The other day I heard a terrible yelling coming from Mum’s bedroom. Dropped what I was doing and ran to see what on earth was going on.
She was a quivering, jabbering screeching wreck! I looked at her with big eyes – whatever was the matter? She pointed at a little splodge on the duvet.
It was a spider. Not a particularly big spider, but not exactly small and sweet looking either. One of those hairy dudes that look like it might want to pounce on a person.
Of course I know that’s complete nonsense – they are a lot more afraid of us than we are of them. Mum was heading off to the kitchen to get the Doom. I stopped her and told her to rather make a cup of tea, sit in the lounge and drink it. I would deal with the spider.
Okay – I am not a big fan of spiders either but I really don’t like killing stuff, so I yanked up my big girl broekies and grovelled out a spider busting kit.
Very simple really – a thin piece of cardboard and a clear plastic bakkie.
First I snuck up and slapped that bowl over the spider. It needs to be clear preferably because then you can see where the spider is (on the bowl or on the surface) when you slide the piece of cardboard carefully under the bowl. There is no point in saving the spider and knocking off a couple of her legs in the process.
Once you have the spider trapped between the cardboard and the bowl, you lift the whole thing up and take the little intruder outside. I like using a plastic bowl because sometimes the spider tends to get a bit friendly and wants to run up your arm when you open up the bowl. Then you can toss it into the garden and run away shrieking!
Mum thought I was very brave.
Did you know that the 11th of October is International Day of the Girl Child! We get to have our own day – how cool. This is a pretty good time in history to be a girl too. We are encouraged to do anything as far as careers go – the sky is the limit.
Although this is not the case for everybody, in some countries girls and women are severely oppressed. Let’s spare a thought for them please.
You always hear funny stories about people moving house and having problems with their cats disappearing and finding their own way back to the old house. It’s pretty common and there are even movies about the topic.
Well… my friend Ginny was moving house and they have 2 cats. She was really worried about those cats doing something silly and getting lost in a new neighbourhood.
She did some research on the topic and found out that the general advice was to move the cats last. In other words – you move all your stuff and then when things are a bit sorted – you bring in the cats. Then you keep them in a room for two weeks. After that time you slowly let them out for a bit every day until they are used to the place and feel happy there.
Whilst this might work for some people – it is rather silly on many different levels. Firstly – when you move house you have to get out of the old house and don’t really have time to sort things out first. The cats have to come into the muddle and mess too. Also – you don’t always have a spare room to keep them in.
The vet recommended a product called Feliway Classic. It’s a bit expensive but it really worked. It’s a plug-in diffuser that contains pheromones. When cats feel happy in their environment they rub their cheeks on things leaving catmail messages which we are undetectable to you and me, but convey a good and happy message to other cats. This stuff gave the same message to the cats. It lasts for a month.
It really worked too. She did keep them in a room, but only for a few days. They slept most of the time and were quite content. Then she let them out of the room and they walked through the house, sniffing everything. But their tails were up and they felt confident. That was the end of the room!
After living in a complex for years – they both sat transfixed at one window – watching cat TV. There are trees in the yard and they are full of birds fluttering around the place.
They are both very happy and have settled in well. Our animals are precious and we should ensure that they are safe and cared for at all times.
Remember at the beginning of the year we posted a calendar – one that had all sorts of interesting days on it?
Well on Friday the 3rd of March we celebrate World Wildlife Day.
Living in South Africa we are rather lucky because we have a wide range of furry creatures that are available for us to see – if we can get to a game park that is. Otherwise there is always the zoo. Of course, it’s not the same to see animals in cages – even if our zoos have nice big cages. Not like some of those horrendous places I have read about overseas.
We are also fortunate in the way that there are lots of bushy areas that contain smaller beasties like snakes, mongoose, dassies and other little critters that you would not see if you lived in a concrete jungle of a city. Not sure I would really appreciate seeing a snake too much though.
My friend Ginny lives near the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve in Pretoria and they have things like Zebra and other types of large buck roaming freely around – right in the middle of suburbia. She gets to go hiking around the reserve most Sundays and says it keeps her sane.
In the East Rand area there is the Marievale Bird Sanctuary. I know that birds are perhaps not as exciting as big animals but they are still very pretty to look at. Many kids are not so fond of bird watching because we’re supposed to be quiet otherwise the birds get scared and fly away. What’s nice about Marievale is that it does not cost anything to visit, and apart from the picnic area, there is also a nice walk around the wetlands to bird hides. They say there are 267 different types of birds there. Sjoe! That’s a lot! I have also heard that there are otters in the rivers – but sadly I’ve never seen one. In the summer it is open from 05h30 in the morning and only closes at 19h30.
Then there is the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve in Heidelberg which is a bit further away. You can spot the following critters in there… zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebeest mountain reedbuck, common duiker, steenbok, grey duiker, baboon, oribi, blesbok, springbok and kudu. It’s not that expensive either – R22 per person and R11 per car.