Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Country living, again

As I have mentioned before my family and I live outside of town in a partially rural area. Some of our neighbors have cows, some have horses. We have been visited by elk, deer, rabbits, skunks, coyotes, etc etc...it's all very exciting.
Until the visits get a bit more um, intrusive.
Over the last few months or so our cats have been allowed to go outside as they please through the beauty of a recently installed kitty door. Through that door they have brought us mice, birds and other assorted fauna.
I have been trying to deal with these "gifts" as graciously as I possibly can, though I am very squeamish about mice and lizards and bugs and deathly afraid of birds (this is a long-time problem for me...long story).
So, on Sunday morning, we got up early to go out woodcutting to get ready for the winter which is rapidly approaching up here. I was in Elizabeth's room getting her dressed when my husband stepped into, then out of, then back into the room very peculiarly. He then told me, "Stand up and get out of the room. Take the baby with you. Go right now."
I was understandably confused...I asked "Why, why why why WHY?" He just reiterated his evacuation order, which I complied with.
He then went and got a large cardboard box, returned to Elizabeth's room and retrieved from behind her door a giant HORNY TOAD LIZARD!

Holy Christ!
We have no idea how he got into our house, though we suspect that our cats were involved.
We released the lizard in our front yard where Louie, our cat, attempted to mess with him further and was met with a puffed up lizard, hissing and spitting. Louie backed off.
I am still recovering.
How long was that thing in my baby's room? All night? Ugh, I am SOOO creeped out!
Bob also found a giant tarantula on the road to our house and, like a guy, caught it and brought it home. Here is the giant tarantula, which we also released back into the wild, after photographing the specimen and equipping him with a GPS transmitter. Just kidding. He ate the GPS unit. What a big mother!


Amy said...

Oooh, toads. Are those things poisonous? We haven't had any wildlife come right to our door, so surprising up here I know! The other night I let the dog out the side door. We don't have a backyard per se, but our itty deck runs up to some open space so we just let her go there at night. She all of a sudden comes tearing down the stairs, tail between her legs, ears down low, and alternates running upstairs to my husband and huddling near me. She was growling low all night and kept staring out the window. I kept waiting to see a bear peeking in my back door but nothing.

Jessey said...

Ooh, that sounds exciting! She definitely got spooked by SOMETHING!

Jessey said...

Oh, and yes I think they are poisonous, my husband says they spit their blood at you when you get them mad. Ew.

cube said...

We get large toads here in Florida (bufo marinus) that are toxic if eaten by animals & the skin secretions can inflam human eyes & skin. I've never seen a horny toad lizard! Although, we always have an occasional gecko and lizard living inside the house with us.

Jessey said...

My cat, Louie (he's the surly gray one), has gotten deeply into lizard tracking and hunting in our yard and almost always brings his kills (which are almost always still alive at the time) into our house where he then chases them into a corner and eats them.
He actually JUST did this about five minutes ago.
It's fun.

Greg Brown said...

I've lived in Arizona off and on for more than fifty years... horned toads aren't poisonous, although will do something awful to the digestive tract of a dog or cat who tries to eat one... but it's mechanical damage left by all those spines. They like having their heads rubbed, even. Also, all the Arizona species I know of eat ants to the exclusion of anything else. This is a "Good Thing" when you live in the country.

Up until a few years ago I lived in the country in SW Washington state. Our cats thought it was even and I gained an advanced degree in rodentology.

Greg Brown

ps: Thanks for commenting on my blog!

Jessey said...

It's good to know that they're not poisonous, since we see them all over the place out here.
They are scary looking guys though!