I don’t have air conditioning, so my front door is constantly open. I have a screened door so its quite safe for Mario. She will NEVER be an outside cat. I can’t imagine what would happen to me if she were to get out and get sick, or hurt, or snatched up. Won’t let it happen. So, the front door has this screen on it. And if you’ve never seen the pic I took one day of her sitting in front of it, I’ll post it again. She LOVES sitting there all day…watching The Bird Show, The Other Cats Show, and her most favorite, The Lizards and Squirrels Scurrying By Fast Show. Even though my apartment is only 10 feet by 20 feet, Mario and I manage to stay out of each others way. She keeps herself occupied while I knit and get work done.
Now, a few days ago, we were having one of our wonderful afternoon thunderstorms so typical for Central Florida this time of year. They’re gothic and violent, dramatic and symphonic. I love them. And they cool everything off so quickly. We’ll go from 90 to 75 during our afternoon thunderstorms, so I appreciate them more than you can imagine.
I’m sitting back and knitting when out of the corner of my eye I see Mario starting to play with a bit of yarn. I keep on knitting, feeling the cool air, hearing the rumble of thunder, listening to some old Kate Bush, breathing in that earthy smell of wet timber. Mario keeps battling this long string of yarn viciously, batting at it, leaping up on her hide legs then pouncing back down it….which at first I thought was cute, but then thought, “Wait a minute. She doesn’t play with my yarn. She has been disciplined since she was a kitten. It’s forbidden.” No, I’m lucky that way. She DOES not play with yarn, and does not even FLINCH if I open a can of tuna. She’s very well trained. So, I take a closer look and there is Mario trying to devastate a snake. Yes! A SNAKE had slithered its way into the apartment and there was Mario acting like Riki Tiki Freakin’ Tavi as she lunged and tossed it about.
I screamed at such a high octave you would have thought someone had kicked me in my Barnes and Noble (if you know what I mean, ladies). There I was leaping onto my bed, squealing like a girlie boy, clutching my needles like weapons, screaming, “Kill it, Mario! KILL IT!!!”
Well, she’d have no part of that. Hell no! She was having a blast watching it slither a little, then capturing it again; showing it mercy, only to beat the hell out of it again; writhing alongside it, only to let it go slightly enough for her to bombard it with slender, razor like paws. And suddenly, SWOOSH! The snake managed to slither out under the screen door and head out into the bushes.
For the next hour or so, she wandered around the apartment with ears pitched back, eyes wide and darting left and right, a low crouch to the ground as she inspected every crevice, every corner of our little home, protecting me from a snake….
Now, I do have to mention I consider myself something of ruff guy. You know, I’ve got my little beard, my dirty jeans, my boots and ball cap. I’m a guy! A GUY THAT LOVES BOILED PEANUTS AND WHO KNITS! I can handle the world! I can handle the demons and stereotypes! I’ve been through hell and come back with a teddy bear!
So, what happens when a male knitter screams? The girl in him comes out, and a little cat comes to the rescue….
Ridiculous, I tell you. Just ridiculous.