I like to think of myself as a fairly self-sufficient woman. I’ve never needed a man to take care of me. I’m stronger than the average woman and I’m not neurotic. So my behaviour over the last few days has come as a bit of a surprise to me.
Shaun is away on a conference. He’s been gone for several days now. My weirdness started on the very first day. It wasn’t really my fault.
It was the ants.
I went to feed the cats and noticed lots of ants around their food bowl. This has happened before – Auckland has a lot of ants. In the past I’ve told Shaun and the next day the ants are gone. He has some magic ant slaughtering liquid that he bought online from an ant exterminator. He puts into some traps that he made out of plastic containers.
I wasn’t sure of the exact process so I went for a slightly older school method of putting the cat bowl in a tray of water to create a moat. That worked for a while but the cats dropped bits of biscuit onto the floor, resulting in a feeding frenzy. I got a cloth and wiped up the hoards of ants. That turned out to be a mistake. I have heard that ants let off scent when they are killed to warn other ants not to come near. Apparently it’s true and these particular ants have a lot of it. The low-end genocide caused the entire room to smell like raw sewage. Not conducive to eating, even if you are a cat.
So I decided to bite the bullet and find the extermination water. I filled a trap – a small plastic jar with a lid and holes drilled in the sides. I don’t get exactly how it works as according to the instructions on the bottle, the ants are supposed to drink some of the poison and then take it back to their ant lair. It is clearly apparent to even the stupidest of people that the ants climb into the jar, fall into the liquid and drown. But I did it anyway because to be fair to Shaun, he does get results.
After filling the trap I lay down to watch TV. For about 5 minutes. Then I got worried about the cats and the trap. If it got knocked over, the liquid would pour out and Julio has a reputation for drinking random liquid that he finds lying around (sometimes very handy – other times not so much). So I went and constructed a hut around the trap with cardboard boxes and went back to lie down.
Then I heard the cats playing on the hut and got freaked out again. I went and taped the hut together so that it wouldn’t fall apart, revealing the traps. The next time I lay down it occurred to me that if an ant didn’t fall into the trap and drown, but somehow managed to drink some poison and then make it’s way back to the lair, that one of the cats might eat it en route, therefore ingesting the poison. If he ate enough of the poisoned ants, he may die himself. And that wouldn’t be good.
I spent the night getting up and down constucting covered passageways to cover the trails of ants. All I succeeded in doing was attracting more attention from the cats.
I’ve given up. I am self-sufficient as long as there are no ants around.