Archive for the ‘animals’ Category


Posted: 06/22/2006 in animals
dead snake dead snake

so, i was having an otherwise uneventful morning when i wandered into the living room and noticed that the cats’ toys were strewn everywhere. the basket where they’re stored was under the coffee table. miffed, i was about to do my motherly chore of picking up the toys and re-storing them when i saw it.

a dead, small snake. on the floor near the futon and the coffee table.
i screamed and put on my glasses. shit. maybe it was a piece of a shoelace. i put in my contacts. i put on my hiking boots. i stood on a chair and assessed the creature from a safe distance.

yep. it was a snake all right. i kept thinking about that bigass dead rattler last week and the prospect of it having relatives. fuck.

it was dead. the cats wandered over and sniffed at it. i screamed and threw things at them, begging them to leave it alone.

i walked outside and looked to see if any of my neighbors were home. nope.

i pondered my options. i didn’t have a lot. i went through my phone, looking at my contacts and wondering who i could call at 9:55 in the morning and who wouldn’t take very long to get here.

one nice thing about teaching and advising is you have a lot of students whom you can rely on. last year, a couple bailed me out when my car was in the shop.

this morning, i hailed freddie, one of my designers, because i was pretty sure he was up at school and could get here quickly. when he said it would be 20 minutes b/c he parked so far away, i told him i’d come and get him.

so, he brought along his friend, alex, for backup.

he fearlessly grabbed a broom and dustpan and surveyed the carcass: a little garter snake. oh thank god. i was terrified it was a baby rattler.
my guess is it slipped through this crack in my french doors. they cut the grass yesterday and this guy was proly seeking shelter. obviously, the cats got the better of it.thank god. i have since ghetto-blocked the small opening with a cloth garment bag. it should keep outside things out. i hope.

i had them look through the garage por si acaso. nothing else. no hay moros en el costo….

i had to take a picture of it for sake of description. it is a wussy little thang, but it may as well be as big as that dead rattler i saw last week. i think i may need hypnosis to get over this paralyzing fear….whew.

ok, i hope that’s all the excitement i get today.

i am…the cat whisperer

Posted: 03/28/2006 in animals

further evidence that i am becoming a Weird Cat Lady….
a sweet little black kitten has adopted katherine. over the weekend, she asked if i had heard a kitty meowing outside. nope. well, there was this little black cat outside and as soon as she opened her front door, she ran in.
fast forward to sunday night. she called and asked if i could spare some cat food. i ran over some kitten food that was left over from when lula was younger and some other stuff.
today, i got a call and she sounded all exhausted, like a new mother. nina, as she calls her, decided to wake her up at 5 am. i’ve become accustomed to this as fluff stands on or jumps over my head at that hour. lula will attack my feet. i have ways of ignoring them….
…i explained that she is probably lonely and wants attention.
then, she asked where she should put the litter box, since her apt. is identical to mine. i offered advice on odor control etc.

about a half-hour later, the phone rang.
“i was playing with her and she lost a tooth!”

good grief. i hopped onto google and discovered that kittens do lose their baby teeth.
i then went over with a dental toy that my cats don’t use, in hopes it would give her something to play with and something to teethe on.

i see london, i see france
so, yesterday, i took my reporting class outside for a brainstorming session. it was fairly warm, but crazy windy. i was wearing these jeans that are low-rise. as i sat down and started talking, one of my students, who was behind me, motioned me over.

she warned me that my underwear was sticking out.
my boss, who was taking a smoke break out there, offered, “they’re cute!”

for the record, they’re standard cotton victoria’s secret bikinis. these had little designs on them, like dots and hearts.
i was paranoid the rest of the day, but grateful for the heads-up.

snake story part two

Posted: 07/03/2005 in animals

so, i managed to make it out of the house and saw “war of the worlds.”

the movie was absolutely terrifying. but, i hated the resolution. typical spielberg.

of course, it didn’t help that the aliens had these serpentine limbs that would search for people.

afterward, i went home. took me five minutes to screw up the courage to go to the front door. i had groceries, including sushi, milk and eskimo pies (sugar free).
tried to open the front door, but could not get in. apparently, i’d locked one of the interior locks that can’t be opened from outside.

i am freaking out because it is 104 degrees and i can’t get in, and the only other way in is through the side door, where i last saw “larry” the snake. well, he was actually by my fence gate.

i swallowed my ego and knocked on my next-door neighbors’ door. four girls live over there.
the one who answered agreed to open the gate while i checked to make sure there wasn’t any sign of larry (scary larry).
he was gone, of course.

i got in my house and laughed at myself for being such an idiot.

all larry wanted was shade. he wasn’t conspiring to attack me.

i feel better now.


