Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Snakes & Pussycats

Sassy lawyer's post about her cat and a snake reminded me of my own dealings with the felines and serpents. Here's to guerilla writing, I wonder if it could be called low intensity writing? About Snakes My first experience with a snake was this small white baby snake we found at the garden of my schoolmate at Wack Wack. It was a miniscule with snake. And we literally played with it letting it crawl over the matchbox cars and along the makeshift theatre of war, basically the ungrassed area of the garden. As afternoon neared its end we got tired of the snake and let it go. Looking back now two things struck me: one, we were sadistic; and two, we were foolish to play with a snake. The second close encounter with a snake was in a dormitory in Miag-ao, Iloilo. Our college had just transferred from Diliman to Iloilo and we were the first residents of the dormitory paid with World Bank money. The new UP Campus was located a few kilometers outside of Miag-ao, Iloilo. And the dormitories were situated beside a creek, near a bamboo grove, supposedly used by aswangs to meet. The Aswang and other supernatural tales surrounding UP in the Visayas is interesting, but that is another story. One of the neccesities if you are going to live in a dorm is a electric fan, especially during the dry months. It was a Saturday and I was just waking up from my siesta when I noticed one of my shoestrings on top of the grill of the fan. All fine except my shoes do not have shoestring. I thought great one my room-mates decided to dry his shoestring on my fan. All fine...except none of my room-mates had green shoe strings and it had a diamond-shaped head. A snake! I would like to say I guided the snake out and I was gentle and let it go back to the grassy knoll where it came from. But I did not. The truth is i scooped it up with a stick and smashed its head against the wall. On hindsight, the snake was small and probably harmless. Adrenaline plus fear got the better of me. The third encounter with a snake was a trip to the zoo. We went to Malabon Zoo and aside from the Tiger that they paraded around the children. They had two pythons for photo ops, of course we took the plunge and had our pictures taken with the pythons. After the photo op with the pythons I realised two things. First, they were not slimy. Second, they were quite strong. So treat this animals with respect. My fourth encounter with a snake was when I had a petshop, I was selling two types of snakes a green one (Sorry, for the life of me I cannot remember its proper name) and the dog-face snake. Both were piscivores, meaning they only ate fish. At least that is what the seller told me. I was able to sell the Dog-face snake. The green one became my pet. All went well, it did bite me once or twice, until it escaped. I thought it would be gone forever, until a few days later. My relatives often go the house to drink, eat and discuss politics (plus family matters). Usually copious amount of beer and hungarian sausages would be consumed. So there they were, my relatives, enjoying their bachanalia when I heard a shreik. My Aunt felt something cross her legs and proceeded to the leg of the table. So there was the snake! About Cats I like cats. So far we have had four to five house cats. The family calls them house cats because their territory is the house. They are pampered felines often reaching garfield proportions. And they are good rat catchers. The only problem is they stash the rats somewhere in the house and only discover them when the smell of vermin death grows strong. Gringo and Twoee were the house cats I remember. A friend gave us Gringo a male cat and sister pampered him so much that he became a big cat, not fat rotund cat like Garfield but big cat. He sired a lot cats but none of them became house cats. The problem with Gringo was he was fond of pounding on food. At one point he pounded too many food and he was deported to the next neighborhood courtesy of a sack. Several years later, the same friend gave us our present house cat, Twoee. A siamese-mestizo cat. He is my nephew's cat. My nephew's nickname is Thirdee and he thought it was fitting to name the cat Twoee. The cat is pampered eating only cat food. He has his own tray and cat litterbox. He is not as big as Gringo but he is more affectionate. Twoee likes to be near humans, always looking for attention. Cats outside the house of course are a bit different. They do congregate about the property. Living and making love on the roof. Catching rats and often leaving their mangled bodies before the door of the house. Snakes & Cats Snakes and Cats share one common thing they are good predators of vermin. The Egyptians used the cat to guard their graineries and it is said that the present cat descended from the warehouse cats of Egypt. Ambeth Ocampo in an article mentioned Filipinos used pythons to control the rat population of the house. They would put them in their kisame, the space between the roof and the ceiling, to hunt out rats. Another thing about cats and snakes. They should be handled with extra care. Snakes venomous and non-venomous bite. Even if their fangs are cut they grow back. And they have special requirements that should be satisfied. Cats seems to be enfant terrible of pets. Despite all the pampering and doting the cat has all the instincts and ferocity its cousins the Tigers and the Lions. I can tolerate snakes but I still like cats, even they have that lean and hungry look when they are near my aquariums.


Blogger blackshama said...

I had a "pet" carpet python who slept on my window ledge during the Australian winter. It grew big and ate the nasty cocky that lived nearby.

I almost stepped on a taipan snake in the Aussie outback. And of course my Texan host wanted me to catch a diamondback rattler.

8/16/2005 05:06:00 PM  
Blogger juned said...

Good for you. Although snakes are not for everyone. :)

8/16/2005 05:08:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home