Los Animales

Praying mantis

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Praying mantis, Sphodromantis viridis. Picture...

Image via Wikipedia

Praying Mantis, Teondera sp. (Tenodera aridifo...

Image via Wikipedia

For 5 days we had a preying mantis as a pet. We named her(?) Silva.

The praying mantis’ here are found jumping from the Oleanders bordering our back “yard”.

She was such a great friend.  She sat intently on our shoulders.  She swayed lovingly on our palms, she jumped skillfully from our 1-year-olds dangerously curious fingers.

We brought her in, just for a second, because our 4-year-old really wanted her.  We made her a bucket with leaves and sticks.  After our 1-year-old got overly excited we finally put her in the bucket, wanting to wait for our camera to take a picture before we let her go.  Well we went about our lives and when we went to look for her later that day she was no longer in the bucket.

We were worried for her… could she have gotten smooshed under our feet?  Could the baby have found her?  At the end of the night we saw her on our ceiling.  We were all overjoyed… yes, we’re animal(and insect) freaks.   This happened over and over again for 5 days!  I think she was pretty happy for a couple days, our fly population dwindled as she reigned in the corners of our ceilings and behind our curtains.  We’d wonder about her and eventually she’d pop up out of nowhere, but usually out of reach.

Eventually, she was within our reach and we felt 5 days inside was stretching it a bit.  Although we were sad to let her go, we were so excited that she lasted so long, that she seemed to feel so comfortable, that she helped out with our flies!   Of course my 4-year-old protested letting her go, but I think she learned a lot just by having a preying mantis for a friend for a few days.

I love insects. 🙂

The real issue here though, is that now that our preying mantis friend is gone, a neighbor of ours had to leave their cat behind.  We have the cat right now, but it is difficult to decide what to do…our long-time animal friend is our pet rat Estrella.  Already I’ve caught the cat climbing on a cushion to peer at our rat over the edge of the entertainment center her cage sits on.   We also usually let her outside of the cage for several hours and leave her cage open for her to get into.  That doesn’t seem to work with the cat here…and we’re not trying it.

Any advice on having a cat and a rat in the house would be greatly appreciated!

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