I have four cats; Stinky, Pumpkin, Sherpa and Harry. All except for Harry go outside for parts of the day. That leads to them bringing me the occasional “gift.” Any of you with outside cats have received similar gifts I am sure. Some are more memorable that others, some are more alive than others.
Sherpa is my most prolific gift giver, I suppose because Stinky is old and just wants to bask in the sun and Pumpkin is of an indeterminate age and he just wants to get away from Harry who is still kittenish. Sherpa is a hunter. I see him heading off in the tall grass and I am never quite sure what he will bring back. I have gotten mice, gophers, lizard tails and sadly the occasional bird. The birds make me cry. Oh and snakes. Lots and lots of snakes. He seems to be an expert snake finder. Mostly garter snakes but the other day he surprised me.
And not in a good way.
Don’t get me wrong. I love snakes. I think they are really, really cool. All smooth and snakey. I have always been fond of snakes and lizards and finding them in the wild has been thrilling for me. The garter snakes are quite small, greenish in color with a black racing stripe. When I saw him the other day the snake was not green, it did not have a racing stripe but it was quite small.
I went to investigate further. I knew right away. There is no missing the distinctive head, the markings.
Fortunately it was a baby. A real baby. It really didn’t have much of a rattle yet. But where there’s a baby there’s a mommy. Even with snakes. It was beautiful. It wouldn’t bother me at all except for the goats and the cats. It’s the first one I’ve seen since we moved on the lot. Well, it’s the first one I’ve seen in the “the wild” if you can call my backyard the “wild.”
I haven’t see the baby or any other rattlesnake since which is good. As much as I like snakes I just don’t want one of the animals to get hurt. Hopefully Sherpa will stick to hunting non-venomous creatures.