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So, today when I call home before leaving work, my darling husband informs me of *his* animal adventure today. A small brown bird flew in as he brought Sparkle in from the bus. She and the cats were hip to this at once; it took him a bit longer to realize what all the tearing around was about.

So, he said it was like an animal rescue from Diego on TV. Get the bird before the cats do. The poor thing got chased around the house, knocking into things and getting exhausted and slower and slower as the great mighty huntresses stalked and were terribly excited. (I asked why he hadn't locked them up, and he said they were having none of that.)

Finally, the bird alit on a decorative glass vase in the kitchen, and instinctively hopped inside it. Quick as a flash, he pops a book over the top and gets it outside.

As I arrive home from work, there is a morning dove in front of my door. Seeing me, it cooos and flutters off the porch towards the garden, hits a branch, coos and flies back and *lands on my shoulder*! I look at it, and it freaks again, and coos and lands on our porch picnic table. I turn to look at it, and the movement sets it cooing and looping off the porch and back onto the windowsill, where an interior thump shows a madly disappointed kitty as the dove coos and takes off yet again. I went inside, and the dove darn near made it inside! It went up into the porch rafters right next to the house, and I hope that keeps it warm.

Temperatures here are only just about 1 degree F (-19 C). School canceled tomorrow because some kids, who were actually bundled up pretty well went to the ER today with frostbite because they were at the bus stop over ten minutes because the buses were late due to the weather conditions. (Level one snow emergency, and we have school?) Most area schools canceled tonight rapidly in the half hour following that news story.
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The big mighty huntress kitty caught an arm-length garter snake (brown, with yellow stripes and mottling - at least I think it's a garter) and put it in the bathtub to play with it.  My darling husband noticed the tub-thumping and investigated.

"Oh, DARLING," he sings out musically, in itself suspicious since he is quite unmusical,  "Come here, please."

I watched in fascination as the snake undulated all about the tub, as my cat watched, too.  When she went to bite it, I plucked her up and out of the bath, and noted the snake had several bites on it's tail, not so much on its body.  It was so big and so graceful, I actually felt bad for it.  Snakes in the basement have been eating the weird crickets and bugs and sometimes mice, so I'm okay with snakes in the abstract, as long as they stay out of sight and in the basement.

I decided to save it. 

Next question:  How not to get bitten?  Channeling my inner Steve Irwin, I remembered that the Aussie crazy dude catching poisonous snakes used long bags put on the ground, then messed with the snake, which would flee down the "hole" to safety, which could then be bundled up and carried elsewhere.

So, using a plastic toy fishing rod, I put a Bob the Builder ("Can We Fix It?  Yes, We Can!") pillowcase on the floor of the bathtub.  The snake obligingly crawled in.  I waited with great patience until it was at the very end, then picked up the pillowcase and twisted the top so it wouldn't crawl back up and get out or get me or be gotten by the kitty (who was flinging herself at the bathroom door in frustration, making vibrations all along the floor, and I think the fright that made the snake seek shelter.)

Off I went through the house, detouring to get my shoes, to the garden.  I squidgedly held the pillowcase first out horizontally by the children's fishing pole, then by the corner to slide the snake out.  IT DOES NOT SLIDE, AND CLIMBS THE INNER PART OF THE PILLOWCASE TO GET ME -------- EEEEP! 

My darling husband, who had been quite willing to let the cat take care of things and then be on hand to dispose of the body, and who had been equally willing to allow me my rescue efforts, heard me squeal and came out to help.  He wasn't afraid of getting bitten through the pillowcase like I was, so he, with gentle amusement took over and firmly shook the pillowcase for a full minute before it slid out gently into the garden leaves and brown foliage.  Off it went, slithering with crunches through the dry leaves.

A garter snake rescue!  Wooo!  Crikey, but I feel proud.

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judifilksign

December 2011

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