pets of all sorts

Our nature table seems to perpetually have some kind of creature taking up room here. We have jars with caterpillars, bug homes with lizards and some with "big red bugs"...of whom I am still unsure of what they are specifically...though they breed millions in our backyard.We have a general guideline that we only keep things captive for a short while so that we can observe them and learn from them...and then we politely let them free. I would rather just look closely at them in their natural habitat...but this child is a hands on learner. Very much so.Each morning, while visiting the garden, we usually come across something of interest. Last week, it was this praying mantis. It captured his heart right away.
Soon my little biology lover was bringing his new friend breakfast, lunch and dinner...knowing from his books that these insects are of the meat-eating variety. His fascination was hooked and he would stare in wonder at the trapping and digesting.
It was all too much for this mama who tries her very best (but ultimately fails) to live out and instill in her children a mantra of "cause no harm".
I know it is the great cycle of life, the web of living. I know it happens all around us. And, I am totally ok with a praying mantis ripping off the head of her cricket lunch one biteful at a time. Just do it outside...ok?
Needless to say, I was ready for this observation/learning period to be over with. And I will also admit that I gently nudged the end along...and encouraged interaction of a less aggressive form.
Birds flood our yard in the morning.
Lizards run across our fences.
Our outdoor compost pile is hosting many an organism.
Bugs love our weeds.
Our sweet dog Forrest still loves us as much as we him.
We are keeping catfish in a tank inside (have I mentioned this yet?).
Life is all around us.
So it was no surprise to me that this little guy found us the other night.
He was being given away. If he didn't find a home that evening, he was going to be headed to the animal shelter the next day.
Asher gave his heart away as soon as he saw him. He has been asking for a cat for months but I really didn't expect to get one.
He needed us.
On the way home, Asher told me that he didn't need a "grumpy" praying mantis anymore. He just wanted this cat.
So...this is Maxwell.
We are learning and loving (a little too much) and trying to give him peace.
He is making us very happy.
Especially Josh, who upon hearing that I was bringing home a kitten said..."You're KILLIN' me!".
He is now a huge fan.


latisha said...

i went on a 'usable' plant walk this weekend and one of the points the herb guy stressed was finding balance in being part of nature. he was not for cutting it all down, but he was not for putting a fence around it for looks only. i think when we find that balance, we remember we are all part of each living thing, using each other (or bug) as we need to in a symbiotic way. great post, i see an unschooling life developing.

Brittni said...

I always love hearing about what has been found by Asher and love how happy each pet makes him. It amazes me so much how he can just lay on the floor for 30 minutes staring at a cricket with such intensity and amazement, sucking in every single move the cricket makes. The new little kitten is so sweet!

Nonnie said...

i love his passion also....and he gets so absorbed.....i envy that in some ways! :) his sweet intense interest.
and i looooove little maxwell's photo.....he doesn't maybe appreciate it yet....but he is very loved! :)
happy day!

Sara said...

Reading this post makes me miss our kitties...Josh sounds just like Tim :) I am glad to see all the learning and exploring and that our weather is hosting a better environment for that...

Anonymous said...

What a sweet looking kitty! I know you said that Josh has become a big fan, but does he have allergies to cats? I know Jeff does, so that makes me think that maybe Josh's eyes are going crazy!

jessamyn said...

oh matt, yes...his eyes are giving him some trouble.
but i will just tell you this:
max crawled up on Josh's shoulder last night and fell asleep. Josh's eyes were itching pretty badly. I asked Josh if he wanted me to move Max.
Josh shook his head no...with a smile.
He probably won't admit to you how much he likes this cat. But, he does.

daisies said...

awwww ~ he is adorable. i always wished i could have a cat but my allergies just won't allow it, sigh :)

i remember when aiden was in his bug/critter stage .. was an adventure, tee hee

Brittni said...

Love the new pic jess, beautiful girl!

Shar Rundio said...

Jessie, Matt & Josh can have a secret cat appreciation together. We now have 2 & Matt enjoys having them around just as much as anyone!
Can't wait to meet him! Love you all!

Debbie said...

Love the new kitty! I love Asher's enthusiasm for all living things. Enjoy the new balance in your home! I love the new look!

Jamie said...

these photos of asher studying his treasures are beautiful. :)
cute kitty :)

Dream Lenz Photography said...

Jess, I have to take pics of your children. They are so ridiculously beautiful. Will you please let me??!!!! I sound like a crazy person.