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Look What the Cat Dragged In!

by Jackie Kriese

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Jackie says:  I am a native Virginian who bounced around the country and landed in the middle of Texas.  Along the way, I found my husband on a battleship in California where we both worked at a shipyard.  Currently, I try to amuse myself and others on my website, whatjackiewrote.com.

My cat, who shall remain nameless, has an affinity for bringing live snakes into the house via the pet door.  The first time I came home to find a snake on my kitchen floor, I froze mid-step while my feeble brain struggled to process what my eyes were seeing.  This was no little green garden snake.  This was a slender, dark-gray specimen that was at least eighteen inches long!

After gathering my wits, which were bouncing off the walls, I grabbed a small plastic trashcan and dropped it on top of the snake.  Then I put a gallon jug of something-or-other on top of the trashcan to keep it firmly in place.  Finally, I waited for my husband to come home.  He absolutely hates snakes, but he’s an ex-Navy Seal so I felt sure he could get the snake out of the house.  He did.  He flung it out the back door.  After several more episodes of snake removal duty, I finally got him trained to take it out the back door, across the yard and then fling it down the hillside toward the pond.  I didn’t want to make things too easy for my cat by simply depositing freshly caught snakes right outside the door.

My little system worked pretty well until my cat brought in a snake when my husband was out of town on business.  He wasn’t just out of town, he was in Alaska and it would be a good week before he was due back to our home in Texas.  What to do?  I knew I had to contain that snake or there would be no sleeping in my house that night.  I hate to reveal what happened next, but here goes … I pushed the snake-trashcan-gallon-jug into the little bathroom off the utility room and shut the door.  When my husband came home at the end of the week, he had a different type of snake removal to perform.

Now, I felt bad about that and realized I would have to come up with a way to get future snakes out of the house all on my own.  Since our move to the middle of Texas, I have successfully removed a number of critters from the house that my cat has brought inside to play with.  I have caught live birds with my hands, coaxed numerous lizards out the door with a broom and dustpan, and even herded a couple of baby bunnies out with a bath towel.  I just never thought I’d have to save snakes.  But it had to be done, so I devised the following snake-removal procedure.

Using a sturdy piece of cardboard, I carefully slide it under the over-turned trashcan (with snake inside).   Then I quickly flip the can over, firmly holding the cardboard in place on top, causing the snake to drop to the bottom of the trashcan with a reassuring thud.  I run outside far from the house, usually shrieking the whole time, and basically fling everything out of my hands and run back into the house.  Hours later, I retrieve the trashcan and cardboard.  Not a pretty sight, but it gets the job done.

I just want to say a word about the often repeated, ridiculous theory that when a cat shows up with a dead mouse, she is presenting her owner with a gift.  First of all, my cat never shows up with anything dead.  It is always alive.  Second, it is not for me.  It is strictly for the cat’s amusement and entertainment.  It’s a toy to be played with until the toy surrenders or until I can rescue it.  The only one getting a gift here is the cat.


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