DEATHS HEAD MOTH
Credit for the photographs goes to my daughter.
They grow fast - this one will double in size before it pupates - and any sensible cat leaves it well alone. They exude an unpleasant irritant and they probably taste disgusting.
Looked at dispassionately, they are attractive creatures, but surprisingly difficult to find despite their size, and the lemon ripening in the background of the picture above is the same colour as this caterpillar.
They also come in a brown pattern. A friend saw one on a bar terrace and thought it was a dog turd until it moved!
"Listen to this," he said, and flicked the box with his fingernail.
The damn things reared up and hissed at him!
They caught the cat and released the moth, which immediately flew back upstairs, out of the door and carried on laying its eggs on their plants.