Field of Science

Ants! Cats!

Ants! You really do have to admire them! Although tiny they function as a super organism, and when you've spent any time in the tropics you begin to appreciate their ubiquity and diversity.  The field station where TPP does research and teaches claims upwards of 500 species live there.  Up here in the temperate zone they aren't quite so plentiful, or so diverse, but we do seem to have lots of them around, and you forget their corporate determination.  Unfortunately one of our kitty girls is both a nibbler and a damned messy eater, so lots of little crumbs are left even if you have a member of your household staff watch over her bowl constantly.  Now the trick will be to find the chink in our stucco armor, actually more like finding which chink in the stucco is the problem area; so it is with old houses.  Actually just so identified the location and it's half way around the house from where the ant problem is manifest. These are little (1/8th inch long), black bitey ants and based on the traffic pattern a nest of a few billion jillion ants probably resides beneath the stucco where it has somewhat detached from the lath beneath (the problem is on the house entropy list, but maybe needs to be moved up), but finding a stucco person, a good one, is not easy as the craft has largely disappeared.  The houses last pretty well, but nobody builds them this way any more.
And then to buy some time you decide to relocate the cat dining area just a few feet, to remove the attraction of food, and put down a nice place mats for messy eaters and not quite so messy eaters, and what a problem you create.
You want us to eat where? But I eat over here, where I am now. In unison: Which bowl is mine (although relative positions and distance were maintained)? Where did my bowl go?  Why? Why? Why? Ants? What ants? Gads, somethings are in my bowl!  This is intolerable!  Who runs this place?
Cat confusion and indignation knows no bounds when it comes to feeding time, and place. Good thing it wasn't new food to boot.

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