Each morning when I get up, the first door I approach, is Nicholas'. I usually peek in at his sweet sleeping face and smile, and shut the door then go about my morning routine to wake Marisa, let the beast out, get my coffee, and so on. But not today. Today was going to be different. Today when I looked in Nick's room, the lighting was different, and I noticed immediately because I'm pretty keen on these things being anal and all.
Hyrup's cage sits directly at the foot of his bed. Yes the snake. In my baby's room. Now the snake, for now, is only a mere two-feet long. And I'm reminded of the conversation I had with the girl at PetSmart just a few days ago. She was probably laughing at me, now that I think about it. Because, I'm laughing at my stupidity right now. Ok, ok, I'm just jumping backward and forward and every which way. But that's what it's like in my head, in the room, and basically in any conversation you may share with me.
The cage: Typically, has a screen for a top, with a light that sits ON top of it, shining it's warm red rays inside to keep Hyrup warm and toasty. Not the case this morning. The screen AND the light were, well, the light was in the cage, and the screen was partly on and in the cage. The culprit - Bosco, our special ed snake bait two-year old cat! Who is now behind me, on Nick's bed meowing like he's telling me, "Yeah, that was terrible! I jumped up there, and the stupid thing fell in. So I let him out. You can thank me later. Why would you keep him trapped in there like that?"
Not really wanting to wake up the ever-energetic six-year old. But really needing to find the snake, I call on Marisa. "Marisa, Hyrup is missing!" She is up like a flash, no kidding! I now know how to wake up a teenager. Forget the alarm! Forget telling her it's later than it is. Tell her one of the animals are missing. The child was out of bed, I felt air and wind blow by me, it turned my body around. No kidding.
"Where is he?!" Now she's in front of the cage, frantic, like a Mother in a store who turns around not seeing her child for a second. Rather than turning on the bedroom light, she mistakenly turned on Nick's closet light, so now she's madly trying to find the switch to the light, to find Hyrup.
"Mom, where is he?"
Now the lights are on. I'm still trying not to wake the energizer power bunny up, but that has now failed - he is on to us. "What's going on?"
Knowing that he's going to want a warm source, I scan the heating coil, and find him. "Marisa, get Nick's flashlight, I see him!"
"No! It's MY flashlight!!" says sleepy selfish boy. (Where is that damn Nanny when I need her?)
Oh never mind, I have Cinderfreakinrisa. "Shut up Nick and give me the flashlight! We need it! Hyrup is missing."
(yeah, Nick, Hyrup is missing. You go girl)
For the weak at heart, who are afraid of snakes, I really did want to take pictures of this. And as we were rescuing Hyrup, I was saying to Marisa, "You realize, I must blog this you know." However, we were desperate in our attempt, it took 25 minutes, I hadn't had my freaking coffee, she needed to get ready for school. Wonder boy was desperately worried about his stupid Cars flashlight. Not to mention the tire we put in the radiator to hold it open so as not to gouge our hands as we pulled him out. (wait! did we get the tire out?)
This rescue was not for the faint at heart. She seriously thinks, and I do mean SERIOUSLY, thinks we should go into a snake rescue business. I reminded her of the 8 foot poisonous type. We had a hard enough time trying to uncoil him. Snakes are strong!
Meanwhile, special ed Bosco was watching and Meowing the entire time. And all I kept hearing in the back of my head was the conversation I had with the girl at PetSmart, "You have cats? And he doesn't EAT them??"
HMMMM........ So, I'm thinking. Bait! I realize this snake is going to get huge. She did say that, too. Let's see now, Philip has been extended three months. He goes back to Iraq, then gets out. So say the snake grows another foot. That boy needs to move that monster out when he gets out!!!! Or poor old bait boy is....uh, yeah, BAIT!!!
This cat has zero self-defense skills. ZERO, as in he refuses. When little Nala hisses at him, he just looks at her and tilts his head, like, "oh, c'mon I'm not bad, try me." and then he tries to walk up to her. And she attacks him. She is literally about twice his size. Or maybe more. Oh, and she has thumbs. She is mean. When she hunts, she removes their heads and their hind ends, AND their skin. really.
When Bosco hunts - he doesn't kill, he plays. He just throws them in the air and bats them around. It's hysterical; the mice are like, "Just kill me already!" They stand up on their hind legs and scream at him. And he just tilts his head sidways at them, and picks them up, throws them in the air and then bats them around. Meanwhile, they are suffering with a punctured liver or whatever, pissed off, waiting to die. Having watched some family member gone thru something terrible from the Godmother, Nala. The Don(na) of the neighborhood.
Sometimes they actually run to him, in a sacrificial martyr-like melodrama. But he just looks at them, head tilted, like they want to hurt him, and he backs away. Nala will be watching from a nearby bush; I know what she's thinking, she's a female, "Idiot! You'd never last if wasn't for me, buddy!" Then she prances her prance over, hisses at him, and BITES the head off of it. Leaves it, either at the front or back doors for me to find. Oh, thank you, Nala. Cats are disgusting. But I love mine. And truth be told, I really don't want to find them, in a large bulge, in the pit of Hyrup. That would be just devastating for all. I believe Philip would get a great kick out of it, but nobody else would.
Today, Hyrup gets a rat. Yeah, I know, gross. I don't participate in the feeding frenzy, but my kids love it. I told him it was his reward once we got him in his cage. And since he's now safely there, I need to hold up my end of the bargain. Hey, a deal is afterall, a deal. Snake, kid, whatever.
For the record, when Philip brought him home two years ago, I was totally freaked out. But now, I love the little guy. I used to have iguanas. They were cool. I walked them on leashes. I used to stop traffic with that one. They were beautiful. They never stop growing. Incedentally, neither, do some snakes. You can; however, contain their growth by their environment. We take Hyrup out of his cage, we handle him, so he remains friendly. We have a 'feeding' cage for him to enter, for obvious times. Like today. Allow your imagination go there for you so I need not elaborate.
My niece was here on Saturday and wanted to hold Hyrup while he was out. Of course, Jamie was reluctant. I can understand her fear, I used to be the same way. But if we allow children to be as fearful as we are, they grow up with the same fears. So Alyssa held Hyrup. And she enjoyed it. And Yes, she washed her hands afterwards. no fear of snakes. As for Jamie, that will take some work.
I used to have this faux ficus in my living room; and my iguanas loved it. They had their basking lamps in it during the daytime when they'd perch. So when people would visit, I suppose, to them, it resembled up-lighting or something. Until the branches would move. The iguanas would completely blend in. Because I was so used to having them, I would forget to
warn tell my guests about my iguanas. So naturally, when they'd see the branches move, and the iguana, they'd pretty much flip out.
Today, I have no iguanas. Just a big stupid dog, who wants to sit in everyone's lap. (At all of 100 something pounds!) Two cats; the smaller of the two being the dangerous one, and the larger the special ed kitty. Then we have Hyrup, our snake. Whom we rescued this morning. Did I mention ever, that I wanted a bird at one time. If it wasn't for the screaching sound, I'd have one.
Philip desperately wants another bulldog. For the record, we do NOT have English bulldog here! We have American bulldog. The big stupid kind. The big stupid, lazy, wanting to lay in your lap or bed kind. All day long. Pitiful. Very loveable. Stupid. But loveable. Oh, and fierce. Yeah.