When a Male Knitter Screams

IMG_0109I 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.





  1. I ran over a snake on my bike back in 2008, a week after my dad died, while riding down US98 in Santa Rosa Beach. I’m pretty convinced that thing is still waiting for me. I get it.

  2. I admit to screaming about the same way if I get up in the morning and
    find a centipede in my kitchen sink. Doesn’t matter what size.


  3. I can imagine all that and it made me smile just thinking about you jumping on your bed screaming. We had a cat when we moved into a flat in an old building in London which we found out had mice. The sensible ones emigrated next door where there was no cat. The stupid ones stayed and our cat would catch them one by one. At night we would hear her juggling and torturing the mouse. When my partner was there, he would go and rescue it and put it out of its misery. The mice were always badly mauled and wouldn’t have lived.

  4. I love the story. Fair play Mario. That’s why we have cats – to protect us from the ravages of nature – mice, birds and now snakes. Xx

  5. You knit to old Kate Bush. Ahhhhhh. Curious how old (pre-Hounds of Love?) and which album?

    Way to go cat. I once installed a woodstove and a snake slithered out onto the wood floor. Instant heart attack. And my cat was terribly interested. What is it about slithering that just steps it all up a notch???

    1. Actually, I was listening to The Dreaming! I love that album! Although Hounds of Love (and the Seventh Wave) is another of my faves! Good on ya!!! I have no idea, things crawl about here often. Beetles, the occasional palmetto bug. She could care less, something moving quietly in….well, a slither? For some reason cats love that crap. I’m grateful for it!

  6. Haha! Brilliant. Great visual 🙂 I always scream like a very posh old lady when confronted with a creppy crawlies in the shed … frightens the life out of my neighbours. Just glad we don’t get whopping snakes here in the UK! X PS. Fab taste in music by the way, Ms Bush is playin in London in sept! I got tickets (she says smugly) xx

  7. I was living in Oklahoma a few years ago and woke up one rainy night thirsty. I decided to walk to the kitchen to grab a bottle of water and just happened to turn on the hallway light instead of hoofing it in the dark. Thank heavens I did…all three of my orange fur babies were sitting in a circle around a 4 foot long snake they had “played with” until it broke. I almost peed myself! To make matters worse, while trying to get rid of their plaything with the dustpan, they thought I was trying to play too, so they took turns batting it off the dustpan since it hung over both sides…I did not sleep anymore that night!

    They were hell on scorpions too!

  8. I could just see that! I’d be squealing too…don’t love the creepy crawlie things. Yech…my skin is crawling just hearing about it. Good kitty 🙂

  9. It’s always moving to see the unlimited devotion that links a pet to his human friend (don’t like the term “master”). Bravo Mario, you are an Hero, and thanks for keeping Gregory safe. You deserve a treat (more on email).

  10. I always thought the typical response to a mouse was absurd. Little mouse, large human being– it did not compute! Until a mouse was lured in to the house by the cat who thought it was a great toy, I saw it run across the floor and realized I’d jumped up on the chair and was screaming. Pure instinct! We caught it eventually and released it outside. I am sure it or its offspring have made return visits. I still have the urge for the same response.

  11. It’s a good thing I wasn’t drinking any tea when I read this. And dare I admit my daughter has a pet corn snake. I have friends who refuse to even set foot in my house. Our cat used to torture mice as well. When he got too old to hunt, he would just watch them run along the baseboards. I wish he was still here.

    And now I’m inspired to pick up one of my knitting projects and curl up in my chair on the front porch. Finally we have sunshine in Vancouver.

  12. OMG, hilarious! My youngest cat was playing with something in the kitchen last summer. I thought it was a piece of plastic or rubbish – so I bent down to pick it up. It was only when I touched the cool, limp body that I realized it was a baby snake. A dead, tiny snake. I was horrified at what I held in my hand but I couldn’t very well give it back to the cat. So I took a picture and put it on Facebook, of course. And yes, I have gotten my cataracts fixed since then.

  13. You had me howling with laughter. My husband once had me running in due to his very manly shrieks because one of our dogs had a huge “rattle snake” in its mouth. Understand that to my man all spiders are black widows and all snakes are rattlers. By the time I got there he’d gotten Ginger to drop the snake and come in. I was finally able to find the poor snake in the bushes and it was a huge California King, not venomous. I was hoping he’d forgive Ginger and stick around because we were having a bit of a rodent problem in our neighborhood at the time but we never saw him again.

    So glad you had Mario to protect you.

  14. Exchange snakes for spiders and you’ll understand why I have an agreement with my cat that she’ll kill and dispose of any spiders she finds. She’s not very good at it, she just wants to play with them.

    A friend of mine, on the other hand, has no problems with spiders. But he is terrified of moths. When we were in the back woods of North Carolina, there was a huge moth in the cabin and he jumped up on a chair screaming his head off, covered his eyes and yelled at me to “get it out get it out”. It was amazing to see a guy who had no problem with hunting, field stripping deer and other manly tasks fall apart over a moth.

