When the alarm woke me on a recent Sunday morning, I stumbled to the kitchen for a few quick gulps of caffeine--a daily essential to kick-start my brain and energize my limbs. I had “furs and feathers” to feed, and I couldn’t tarry because the hungry yard cats might go to the birdfeeders and feast on my feathered friends.
I hurried to the patio kitchen counter with canned cat food and encountered a dead cockroach lying feet up on the tile at the end of a long, snaky strip of his nasty, liquid calling card. He’d encountered the chemical the pest control man had recently sprayed. Grumbling, I mopped the tile. I reached for the dry cat food from the refrigerator under the counter and promptly spilled it all over the floor. Great! Another clean-up job!
After taking the food to the workshop carport for the cats, I returned to fill a small container with bird seeds that I also kept in the refrigerator. Somehow, I dumped tiny safflower, millet, wheat, and milo seeds everywhere, even inside the frig. What the heck? I’d never had a morning like that—not that I could remember. Thinking about my waiting, much-needed coffee and getting grumpier by the minute, I again cleaned.
I headed out the screen door toward the bird feeders on the opposite side of the house and couldn’t believe my eyes. A snake slithered toward me on the sidewalk! I don’t mind mice that much, don’t hate spiders like some people, but I believe I loathe snakes more than most anybody. I freaked!
Running to the den door, I hollered, “Bruce, come get this snake!” Obviously, he hadn’t had enough of his coffee yet, either. Even grouchier, he indicated he wasn’t going to bother, so I stomped back—but to the screen door on the opposite side of the lanai.
Bruce apparently had second thoughts about his decision because he removed the snake, not that he helped matters much. He tenderly carried it a few feet into the woods bordering the yard, and released it!
“What kind was it?” I asked.
“I don’t know.”
I’d worried that the deadly viper would return. Well, okay…it was a baby snake, but it was at least eight inches long—and probably had fangs. I borrowed a slight variation of the two Siamese cats’ theory from my favorite Disney cartoon, “Lady and the Tramp.”
“Bruce, you know where there’s babies, there’s mamas nearby! I’m never going out that door again!” I stomped away, thinking…God, you truly must have a sense of humor; otherwise, you wouldn’t have paired a snake-lover and a snake-hater and let us both survive the union!
But did I let a stressful start spoil my worship that Sunday morning? Not in the least. That snake never crossed my mind again. Well, okay…not until the next morning when I again exited the opposite door to feed my birds.