I may have mentioned this before, but something I love about being around praying mantises is the predictability of their behavior. Instinct, the fixed patterns of response in animals: isn't this what separates us from their world? I mean, humans have instincts, but we're also endowed with the double-edged sword of will. I don't know to what degree animals operate from will, some of the more intelligent ones certainly must, but it does seem to me a praying mantis is hardwired merely for instinct.
Of course, I love to imagine Kingsley's will at work, I love to imagine he has whims and notions, preferences for nightcaps, and harbors a secret wish to drive the Trans Canada Highway together. I love to think we have a certain understanding, that he gets me, that there is communion between us.
But at the end of the day, it's the familiarity of his behavior that brings me solace, it's the steadiness of his patterns, the undeviating course of his ways. I actually marvel at it. If Kingsley were human, I bet he'd never screw up a recipe because of a fuzzy commitment to measuring, I bet he'd disdain emotional eating, and I'm quite positive he wouldn't write a novel, only to flounder around in its revision for the rest of his life.
I'm thinking there's a lesson in there for me, somewhere.