The Long Night of the Bogong
The witching hour, 3am, and I am asleep. Or I was until the terrible thud. Is that inside the house.? It happens again. It’s inside the house.
The cat that was asleep on my feet goes to investigate.
More thuds ensure.
I can’t lie here any longer.
I get up go out in the darkened hallway and switch on a light and then blink furiously.
Both cats are doing the mannequin challenge. The boy on his haunches, the girl is a head poked up from behind the TV.
“What are you two doing?”
At which point it become apparent when an enormous moth heads directly towards me. It does a last-minute verge to around my knees and the cats explode into action.
I squeal, which makes the entire thing that much more exciting. But the moth is the size of my hand, it’s furry, and it’s clear its playing with the cats and they’ll destroy the place to catch it.
I make like I can outsmart everyone and turn off the light, going out to turn on a light in the kitchen so I can lure the moth by degrees out a window.
The moth isn’t finished playing though and in the dark living room dive bombs the cats. It has no intention of following the light and something is going to get broken in a minute because the chase is on tables and windowsills. I fear for the life of the TV and my old art glass collection.
I go back into the living room and turn on the light, the whole house is pretty much blazing now. The moth settles on the ceiling. No one is getting any sleep until it’s dispensed with.
Have I mentioned how huge it is? Likely concussion if it hit me at speed. Its 3.15 and I’m standing on my sofa with both cats and a stick trying to prod the moth off the ceiling so one of us—any of us can catch it.
I have giggle because this is really stupid and then I go full on nuclear on that Bogong, because it’s 3.30am and this really, really stupid. Bug spray. I hit that sucker with a cloud of the stuff and both cats scoot under the table and I’m coughing and it made my eyes sting because I’m not that bright and I’m looking up in to the fumes.
And nothing. This moth is armor plated, apocalypse proofed.
We’re at stalemate long enough both cats shift to higher ground, ready.
And finally, the moth lets go the ceiling and starts to belt around madly but at kneecap height.
And because it’s 3.30am and it’s a moth covered in bug spray and the cats are damn good hunters, I realise I have to be the one to catch it, otherwise a furkid is eating the bug spray.
It might be the size of my hand and drugged but it’s feisty. The three of us chase the damn thing. At one point, it shoots under the belly of the boy cat and out the other side. He gives me this, did that just happen look and it’s 3.45am, and this is ridiculous.
When it next darts past, its wings brush my hair. It shoots into the only room in the house that’s dark where it gets stuck somewhere and flaps madly trying to get free. I can’t find it. The boy cat does though, going to sit in front of the clothes hamper. It’s gotten caught in there. I flip the lid closed. Ah-hah.
The cats settle in to guard the prisoner.
It’s 4am and I go back to bed.
I am so awake.
So very, very awake.
And Bogong season has just begun.