    At least spiders and snakes are potentially deadly and there’s good reason to freak out!

  15. LOL Oh my goodness, thank you so much for the laugh! I really needed that after the week I’ve had and it’s only Wed. Snakes, I can handle, put a spider around me and I’ll be screaming and running away. Hate those things! Have a good weekend!

  16. Lol 🙂 Ok I admit it…thats me with any bug on the earth except butterflies, ladybugs & lightening bugs of course 😉

  17. Oh Gregory….I’m sitting here in MI at my sons Taekwondo class & this made me laugh right out loud. The people around me looked at me strangely but I’m ok with that because us knitters don’t care what others think! Thanks for the laugh & kudos to Mario & her ninja skills!

  18. Brilliant!! 🙂 This has been the best read today thank you so much for sharing. I love to read anything and everything that you write,You are an inspiration ……………………

  19. What an image….you,
    with needles no less, screaming. No doubt that was one scared snake! Great story!

  20. That’s awesome that Mario is so very much willing to go after a snake to protect the man she loves!! By the way, about boiled peanuts…. I bought a can (free gift coupon actually) on Monday and I’m wondering what the best way to rewarm them is.

    Sorry folks, but up here in Wisconsin, we consider ourselves lucky to get such exotic foods even if they are in a can.
    As always, Patrick, much love to you and Mario!!

  21. I just laughed until I cried! I could just see it, only mine is a spider fear..thanks for the lift in a otherwise stressful day.

  22. Thanks for the giggle, I can really picture Mario playing with the snake and you jumping up and down on your bed! You are one heck of a descriptive writer! Glad to know that you and Mario are safe and sound! Give that kitty a good bbq steak! 🙂

  23. Omigod, I’m laughing so hard I’m going to pee myself! The mental picture of you screaming and jumping on the bed is priceless! Now you just have to add a kitty doll and it holding a snake, in honor of Mario, to your knitting repertoire!

  24. Great image, great laugh. Thanks.
    Had a store clerk curled up on a chair squealing because a tiny spider was scuttling across the floor. Also had one of the kids come up behind me, tell me to close my eyes and hold out my hands, into which they dropped a very stinky garter snake. Poor thing, it liked me holding it and I deeply disappointed the kids who were watching waiting for me to do something terrified. I let the snake go after chasing the kids while holding it. That was fun.

  25. lol – if all you did was scream, that is pretty good. I would have totally freaked out to find a snake in the house. That being said, years ago I had two cats – one a savvy, fearless hunter, the other an aodoring baby sister kitten. I was out in the yard with them one day (we were country folk then, and they went outside with me) and I heard a funny little mewing noise. I looked up and the older one was coming toward me, proudly bearing a large dead snake, struggling to keep her head up with her burden. Trotting along next to her was the kitten, proudly bearing the tail end of the same snake, as if to say “Look, I helped!” I wish I had my camera with me that day.

  26. What a fun story! Although I am sure living it was not so fun. I am the only girl in my house with all sons and a husband. We have had two six foot black snakes in the house, not to mention a few in the barn and chicken coop. Seems no one is ever around when I am forced to deal with the menacing creatures. My weapons of choice are a hoe for hacking heads off and metal rake for moving the beasts. Could use a savvy kitty such as yours to partner with. Fortunately, I have an angel kitty that showed up a couple of months ago at the barn and has adopted me. He is a vicious mouse and rat killer and this alone might deter snakes from showing up. But unlike yours, he is an outside rough and tumble guy. But that is ok. He protects the chickens and I protect the home front.

  27. One night I came into the front room to find all 3 kitties huddled in a circle around what looked like a pile of poo–until it slithered! About 18″ of brown snake! OMG! No man around–what to do!! Leaping from one piece of furniture to the next & silently screaming, I finally got the fireplace tongs, picked him up & threw him outside, where he landed in a tree. He was gone the next morning, who knows where. Still puzzled where he came from–we live in a piney area & had never seen a snake here in 30 yrs. Wondering if he came in a bag of cat food?

  28. LOL! You reminded me of my late husband. He could fix anything, he was a rocket scientist, but if there was a spider in the house, then my six foot four man would shriek like a girl and demand that I kill it. Thank you for sharing this! Mario was very brave to have protected you like that! 🙂

  29. Hilarious, love your writing! Read your first book, how bout a lighthearted sequel? How’s, The adventures of Mad mad and Mario sound?

    1. Actually, I’ve been working on the sequel for about 2 years now. “Will Knit For Food.” Its sooooo dark though. SO dark. Its good writing, but its….well, it picks up right where the last one leaves off. I have my apartment and I had no more job…..and then I was up shit creek, homeless and living in the woods. The book was how I got there and how I got out….but, I have to confess I’ve had a hard time with rewrites because it IS really dark.

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