Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Causing cardiac arrest in caterpillars

I don't do it on purpose.  It's just that in my capacity as impulsive animal saviour, I may, on the rare occasion, leave them with PTSD. 

There you are, a woolly bear caterpillar or a fat earth worm, trying to make your way across the asphalt bike path, when you suddenly find yourself rolled, pushed, nay verily, road-rashed to safety.

It's fall and it rains a lot. There are wee furry caterpillars and earth worms all over the freaking place. Were my finger nails long, I could use them as pincers to grasp the fur of the woolly bear caterpillar (or the full width of the earth worm) and lift it into my hand.  However, my finger nails are not long, which is why I generally make several failed attempts in my catch and release manoeuvre.   I end up having to roll them around a bit before I can gain purchase upon their carcasses and then I walk them over to the grass and set them back a good 4 feet from the bike path.  I worry that after I release the wee furry/slimy little bastards their compatriots have to rush over with wee defibrillators to stave off the cardiac arrest I've set them headlong into.

"I was just out for my Tuesday stroll... heading to the Country Style for coffee and a bagel...  From out of nowhere, a great, hulking shadow appeared above me.   I was squeezed and lifted a good centimeter off the ground before I was dropped - 4 times.  Then I'm rolled like some cheap carpet, over and over again before I find myself in its hideous grasp - travelling at MACH 10 to the grass."

Oh God.  I'm probably seeing the same caterpillar over and over.  A poor woolly bear caterpillar that struggles to make its way back onto the path after I've moved it.  It's probably trying to cross the freaking road.  And there I am, every morning, forcing it to re-enact its very own version of Groundhog Day.  I'm a monster!!

I just have to streamline my rescue process.  I could spray the animal with some sort of topical anasthetic - you know, to sedate it.  If I laminate some small pieces of very thin cardstock - I could use those as rescue boards for the transport, getting them underneath the body so that they don't have to be rolled so much.  I could play Holsts's Neptune the Mystic, not the ominous beginning part, but later, like 6 minutes in when the angelic chorus starts... I could shroud myself in an ethereal cloak - so that the beast believes it's having a religious encounter.  Then, and only then, may I transport it safely across the road...  To a caterpillar playground/spa...   I may have to leave the house earlier in the mornings. 

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