Monday, August 30, 2010

Truly urban wildlife

Here's a weird backstory that is very loosely related to the topic at the end of the post:

Growing up, I had an intense dislike of cats, one that wasn't helped by my mom deciding to decorate my room in a cat theme. Anyway, when I was about 5 or 6 I had a dream I was staying at my Aunt D's house overnight. In the dream,  I came down the stairs to use the bathroom in the middle of the night and her cats were sitting there waiting for me. Before I could sprint across the foyer and into the bathroom, they mauled me. Curled up with my hands over my face, they would scratch and claw and bite my ears until I would wake up. That was probably my most common recurring nightmare growing up, one I had into my twenties. Since then, I have always given cats a wide berth. I am still not a cat person, but I am getting better. OK, that's it for the unrelated backstory. Don't you feel like you really know me now?

We have a cat at the ranch named Feather. Like most good cats she refrains from catching mice, squirrels, rabbits, gophers and other "nuisance" or "pest" species and focuses her attention on songbirds, frogs and lizards. Cats versus wildlife is a common theme at wildlife rehab centers where cat related injuries are the number one source of injury by a wide margin, accounting for 40% of cases. OK enough with the cat slander I promise, if it makes you feel better, I'm not a dog person either and I have seen Zoe eat her fair share of baby birds, bunnies and other wildlife. But back to my very round about story (we are getting there I promise):

Feather caught a snake. Unlike birds or lizards where she eats all the bird but leaves the feet and feathers or lizards where she eats the top part and leaves the back legs and tail, with snakes she tends to just scare and maim them and leave them on the basement rug. She brought in a snake the other day and while we couldn't see any injuries and he seemed OK, he was very cold and didn't move much. So we brought Mr. Snake up to the house and set him on top of Nathan's monitor to warm up. He got a clean bill of health and was released back outside.


A week or two later, Feather caught another snake, possibly the same Mr. Snake. We put him in a box on top of my monitor which is sans rocks and antlers to crawl around on. Then we made dinner, tidied the kitchen, closed up the house, went to bed and forgot about Mr. Snake. The next day, (surprise) there was no snake in the box. We searched as best we could, even thought about letting Feather inside to help, but in the end Mr. Snake was gone. I like to think he's taken up an urban lifestyle and is snuggled up on top of my hard drive or ipod (I looked, he isn't) as it hums away. So if you see a garter snake slithering through the green shag carpet, will you let him know I am looking for him? I know there are no cats in here but outside is far more suitable habitat.


Jake said...

I wonder if Rainbow might be able to find Mr. Snake.. hehe

Diane said...

I am very sorry that Thorisa was mean to you kids when you were little. She didn't much like me either.
Hopefully you will have "nice" kitties in your life, big boys are especially loving.
Aunt D

Katia said...

Not to worry Aunt D. I grew up with a whole generation of cats who did not care much for kids - Risa, Midgie (kind of), Seawee, David's cat and a bunch neighborhood kitties. I just learned to keep my distance :)

Post a Comment