June 6, 2008

The Cat, the Snake, and the Newspaper Reporter:

The Saga of Sara Jean

How innocent ... coffee with a friend on a Friday morning. Nothing unusual there. Until ... Paula asked if I could help her rescue some kittens, really young ones she'd seen living under the shrubs at the front of the Coldwell Banker office where Paula worked. Well, my goodness! Kittens? In need of help? I'm there!

It was just a year ago, we were down to one cat, and I'd been pining for a new kitty. Bert was not excited about that great idea. So off Paula and I went to see if we could save those homeless little waifs. Now, the office was located in an old house, busy streets on two sides and a wrap-around driveway on the other two sides. There were a few shrubs out front before a retaining wall dropped off sharply. Paula had been glanced out a basement window and seen the two little fluffballs we were aiming to rescue.

A mother cat? Yes, Paula'd seen one, but not in several days, and if these kitties started to wander they could be in b-i-g danger. Well, it was no small feat, but we were able to trap and pick up the kittens, a threesome, not the two we were expecting. Oh, no, Paula didn't want a kitten, but a woman in the office took the little gray one, and I headed home with a tiny calico and a tinier tiger kitty mewing piteously in the wastebasket where I had them corralled. Luckily, Bert accepted them with good grace.

MomCat returned and was of course upset that her babies were gone, but a local no-kill shelter live-trapped her, and we re-united the family. Mom seemed satisfied that her kids were doing okay in their new homes, and that was certainly part of the happy ending. MomCat was spayed and, I'm happy to say, found a loving new home thanks to H.A.R.T., the Homeless Animal Rescue Team, a truly wonderful organization.

Soon the tiger became Caleb and the calico was named Sara Jean. Sara Jean, most definitely one smart kitty, quickly had Bert calling her Sara Jean, The Loving Machine. (He's also been known to call this fickle little feline "Slut Kitty".) Then a few months later as Sara Jean ventured outside, we started calling her Sara Jean, The Killing Machine. She liked bringing her trophies in to show me which, while certainly thoughtful of her, was not properly appreciated on my part.

Fast forward to a few days ago ... Caleb and Sara Jean have been with us just one year and are adolescents in every sense. They love to tease Sam our 15-year-old cat, they like to sashay past Harley Dog flicking him on the nose with their tails, and they like to sit on my desk when I'm working at the computer. When it's nice weather out, I leave the mudroom door to the deck open a bit so they can come and go to the back yard.

So there I was doing a phone interview with a local reporter on all things thrifty, when I glanced over and there was Sara Jean with a SNAKE. In our mudroom. A big snake. Alive. Moving. YIKES!

A very hurried goodbye, a gloved hand, a slithery catch, and a trip to the edge of nearby woods for release. A furious Sara Jean.

AND a stern word of warning to a little kitty who just didn't seem half as cute I used to think she was!


P.S. Yes, photos of the terrible twosome to follow.

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