This morning I finally discovered the source of the nightly scrambling noises I had. No, not mice (Jerusalem has too many cats to have any mice). I found a huge moth sitting at my computer monitor, intently watching the patterns xscreensaver was busy generating.

How big? A lot bigger than I've ever imagined a moth. A bit bigger than a small bat (like the fruitbat we have in some caves around here), in fact. So big, in fact, that I was unsure it really was a moth and therefore harmless. Close to a handspan - 20cm - between wingtips.

Bravely (and gingerly!), I turned off all lights. Moths are supposed to fly towards light, right? Not this one. Maybe having gorged itself on one of the neighbours' small children, it was feeling too heavy to fly. Or maybe it was too stupid to know about the whole moths and light thing. It didn't budge, not even when I peeked from around a corner at twice minimal safe distance and (bravely) threw paper balls at it.

The next stage was to poke it with the longest stick I could find in the house (luckily longer than 2MSD). Nothing; it didn't even shift its breathing pattern (we're talking a moth so big you can see it breathe, or maybe watch the neighbours' 2 teenagers and rottweiler being digested). So it wasn't a fake, it was a real live moth. Not that my neighbours would do such a thing to me.

I still wasn't sure it was a moth; I certainly didn't want to be bitten by it (if it wasn't a moth, that is; I AM NOT AFRAID OF MOTHS, NO MATTER HOW LARGE!). Eventually I worked out a plan of action. Throwing caution to the winds, I sprayed it with some insect repellent from a mere 0.75MSD. Then I went to have breakfast (I DID NOT RUN AWAY!). WHen I returned, it had hopped out of the window, and was flying sickly circles outside.

I reckon I didn't kill it. After all, toxic dosage is a function of body weight, and this moth was big enough to eat the whole can. But I sure hope it doesn't come back, ever, even if it was just a moth.

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