Vacationing at my parents’ house in Palm Springs involves many things, chores, lots of family, pool time, long talks, shopping, and rescuing lizards. See, my parents have two cats, Flower and Suki. Flower and Suki enjoy the sunshine and cool grass all morning and then at the suns peak they come inside for some A/C. Of course, they know how spoiled they are and in return bring us presents. These presents are lizards. And sometimes birds.
Around noon my mom came home. I was still in my pajamas after a glorious 12 hours of sleep. My mom walked in and said “Ohhh, there’s a lizard!” A small one. My mom grabbed the broom and the dustpan. She attempted to sweep it up when the little thing bolted and ran straight into my father’s closet. My mom shrugged her shoulders, “your daddy can deal with that one.”
I was about to ask my mom about her morning when I noticed bonsai tree stamps on the counter. I laughed and immediately thought of a darling friend of mine who in May proudly proclaimed that she had big and exciting summer plans! She was going to grow a bonsai tree! I was about to tell this story to my mother when I spotted Flower. Flower was moving quickly and sure enough a giant lizard was running for dear life in front of her. “No! Flower!” Bonsai tree stamps still in hand, I ran and grabbed the 17 pound Flower. The lizard cowered in the corner.
That’s when the phone rang. I am convinced the phone never stops ringing at my parents’ house. Very popular people, my parents.
I tossed the cat in the spare bedroom and closed the door. My mom was on the phone, disgruntled. I watched the lizard from behind the wall of the kitchen. It was huge and hiding by the cat food. Excellent location choice, Mr. Lizard.
My mom hung up the phone, let out an exasperated sigh, and said she had to go back to the hospital (that’s a whole other story). My mom left. I stood there with my bonsai tree stamps for a good 30 seconds before I realized what she had done. I ran outside and flagged her down. She rolled down the car window, “Mom! You are leaving me with the lizard!?” Yup. I would later learn that this is a common theme with my mother. She waits for someone else to tackle lizard duty.
I sighed and walked back in the house. I peered around the corner. The lizard was still hiding by the cat food.
Generally, I consider myself a brave person and calm under pressure. When something needs to be done, I do it. My friends and family can count on me for that. The thing is, my bravery is strongly linked to other people. When I am alone I don’t have to be brave. There is no one else to be brave for. My bravery does not go away when I am alone, I simply allow myself some wiggle room.
Of course, we are talking about a lizard here, but there is a certain amount of bravery that is needed to deal with wildlife.
I quickly made a game plane while I did a “I don’t want to touch the lizard” dance. I grabbed some gloves and a cloth. Then I shimmied onto the counter next to the cat food. I looked down at the lizard, quickly took its picture, and then dropped the cloth on it. I almost picked it up several times when I suddenly realized that if I made a barricade with the cat food I could open the side door and shoo the lizard outside.
As I am sure you’ve guessed, it worked. The lizard ran outside and I slammed the door behind it. I was just about to free the cat from her confinement when I wondered where the lizard had gone. I walked outside to find the lizard right outside the door. Honestly, Mr. Lizard. You just escaped a cat and you are just going to chill outside the door?
This was lizard number three just today. Don’t these lizards tell each other about our house? Not wanting another dead lizard in the house (the first one I found at 10am was dead), I decided to chase this one further into the yard. You’d think this would be an easy thing to do. Unfortunately, these lizards are really stupid. The darn thing crawled up the screen door directly next to the cat/dog door. And not high enough to escape a jumping cat.
Eventually I was able to get the lizard into the yard. The entire time I gave him warnings about our house and told him to tell his lizard friends not to return.
When my dad called later I told him about the lizard. He sounded proud that I handled it. I told him, “of course! I’m not afraid of a lizard!” I may have left out the part about crawling on the counter and doing the little dance.
I guess my mom doesn’t call our house “la casa de las lagartijas” for nothing. As for the other lizard, I’m pretty sure it’s still in my dad’s closet.