Last night at 10pm, I was annoying my cat, Mauii, last night to the point where my wife began to lecture me on all the benefits of having one. She was partway through telling me that Mauii enriches our lives when Mauii ran past her sofa and made a strange noise, almost a cross between a meow and a growl. I looked to see what had caught his attention and sticking out from underneath the sofa was a large, male funnel web spider in the classic attack position. The Sofa and the spider were exactly the same shiny black and I could see the first four legs just sicking out from beneath it. Rena held Mauii and I pulled back the sofa then used some cooking tongs to grab the spider and put it into a jar (see pic).
There's no doubt in my mind that one of us would have eventually been bitten by the deadly intruder. Sure there's antivenin available but that only works if you are bitten on an outer limb and get help within 10 minutes. Torso, thigh and head bites are pretty much 100% fatal. Mauii is getting some special attention now although I am stumped as to how the spider got into the house. Seems cats are immune to Funnel Web venom so Mauii's fine. There was nothing bought inside that it could have hitched a ride on and the two doors are well sealed to prevent just this sort of thing from happening.
I'm guessing the "early" spring has triggered an early mating season so it might be worth checking your shoes if you share space with these critters. I was certain that there were none around my locality although that view has certainly changed.