I know whereof you speak, vis à vis the greater Karma, and I applaud your efforts on behalf of which, regarding your recent Spider Incident.
Having left a trail of murdered rodents from Manhattan to Mississippi, I was finally forced to confront the error of my own ways. For some reason in the greater mystery of things, it’s been all lizards and bats since then, once a sparrow making bat-like scary moves. Roaches do not count and I emphasize that this decision is final.
I first clobbered a mouse with the short end of two by four whilst wearing rubber knee-highs for maximum protection in the three by five kitchen of a studio on Eighth Ave. I am distressed that those boots have since rotted, as I might need them again – but no, I refuse to think this way. Nancy Drew and rodents crawling over one’s person during sleep left an indelible impression on my mind at a tender age, and as my bed pillow was only nine feet from the scene of the marauding mouse, that rodent had to go, the way I saw it then. The episode was kind of like a safari, me with my gear and weapon, the difference being that as my body took up nearly the entire space of the hunting field, there was no opportunity for concealment from my prey. I was considerably concerned about this aspect of my endeavor, but remained comforted by the boots, which I figured would provide negligible traction for rodent paws in the event of a counterattack aimed at my jugular. I was patient. Two days elapsed, and I slept little. Eventually the mouse made its move and I made mine. I was glad for the boots, but not for the reason I expected. That is quite enough said about this unfortunate incident.
Years passed before the next mouse incident. In a remote cabin in the wooded area of a farm in the hills of western Virginia, I was innocently eating my supper when I became alert to the fact that the large cat was playing with a live object in the kitchen area while the small cat looked on. I have to protest at this point that my motivation was in this instance more noble, being not for my personal welfare but that of the creatures entrusted to me. The large cat was recovering from a cataract surgery, and her immune system hung in a delicate balance. That mouse screamed rabies. The fork was already in my hand, and it was though I was guided by a force from above. I am sure the mouse never knew what hit it, as I barely did myself, but the cats were surprised and dismayed by this sudden turn of events. I felt remorse, but it was too late, and besides that there was the pressing business of freeing my skewer from its very dead target. Said skewer was a high content stainless fork from Paris, so no, I did not dispose of this cutlery. A very hot water and good soap are sufficient in such a circumstance. I herein remind you of my plea, in the spirit of mother lioness, the protection of my cubs.
My role in the final act of murder was only as witness, and perhaps accomplice-after-the-fact, but it was enough to put me over the edge. It involved a boyfriend’s house in Mississippi, a very large rat, a kitchen (always a kitchen), a trap behind the stove, the absence of the boyfriend, lots of flapping about, my awakening and subsequent paralysis, a pillow over my ears. What was I supposed to do, I ask you? As the bed was approximately twelve feet from the stove, I remained trapped there until the boyfriend returned home, whence I asked him where the fuck he had been during the very dirty dealings to which I had been an unwilling witness. It was time for a clean slate, boyfriend and all.
Lizards trekked regularly into my cottage on the river twenty miles away. They were pretty when green and less noticeable when brown, depending of course on their surface. However, the morning I felt something sliding down my back just after donning my white silk robe – well, I couldn’t exactly see it, but I guarantee you it wasn’t pretty. I did catch sight of it across the room where it was flung upon my frantic de-robing. I screamed at the cats to get it, that violator of my person, in which case all bets were off.
Then I fell on my knees and sobbed. I asked the Custodian of All Creatures to forgive me and give me courage. I found a Tupperware container precisely the right size and a stiff piece of cardboard, and hunted that lizard under beds and behind chests until I was able to gently contain it, slide the cardboard under, and holding my contraption firmly, apologize profusely to this lizard for my rash and unseemly behavior as I ferried it to the deck outside. I placed the whole thing far from my door, then, as the creature did not emerge in the space now presenting, I used a bamboo stick and reached from the safety of my doorway to flip the lid off. Still it was still. I checked back at five-minute intervals until, miraculously, that lizard was gone.
Ever after, this was my project with all lizards who found their way unawares into my cottage, whereupon they were inevitably traumatized by the large cat, small cat looking on. I found many lizard tails released in the scuffle, many tail-less as well as tailed lizards, paralyzed in the gaze of the cat. She never would kill them, only toy. Thus I was involuntarily enmeshed in this program of lizard salvation, sad for the reptile and sad for the cat who had been deprived of her natural joy by my unnatural intervention. It was my burden, and I bore it. When I left that cabin, I took the carcass of a lizard I had failed and a few tails with me, as a reminder.
As I have exhausted myself with this difficult recounting, I will have to leave the bat for the future. I will just say that even a tiny bat breathing heavily from the corner of the dormer in one’s Family Home, having just released itself from one’s lace curtain, is a creature uglier than anyone can imagine, a hairy puffing winged frog with unmistakably malevolent eyes. Nonetheless, we have a mission, and that is our duty to accomplish, without injury, even if there are misadventures and close calls requiring bicycle helmets, tennis racquets, and butterfly nets.
Regarding spiders, please know that it is very bad luck to kill one, and so I congratulate you doubly on your decision to leave yours alive.
Your sister unarmed,
(Our Maiden of True Contrition)