August 26, 2007

Our outside cat has not been eating her food lately. She may have worms, or she may be totally grossed out by the colossal slugs that have been dragging themselves in and around her food dish.

In the few months we have lived in southern Illinois, I have had more–and more varied–slug experiences than ever before. First of all, they are slug giants. These are antediluvian monster slugs who also have pituitary problems. Second, they are fiends for dry catfood. In searching for ways to keep them out of my cat’s food dish, we discovered that some people use catfood to lure slugs out of their vegetables. What is to be done?

One morning last week before the sunrise, I went outside to feed the cat. Hanging from a ropy cord of slime directly above the catfood dish were two slugs in the throes of slug passion. It was acrobatic, and they were oblivious of me. They twined around each other like DNA covered in ectoplasm. Slugs are hermaphroditic and are perfectly capability of mating with themselves (there once was a slug from Nantucket…) but prefer to seek out partners supposedly for greater genetic variety, but these two seemed to be going at it out of simple lust. I left them alone; I guess they dropped into the catfood after their carnal relations and just rolled in food. Pituitary problems and no self-control. When I cleaned up after them, I found that the cord they hung from was eerily similar to the gummy strips of booger-like material that advertisers use to hold their ads into magazines.

I suppose it is cruel, but I have a taken to hunting slugs in the evening hours and pouring salt on their broad backs. I’m worried about the effect they are having on my cat’s appetite, and it is also not unknown that my 2-year-old daughter scoop up a handful of catfood to keep her energy levels up while playing. I’d prefer she not eat slug slime. While we wait for the first cold snap (or whatever it is that sends the slugs packing), our cat will most likely be meeting the Illinois vet. I don’t know what they’ll prescribe for feline slug disgust.

7 Responses to “Slugs”

  1. ale Says:

    I laughed and was disgusted at the same time. Poor poor cat. I thought about an E! special “slugs: wild on cat food”

  2. Little Mary Says:

    oh my god this is so funny. i LOVE pouring salt on slugs. i have no idea why it is so fun. and i had NO idea that they have sex? how do you know so much valuable information about slugs? when i am there can we kill slugs and set off bottle rockets in your backyard while drinking home brew and a fresh hamburger off the grill? now that sounds like my idea of a really wonderful evening. and i am completely serious.

  3. Alex Says:

    Darling, you are a genius about so many things. I am proud.

  4. sheepdays Says:

    Ale–I did originally learn of slug sexual mores on some TV show. At the time, I thought that these kinds of things only happened in far off lands, certainly not my backyard!
    LM–sounds like a date. I’m actually brewing up some Oktoberfest right now. It won’t be ready for when you get here, but there’s other homebrew with your name on it.
    Alex–thanks. I love it when I can convince you once again that you didn’t make a mistake with me.

  5. Charles Says:

    Slugs love beer — so if you happen to make an “iffy” batch, set little pans around and they flock to it like…like…well, I suppose like you or I would!

  6. Dave Bonta Says:

    God, I’ve always wanted to see that! Now i know what to do: put out some cat food. Except it will probably attract feral cats, too, which I will have to shoot (because salt has no effect on them).

    My favorite Far Side cartoon is the one of the slugs worshipping a giant salt shaker (Caption: “Owooooooooooooooooooooooo!”) But of course if Larson had really wanted to depict religion in action, he would’ve shown a rival slug congregation on the other side of the street, worshipping a mug of beer. 🙂

    I’m just getting around to updating Smorgasblog; this’ll definitely be included!

  7. sheepdays Says:

    Thanks, Charles and Dave. I might try that with the beer! Hey Dave, good point about the Far Side cartoon. I do have to say, I’d probably be a saltist slug with issues of self-loathing because I secretly desired to be a beerist.

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