It takes a lot to make a moth, but most humans, I’ve noticed, don’t really care for moths. They like butterflies, it seems, but not moths. Why? I’m not sure (especially since I recently learned that butterflies are actually regarded by small subset of moths). Either way, I think that moth discrimination is rather speciesist of humans, but, then again, I’m not a big cat fan– so who am I to call the kettle black?
Actually, I do like “cats” if you mean “as in short for caterpillars.” This year, I helped my master raise about 100 robin moth cats (Hyalophora cecropia). They are now nestled in their cocoons, where they will stay all fall and all winter, until they emerge next spring as one of North America’s largest moths. More about that next spring, I suppose…
For now, I have been thinking about how much love my master put into raising these big ol’ gross caterpillars so that they would have the required conditions for growth. He had to build a special cage for them so that their arch-nemesis (a parasitic fly, of all things) wouldn’t attack them. He had to go fetch cherry leaves every day, all summer, in order to keep them fed. He had to change their water, move them from old twigs to new twigs, and talk to them.
Well, maybe the talking was optional, but he did it anyway. One day, after the moths started spinning their cocoons, he said to me, “Ada, aren’t we all sort of like caterpillars? We all need a lot of love so that we can reach our true potential.”
I told him to write a poem about it. I was being sarcatstic, as only a dog can be… but he did it anyway…Clothe me. Hide me in strands of silk, clean and strong, like love. Empty me. Make me in bonds of water, secret and visceral, like love. Freeze me. Leave me in days of darkness, internal and drastic, like love. Rearrange me. Move me in loft of flight, slow and uncertain, like love. Let me emerge like I’ve never been.