Please don't read flippancy into my tone, dear reader. I was nothing short of horrified this morning when I went to check on Sherlock and thought to myself: Something's off. Something doesn't seem quite right, does it? OH MY SAINTED AUNT, HE'S MISSING A LEG!!!
I immediately texted my husband, who happened to be out of town.
His response: Have you contacted Peter yet?
At any rate, dear reader, your guess is as good as mine on the matter. There are no crickets in Sherlock's living quarters save one tiny pinhead to whom I've granted amnesty. In other words, he was not attacked. Also, he wasn't molting and his habitat is sufficiently humid. The girls and I are confident he was in fine form the night before, since we observed him before going to bed. We can't find his missing leg anywhere which leads me to suspect foul play in the form of a certain Professor Moriarty...whatever that might mean.
It's all very troubling and puzzling, though Peter assures me Sherlock is not in pain. And I can attest to the fact he hasn't lost his appetite, since he captured and ate a cricket as if the missing leg made no difference whatsoever!
Sources on the internet imply certain mantids may regrow a limb during subsequent molts...if that actually happens, you will be the first to know. If it doesn't, I'm happy enough as long as my little Sherlock is comfortable.
Beyond that, I don't know what else to say. Yes, I'm revisiting my competence as a pet owner and hoping it's okay to remain in charge of one praying mantis despite the question marks looming over my head at the moment. He's an endless source of fascination, this tiny, detailed creature made even more mysterious by the events of the previous night.
I hope he'll be okay. I hope he knows I still think he's the most perfect little thing in the whole wide world.