I had hoped to have new computer before now. Not sure on timetable as am relying on busy friend to build one - albeit on the far less expensive side. Good news: Expensive medical tests say I'm just fine. But why do I still feel so lousy? Been stitching on the Sunflower pillow. I'd originally planned only to stitch the center portion, then decided to add 12 extra rows outside the second inside border, then decided to add another 3. Meaning at this point most of what I've got left is mostly like trying to stitch hundreds of often confetti stitches - which is a very very slow slog! Must now repair or replace my non-working air conditioner. It's already up to 84 in the house. TOO WARM!
I've previously posted about wild critters that have found their way inside my house. Baby possums, Baby raccoon, big white rabbit (really!), various mice and rats rodents I do NOT want in my house, and cringe when the only solution is setting out poison because I also have cats who only occasionally bother to catch one, but don't want to risk poisoning them. I walked into the living room late Wednesday afternoon, and caught a shadow and strange movement in the far corner near the fireplace out of the corner of my eye. Huh? Then it moved. What?? OMG, surely NOT!! Making it short: it was a REALLY BIG SNAKE with very bad temper. No, I didn't scream, though OMG was said several times. I quickly determined it looked like rattler, but didn't have the triangular head so wasn't a poisonous variety. I hoped. Then it buzzed its tail at me and decided to protect itself by making the top 1/2 of it's length a tight S then striking out trying to bite me. WHOA! Then I wasn't exactly sure, pretty sure it wasn't poisonous, but .... With plastic container between me and it and a long mop handle I managed to herd it into the fireplace and closed the fire screen. THEN called 911 who turned the report over to after-hour Animal Services. Thinking it was safely trapped then went to put on clothing necessary for inside human visitors. In the 30 seconds that took it got out of the fireplace and then wouldn't cooperate when I tried a second time to herd it back in, including more tail buzzing and striking out. At which point it slid off the other end of the hearth and behind furniture against that wall. Eventually Animal Services called and said it was probably a
Texas Rat Snake (non-poisonous) and finally showed up a few minutes later. In the meantime, I'd been watching that wall hoping it did not get any further. It didn't and was coiled up under the book case my TV sits on. The AS guy grabbed the upper part of it with something like what you would use to take something off a high shelf. It got loose a couple of times, and it took the 2 of us to get it into a plastic container: Him grappling front part and holding buzzing tail and me closing the lid on top of it when he finally managed to get both ends in the box at the same time, a somewhat difficult feat because of mad and uncooperative snake. His first comment upon seeing it: "It IS a big snake." Like 4-1/2 -5 feet long and 2" in diameter. He seemed to be expecting the garter snake variety, the kind of thing I'd just have picked up and carried out on my own without a second thought. After getting both ends in container and lid on and latched, he carried container out and transferred snake from mine to his. It only got loose twice in the process, once almost making it into the flower bed. It again took 2 of us to get it in the container and lid closed. He promised to take it somewhere safe and release it. I told him it was welcome to stay here but only if it would stay OUT of the house AND eat all the local rats and mice. Texas Rat snakes are aggressive and ill-tempered by nature, are excellent climbers and will eat anything it can get in its mouth (birds, rodents, lizards, etc), and though it didn't show lump of having had recent undigested meal, it was definitely well fed. Drat! I didn't even think about taking a photo. Overall, after the initial shock and worry of it getting somewhere else where I couldn't find it, my biggest anxiety 1) was anxiously trying to straighten before someone came in my admittedly messy house while at same time trying to watch to make sure snake was staying put as if it got loose in the house, I would NEVER find it again, and 2) oh no, how did it get in and how LONG had it been inside? I DON'T KNOW! Now I'm wondering whether it was female and if it laid eggs anywhere inside. OMG!!
Some photos here: http://www.houstonherp.com/TxRat.html