Who? Who? Doesn’t love an owl butterfly? 

  
I’m sure I can guess what you’re thinking. What exactly is an owl butterfly and why is it named so? Well above you’ll see one of my pictures of this big and beautiful butterfly. The owl part of the name is because of that gorgeous owl eye they have on their wings. What is the purpose of this eyespot? Well, it’s to either scare off predators that might eat it and it has the double advantage of directing their attention if they do attack away from their main body. If they are attacked they can still escape and live another day.

These butterflies are especially fascinating because they are crepuscular which basically means they come out in the twilight hours of dawn and dusk as opposed to being diurnal like most. This fascinated me because I’ve been studying butterflies since I was a little girl and actually worked at a butterfly garden when I was twelve years old. I’ve never come across any with that adaption and was wondering why when I came across them before that they were resting while the other species were feeding and breeding.

The movements when they fly will make you smile or even laugh, they flap their wings heavy and sound like a bat instead of light and soundless like most. I have never seen any move quite like them with the clearly audible beating of their wings. They will chase each other for short distances and then end up on a leaf where they stay motionless.  Their camouflage is so perfect especially if they are on a tree that they melt into the color of the bark except for their owl eye. 
Now here is an amazing picture I was able to take of the Owl and the more popular and well known blue morpho. They are related to each other but as I was discussing with an entymotologist that they are more ‘kissing cousins’ with their relation. The blue morpho is that stunning butterfly with blue irredescent wings that refract the light to produce the metallic blue we see.

I kept asking at the special event why their behavior is so different from other butterflies. Moths are generally nocturnal though there are some who bend the rules in this. The consensus was it might be an adaption to predators to evade being eaten. When I did some digging online it turns out that they are from one of the oldest genera on earth, Brassolis. Yet again their fascinating crepuscular/nocturnal behavior wasn’t explained so I guess it’s a secret the Owls will keep.

Predator vs. Prey in my apartment

As you all may know, cats are predators and bunnies are generally prey animals. I woke up today thinking about the cat and I ran downstairs to check on it. It isn’t feeling the best because it’s stomach is a mess and it left a stinky present for me. I forgot when cats stomachs aren’t feeling well how bad their poop can be so I shook my head at the alley cat rolling around looking to play.

This cat acts more like a dog than a cat. Everything I did it followed me around like a dog. It just wanted to say by me and it ended up in our apartment while our bunny was in our pen. The cat followed me everywhere in the apartment and stayed glued to my side.

I always loved discovery channel where you would watch the predator vs. prey and I wondered how our bunny would handle the intruder. I kept trying to introduce them while our bunny was locked up in her pen and she stood her ground and stared at the cat.

My favorite thing about predator vs. prey was the prey getting away, but even better is when the prey stands down its opponent. When that prey animal turns around, charges, and scares off the predator trying to make a meal out of it. It’s a rarity on those programs, so I always got a kick out of it. And, as a kid I would rather watch discovery channel than cartoons any day.

Our bunny owns our apartment, I know that she knows it’s her space, but also she isn’t scared of anything. Our girl has been raised since 5 weeks with us so she knows a bigger animal won’t hurt her. The only thing that scares her is when I set off the fire alarms in the kitchen when I’m cooking. She was raised in a pet shop so she’s used to the sounds of dogs, cats, and is a pretty damn fearless little bunny,

So, here I am, real life in the flesh predator vs. prey showdown. The cat sees our bunny and flexes its claws, ramming it’s head against the bars to get closer. Our girl just watches, and then pokes her head out to sniff the cat. The cat jumps back in surprise, looking at me like, “what is going on here, it wants to sniff me?” I kind of laugh because I could have guessed this would happen, our bunny would stand her ground and not run away. The cat goes back in and my little bunny does something I’ve never seen her do before.

She stomps her back feet! It’s a loud thumping noise and scares the cat again. She stomps her feet once more and stares down that cat, like she is literally saying in her own words, “this is my home fur ball, get out!” I step in as the human reinforcement and pick up the furry lemur tailed cat so our bunny doesn’t have to charge or do anything else to state her opinion.

I have gotten myself in a straight up mess now and I don’t know what to do. This is a lovely, sweet cat but we can’t keep it. My husband can’t breathe and my bunny basically said without words get out of my place intruder. If I was back where we used to live I’d know what shelters to go to but now I don’t, and I’m lost, and a total mess. What I get for being nice, right?

When a stray walks into your life

It is amazing how you think you know that you have everything you may have, like just one pet, and then another one almost gets run over in front of your eyes. All I could see was this long, fluffed up, furry tail almost get run over by a car and it darting underneath a stationary car for cover. I love cats, always have, and I don’t know what compelled me to come over to where the cat was hiding and offer it my hand with a, “here, kitty, kitty!”

Much to my surprise the kitty came with a pathetic meow and it came over to rub on my leg. This wasn’t a feral cat, he was too sweet as he immediately started purring when I was petting him. The cat followed me as I walked around and I went into our apartment office to ask if he was lost or what I should do. When I came back out the cat leapt out of the bushes as if he was waiting for me and came straight over.

It broke my heart, to tell you to honest truth, to see this friendly, affectionate, sweet, and curious little cat out wandering around in the street basically waiting to be run over. I swear that it was a house cat and it reminded me of our family cat we came across the same way. He was a stray running through a parking lot and my family brought him home after he was nearly run over by a car.

I reasoned in my head why I couldn’t save the cat, and why I had to ignore him. We have our little bunny at home, my husband is extremely allergic to cats, and I kept telling myself he wouldn’t be okay with it. When I told my husband over the phone how worried I was about the wandering stray he told me it was alright if I wanted to track it down and bring it in.

So, I went back outside, calling out “kitty, kitty!” and secretly hoping I’d find the cat, and at the same time hoping I wouldn’t because I didn’t know what I would do. I walked back and forth and got some weird looks as I paced frantically where I saw the cat last and calling out to it. My husband went on the quest once he got home from work and when it seemed like I wouldn’t find him he said maybe someone picked the cat up. Finally, right at when I was going to give up the fluffy long tailed lemur cat came bounding out and running in my direction.

Then, came the problem of getting a stray into our garage. It was pretty hilarious when my husband brought out a box and told the cat to get in it, and the cat actually did climb right in it! But, when my husband started walking with the cat in the box it ended up crawling out onto his shoulder. It was adorable, and I decided to try my luck with picking up and carrying the stray. He seemed to like being held, which solidified for me that this cat used to being in a home, and he definitely wasn’t scared of people.

We now have this adorable, affectionate, sweet cat downstairs with some of my old clothes, food, water, and some boxes to sleep in. I don’t know what we’re going to do and I know I did the right thing… I just don’t know where to go next. My husband is allergic to cats and I have a bunny who I don’t think would take kindly to a cat sharing her space.

20121207-004207.jpg