Posted: 07/03/2005 in animals

i am ridiculously afraid of snakes. i mean, all i have to do is see one on tv and my hands get clammy.

i have yet to see one in my time in texas…
…one of my students told me his roommate saw a snake on this trail where i like to go running. i always figured there would be snakes there, logically, but never saw one.

this morning, i went running and could barely stand it because i was so freaked out at the prospect of running into one.

just now, as i was opening my front door to take out the trash, i saw one on my welcome mat.
i screamed and slammed the door.

fuck. fuck. fuck.

i don’t want to kill it. i just wish it would park itself someplace else.

realistically, it’s not going to hurt me unless i do something to it.

but now, i’m terrified of going outside.

god, i hate confronting the things i am most afraid of.


Posted: 08/22/2002 in animals

so, i’m looking after a verrrry sweet german shepherd on saturday and sunday, named daisy. she has the cutest ears that stick straight up. she immediately let me pet her and gave me her paws and then kisses. another good sign.

her owner is a nice woman who lives with her family near haile plantation. they’re midwesterners, so we had this common bond. plus, she’s from south-central illinois, not far from where my dad grew up.

anyway, i will make $40 for essentially making sure the puppy gets outside and plays in the yard for awhile, then let her back in and repeat on sunday morning. not bad.
the pet-sitting agency is letting me handle their shorter-term, off-the-books jobs when they can’t get to them. i don’t mind. just no reptiles.

sad thing

Posted: 06/16/2002 in animals

so, i went over to the shelter this morning, to make sure the kitty had been taken inside, and to bring a jug of kitten food for him. i left a note on the food and told them to make sure kitty got it.

what was really unsettling, though, was that almost all five cages were full.

in one, there was a nice grey tabby, about a year or two old. underneath, was a frisky dog, not quite a year old, wagging his tail. he even had his leash on, still. four cats, proly about eight months to a year old, were in the next cage. they were huddled in packs of two, in opposite corners. they looked so frightened.

on top, in the cage where i’d left the kitten, was a puppy wrapped in a towel. when i made noise to stir it, nothing happened. then, i noticed a piece of paper tucked in the cage: puppy died yesterday, possibly parvo.

i was really upset, then.

last night, i called amy, in tears, b/c i was all wound up about what would happen to the kitten. i’m convinced i did the right thing, but man, it tears me up.

i am such a sap.

i am a suckah

Posted: 06/15/2002 in animals

i am becoming a weird Cat Person, despite vehement declarations that i’m not.

to wit:

this afternoon, i was biking back from the ghetto pool, took a wrong turn and ended up in this wooded area. heard birds chirping and this plaintive cry. i stopped and listened. the cry was persistent. it was a kitten. i called back, and it replied. i saw a drain, and worried that the kitten was inside there.

luckily, i saw this sweet, little face peek out of the bushes and come toward me. it was a little baby tabby. he had brownish-hazel eyes and was grey and black with white paws. very, very sweet.

i knew he must be hungry, so, i went over to this market across the street and bought a can of cat food and got a cup for water. took it over to him, and he scarfed up the food.

i knew i couldn’t leave the kitty there. i went across the street to call john, to see if he could take him in, but he wasn’t home. meanwhile, i heard this loud, plaintive mewing from across the street. fabulous.

so, i decided i would take the kitty to the shelter, wherever that was. i put him on my shoulders and walked my bike with him though the neighborhood, until we got to my house. along the way, i stopped people in their yards, asking them if they wanted a kitten.

i was already becoming attached. but i also know that adding another cat to the mix in my already too-small apartment would create issues. we got home, and i put the kitty in a carrier and drove him up to the county shelter.

since it was after hours, they have these kennels outside to leave animals. i put him in one and then ran out to get him some food and water. when i got back, he got all engrossed in his food. i said good-bye, and felt very sad, like i was abandoning him.

i just called the shelter after-hours number and the guy told me they check the kennels every hour and bring animals inside. i’m sure someone will want him. he is so cute. i still feel guilty. but i’d feel worse if i left him out on his own in the woods.