Life Lists

Isabel caught a lizard this morning.

Another species crossed off her life list. She’s hit most of the new species around here: the mouse, the rat, several birds, including a humming bird.

She really wants a gopher or a quail, but I can tell she’s a bit boggled on how to go about it.

It’s funny — I know immediately when she’s captured something and brought it into the house. She has a certain bright meow. A trill of triumph, alerting us to her prize. She’s always so proud, submitting her contribution to the household.

She has a gentle mouth, so usually what she brings in is alive and unharmed. This can be both a good and bad thing. I’m always relieved to see the birds fly away again. I’m not so pleased to see the mouse or rat take off across the floor.

This morning, I went dashing in trepidation (this is difficult to do and takes much practice) in response to her trill of triumph. My heart sank to see Isabel digging around in the basket by the fireplace that has my movie-watching blanket in it. Yes, the cozy soft blanket I bought myself from Bath & Bodyworks one Christmas, which was a huge indulgence since that kind of behavior is strictly against Christmas-shopping rules. I just knew there was a rodent in my blanket.

I was already figuring what else I could wash with it on this non-laundry weekend.

David got his rodent-capturing gloves and, following my suggestion, simply carried the whole basket outside, so that we could maybe skip the whole process of sliding around whatever heavy piece of furniture the rodent had dived under. Isabel immediately dived into the corner of the fireplace, where the basket had been.

And there was our lizard. A New Mexico Whiptail. Widespread and abundant. Don’t tell Isabel.

David had predicted she’d catch one, once the weather cooled a bit. You can see this is probably the one she earlier pulled the tail off of — the blobby-looking tissue is his tail growing back.

David caught the lizard and we dutifully documented it. Isabel is happy now, preening on the patio like the queen she is. Terribly pleased with herself.

Coincidentally, I hit my own version of a 10K day: sometime last night I received my 10,000th page load on this blog. Hardly the big time, but I feel good about the accomplishment.

And I didn’t even have to rip anyone’s tail off. Mostly.