Thursday, April 21, 2016

It's a jungle out there.

Opened door, went outside with dog, and dog bolted off toward the side, where a cat was loafing over by the rock wall. 

Tralfaz doesn't usually go after cats, or squirrels, or bunnies, or other critters, being kind of a live-and-let-live fellow, but if they're on his territory, Katie, bar the door

The cat has come around here before, and usually does not stick around to talk things over with the dog. It made its escape quickly. I called after Tralfaz to stop him from pursuing out of his jurisdiction. In the past, my dog will argue that the doctrine of "hot pursuit" or "fresh pursuit" allows him to chase the deer or skunk into the neighbor's yard or even down the street. As he's gotten older, though, he's begun to appreciate that chasing off the miscreant is usually sufficient. 

As he was returning I realized that the cat had been playing with something, but without my glasses I was not sure what. Birds have been working (and failing) to build nests out in the back, and have left lots of long grasses and bits of rope around, so I thought at first it was something like that. But no, as I drew closer I saw it was a snake, and now Tralfaz had a new target for his ire. 

I was pretty certain it could not be a venomous snake, because if it had been, the neighborhood would be down one cat off the total. I think it may have been a smooth green snake or a green garter snake. Like I know from snakes? Where I grew up we only had the two-legged kind. 

Besides, I was mostly concerned with keeping Tralfaz from being overly friendly. He tried to make friends with a big snapping turtle a couple of years ago and almost got a nosectomy for his trouble. My job here was to keep him occupied until I could get the leash on his collar or until the snake could take a powder. 

Finally the snake, realizing he was no longer the helpless plaything of a sadistic cat, slipped through a hole in the rocks and made his getaway. Tralfaz sniffed up the area where his erstwhile playmates had just sat, and I let him until he lost interest. Then we went off to urinate!

I wish I could have gotten a little movie of the whole multispecies interaction, but even if I had not left my phone on the charger indoors, I would probably have fumbled around with it and missed the whole thing. I might have dropped it and the snake could have run off with it. Who knows? So I just compiled an emoji portrait to commemorate the event. 

I always wear my snappy fedora when I walk the dog.

Anyway, it was a reminder to me that you never know what's waiting outside the door, even here in suburbia. Maybe next time it will be a lion. Or maybe a penguin! We like penguins.

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