Who among us doesn’t like a good present? Typically I function under the belief that no gift is a bad gift. In my experience, even awfully tacky and tasteless gifts are good for a laugh; but I think that after today’s little, private circus, I most certainly need to qualify this statement.
Any gift from my cat is a bad gift.
As I said in an earlier post, I’ve just had ankle surgery. I’m at the point where no one is really all that excited to see me coming. In spite of them putting their best face and rosiest demeanors forward, ain’t NO-body happy about my current state. Here’s the shiny, fabulous, two-for-one deal Molly brings:
Take care of me. Take care of my 5-and-a-half month old baby.
Folks are lined up around the block.
I consciously try to handle as much as I can, but this gesture is greatly limited by my inability to drive. The cast is on my right ankle, of course. I am 34-years-old, and I am bumming rides like I’m 15.
So, today I asked my dad, Mr. Wonderful, to drop me off at my house after taking Jeffrey to Ms. Patty’s house. I’ve been staying with my parents quite a bit post-surgery. They’re real happy about that. (Count them among those who will be anxious for me to graduate from a cast to “the boot.”)
I was going to spend the day on my own like a big girl. Everyone could use a break.
I left the front door open to let the warm air in as I sat at my dining room table to write.
I stared at the hole in my screen door, hoping to find inspiration. My dog, Snoopy Jones, is responsible for the hole; apparently he and the cats felt they should be more connected to the outdoors. Ray Charles appreciates Snoop’s gesture more than any of the pets, using the hole in the screen as her personal cat door.
(Note: Ray Charles is neither blind, nor male. I had it all wrong when I named her.)
Ray jumped through the hole today with a gift for me.
A FREAKIN’ SNAKE!!!!
I knew I didn’t have much time to react, but knowing just wouldn’t cut it. I’m on crutches, friends. I’m going nowhere fast.
I’m sure I scared the holy hell out of Ray. I would imagine a giant, crazed woman flying at her on large metal sticks was enough to scare her little cat brain into a real tizzy. She took off.
As I watched Ray bound up the steps I could only think about one thing: Is that snake dead or alive? Oh goodie, it’s alive.
This brought me quickly to full-fledged panic as I wondered where Ray would hide the snake should I not be able to wrangle it from her on the steps. Visions of a snake crawling across my sweet angel, Jeffrey’s face, while he slept peacefully in his bed, made me throw up in my mouth a little bit.
I eased my pace and with the grace of a drunken, baby elephant crawled up the stairs after her. In my most pathetic cat lady voice, I cooed. “Hi, Ray. Hi, Baby. Come here pretty Ray. What did you bring Mommy? Come here, Baby.” My flirtation was disgusting.
Apparently Ray Charles was feeling in a kind way, or she found herself suddenly attracted to me and my velvet –throated voice. Either way, she dropped the snake.
It wasn’t a big snake, just a few inches long; and though I’m no Jack Hanna, I think it was your garden variety, common Garder snake.
(So you know, I will be telling everyone from this point on that I caught a 5-foot rattler with my bare hands. Just being upfront.)
I grabbed the monster with a dishtowel, shimmied down my steps and out the front door. Snake in one hand, crutches in the other. I crutched/hopped myself and my gift from Ray to the empty lot a few doors down. Releasing him, the snake slithered away with a flick of the tongue and a grateful smile on his face.
I’ll sure miss him.
Thank you, Ray for the wonderful gift. It means so much to me that you are thinking of me during this time that I am infirmed. I hope next time you bring me a mouse–or a nice pair of shoes.