Last night while watching television I noticed our male cat (Phrayed-Tee cat) playing with something on the carpet a few feet away from me. I had just settled on the sofa, and looked towards the television. The cat was in my line of vision between the television and the sofa. I noticed he was batting at something on the floor. I have grown accustomed to him dragging voles into the house from outside through the doggie door, and my first thought was “Oh, great, he dragged in another vole.” I wanted to take the vole away from him before he ended up killing it and hiding it behind the sofa, or some other little nook in the house where the smell of decomp would eventually bring the little critter to my attention.
So I got up from the sofa to get a better look at what the cat was playing with, to be able to better prepare myself for the mission of taking away a vole. Much to my chagrin, I discovered that the cat was playing with a full grown (twenty-four inch) queen snake!
Well, I’m not the type of person to scream and run away from snakes – in fact when I was in elementary school I found a green snake out in the back yard, picked it up and put it in a box and took it to school for show and tell! (My teacher was NOT happy about that at all!)
When I was a child, my older brothers had several large black snakes they kept in aquariums in their bedrooms. I used to pick up and handle them, so I knew that black snakes are harmless. This snake that had suddenly appeared in my living room, however, I wasn’t sure if it was harmless or not – I just knew it was brown. I KNOW that some brown snakes are harmless, but in this area of the state, not all brown snakes are harmless! And I hadn’t seen it’s head to be able to see if it had that triangle shape yet. To top it all off, the snake was still alive – it was moving!
Obviously I wanted to get that snake out of my house as quickly as possible, but I didn’t want to just reach down and grab it. So, what to do? Yell for other members of the house to come into the room to help me catch it! I hollered for my husband to come out to the living room as fast as he could. Poor guy was asleep, and was not wanting to come out of the bedroom. But I kept hollering at him to come immediately, I needed his help! My son heard the ruckus and came to check it out. When they got to the living room doorway and I told them that the cat was playing with a snake, they couldn’t see the snake and it took them a few minutes to see it. There was a cat toy in their line of vision, so they had to move it out of the way.
Once they saw that there really was a snake, they declared that it was dead, but I knew better. They stood there, looking at the snake, talking about what to do about the situation. I left the room and found a rectangular trash can, took out the plastic bag from the trash can and then went up to the snake and inverted the trash can over the snake. My husband and son looked at me and said “what did you do THAT for?” I replied “so the snake won’t get away!”
Then I went into the kitchen and grabbed a flat cookie sheet – one with no edges on it, one that was larger than the opening of the trash can. I handed it to my husband and suggested that he slide it under the trash can and then flip the trash can right-side up to trap the snake. He did so, and once the trash can was right-side up he removed the cookie sheet to look inside. I’m not sure that I would have done that, but that is what he did. He looked inside and declared that the snake was dead.
I told him I was pretty sure that the snake was very much alive and looked inside the trash can for myself. The snake was moving around in the bottom of the trash can, looking for a way out. Yeah, he was very much alive alright! I asked my husband to escort the snake outside and release him back out into the yard somewhere. He took the can outside, and brought it back a few moments later.
I washed the cookie sheet with hot soapy water, but I suspect that every time I bake cookies in the future I’ll be thinking about that snake. And I am wondering what will be the NEXT critter to be dragged into the house through that doggie door!