about twenty of the buggers no problem at all. In fact, we had ants wandering around our bathroom floor like tourists walking around Florence. They didn’t form neat lines and I still don’t know what they were after since there is no food in there and they’d get more water from the outside.

I added eight to ten of the poor bastards and they promptly died. Several tried to make their escape by tunneling through the gel, only to die of exhaustion, but most of them died up at the top trying to squeeze out the lid.

I have no idea what’s going on, but it’s clear that my bathroom experiment is a failure. There is no pesticide that I know of, though I haven’t ruled it out. Perhaps they need much more air than I would have imagined. Maybe they aren’t bright enough to realize they can eat the gel. The gel may have harded or dried out too much for them. Maybe I should have let me daughter have all the fun with the ants and killed the bathroom invaders at first site.

All I know is that now I have a hard time facing the inevitable. I have a bathroom full of ants and I need to get rid of them. After seeing them as potential pets, they’ve taken on a whole new meaning for me and I’m quite sad at the thought of doing them in. I hate ants and was never quite on board with this project in the first place. Now I have an ant problem and need to muster up the cold-hearted-killer in me to put them out of my misery. Easier said than done.

Meanwhile, my daughter wants me to send away for the Harvester Ants included in the kit and I have to face up to having a shipment of foreign ants arrive at my house, the emotional roller-coaster that I’ll experience when they all die – and they will die, sooner or later – and the rabbit is looking a lot better.



  1. And die they will. My neighbor got her son an ant farm with tunnels that went to different wings – it was very elaborate. Anyway, about a month later they had all croaked. It was gory.

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