So here is something funny.

On Wednesday night, my cats were acting weird. Normally they look like this:

They are kind of fat and lazy.

But on Wednesday they were on their toes in front of the pie safe* in the dining room, trying to get under it. I assumed they’d lost a toy down there, so I took a quick peek. Nothing – just some dust, an old hair band, and a dark shadow. Oh well, I thought, they’ll get over it.

Five minutes later they hadn’t gotten over it. Donna got down on her hands and knees with a small flashlight and said, “RACHELYOUHAVETOCOMEHERERIGHTNOW.”

Uh oh. This conversation happened next:

Me: Is it a mouse?
D: It is not a mouse.
Me: Is it a bunny? (I would really like someone – anyone – to explain to me how I thought a bunny could have entered our home, hopped into the dining room, and nestled itself beneath the pie safe. )
D: It is not a bunny.
Me: What is it?
D: I don’t want to tell you what it is.
R: Just tell me.
D: I think it’s a snake.


First we panicked. Then we called one Don Kloss, Wild-Man-of-Nature Extraordinaire. He told us to put it in a box and take it outside. Easy enough. Except–how do you “put” a snake in a box?

Cut to me, belly on the floor about 6 feet away from the pie safe, shining a flashlight into the darkness while Donna stood to the side of the pie safe, Jacob’s bo-staff in hand, smacking the side of the pie safe.

R: No, that’s not working, you’ll have to sort of poke it underneath.
D: I can’t see underneath!
R: I know, I’ll tell you what you’re touching. Ok, yeah, that’s good, no, not there, to the left, yeah, ok, ok, ok, it’s moving, it’s moving, it’s definitely moving, oh crap it’s just in the other corner.

This went on for some time. Finally the snake slipped into the Magic Bullet box we’d set for it and we stuck a copy paper box lid on top of that. Great plan, except the lid and the box were two different sizes. I couldn’t pick the box up. So we slid it along the floor, through the house, and out the back door. At this point, Donna determined the safest, least-icky way to move the box would be to push it out of the yard using, once again, Jacob’s bo-staff.

We were able to push it to the end of the driveway and into the alley behind the house. Donna even managed to get it in front of the neighbor’s shed, and we finally tipped the box and watched it slide out. Here is our culprit, slowly wandering into freedom (you’d think he’d move a little faster, considering that we just terrorized him):

Phew. That was enough excitement for one night.

The next morning I headed to work as usual. About an hour after arriving this happened:

Holy crap.

I called a service that deals with this kind of stuff and scooted out of work to meet the Snake Charmer at home at 4 p.m. One hour, 4 Facebook status updates referencing the basilisk from Harry Potter, and a not-small sum of money later, my house was declared a snake-free zone. Big ups to Chris from Critter Control, who not only performed his magical snake voodoo but also approached my crazy neighbor about his crumbling foundation that provides a perfect haven for snakes, admired the abacus I gave Donna for Christmas, and then conversed intelligently with me about the state of politics in NJ and universal healthcare.

Tonight: I just want to eat a nectarine.


*So what? I like pies, and I don’t want anyone to steal them. I have a pie safe.