We've tried mightily to keep her in. She doesn't get along with our other cat (who would not step foot outside even if the house was a raging inferno), and she'll come in to eat and drink but heads right back for the great outdoors. Try keeping her in and she does bad things. Really bad, very naughty things you probably don't want to read about. So she is our yard ornament. I'm not sure how the neighbors feel about it, but we haven't ever had the heart to take her to the pound, and no one else has been dumb....err, I mean, good enough to take her home with them. I actually tried for awhile to advertise her on craigslist as a barn cat but amazingly most people seemed to read, "Free cat! Crazy, ill-mannered, stinky breath, attacks little kids, and yet another mouth to feed!" instead of my listing for a, "Free cat! Smart, a total sweetheart, charming, LOVES kids, will rid your barn of mice and make every day a joy!" Some people just can't read.
Today we finished up school before lunchtime (woohoo!) Shockingly there was a nice breeze blowing about outside, so we decided to take a walk/stroll/bike ride after lunch. I parked the stroller on the porch and loaded the baby up, trying vainly to get shoes on everyone else. I leaned in the door to grab my water and heard a scream of, "Snake!" from the front porch. Now there is not another word on this earth that can make my blood run cold quite like that one. I made the leap from counter to stroller in about half a second - I'm still not sure how I got through the partly-shut door. I may have morphed through it because I can't recall touching it. I yanked the stroller off its wheels and spun it around me and into the house, and grabbed the two closest kids in the same motion and pulled them inside. My oldest son stood alone in the yard, a snake between us. He was on his own. Sink or swim. That mothering instinct only carries so far.
Cut me some slack. He's almost ten.
Turns out the snake was about 6 inches long, a scaly little black beast with a white band behind its snakey little neck. I ran around the kitchen for a few minutes, bringing my heart rate down into double digits, and finally decided to toss the dog's dish on top of it. Hubby has a lovely gift waiting for him when he gets home from work. In all I felt a new level of maturity; the old me might have barricaded the door, herded all the kids into the bathroom closet, four doors shut between us and the serpent, me frantically panting into the phone for the fire department, police, and my husband to come and get the monster off my porch. Now I'm merely gagging at the thought of a *shudder* snake still sitting out there. I hope the little bas.....errr, thing dies under there.
*Smoothing my hair out* Now then, where were we? Oh yes, so we went out on our merry little walk around the neighborhood, Hobie in the stroller, Coral and I on foot, and the big kids on bikes. And the cat. We lasted about half a block before Coral took over the stroller and Hobie got strapped into the Ergo carrier with me. The cat followed us all through our neighborhood and into the next development, a half-mile from home. It dawned on all of us as we reached the turn-around point in our walk that although there was a nice breeze, it was still mid-90's, humid, and the sun was beating down. Florida in September. At this point the poor bedraggled cat was panting, so Alexei scooped her up and she rode the whole way back home on his bike. Not too many cats can claim that.
|ready for our walk after the snake incident - Minnie lasted a half-block before mooching the stroller|