Tuesday, October 25, 2005

PETA has nothing on me!

I think I finally found the fine line between animal lover and insane animal freak.

I've always been an avid animal lover. You know, the type that always makes you go to zoos with them on trips, and rants about the evils of hunting with a semi-automatic rifle. However, I thought that I was safely walking the line that made me tolerable and even understandable. That precarious state of sanity is now forever lost.

I tend to love all animals and have a special affinity for the exotic breeds. If I were on my own, my house would be filled with animals of all sizes and descriptions...the smell would be great.....
So, (as a courtesy to my parents) my love has been limited to some dogs and a three year old Iguana. Now, don't let those pet books lie to you about how mild mannered those things are. I've had mine since it could fit into the palm of my hand and it still hates me. I've spent hundreds of dollars on him to keep him happy and healthy but he spends all day glaring at me from behind his luxurious lizard habitat filled with only the best mulch. I let him stretch his legs on the weekend when I can keep an eye on him. These he spends plastered to the window watching the world go by. I had always thought him to be sunning, but that assumption turned out to be horribly horribly wrong.

This weeked was particularly cold so when I let him out, I figured he'd go straight for my monitor (l0ts of heat there) and pass out for the remainder for the day. None the less, I closed my door and settled down with a good book.
Not five minutes later, my Mom runs into my room and in an unsteady voice asks me to look out my window. She thought she saw my Iguana by the pool.
Heady with denial, I looked certain that she was merely seeing one of the many little lizards that inhabit the area. My door was closed, how in God's green earth could that fat three footer make it all the way out there in five minutes?
I casually glanced out the window, and there he was, luxuriating at the far end of the pool; the tip of his tail grazing the water. Our ancient cat that died four years ago and no one told her (think pet cemetery) was batting at him confusedly then, cat-shrugged (pet owners know what I'm talking about) and walked on.

Now, let me tell you that an iguana is notorious for their ability to climb and swim. Given the amount of trees surrounding my house, I was almost positive from the start that I'd forever lost my precious, evil little lizard.
I sprinted downstairs trying to conceive how he got out and managed to sneak by four dogs and a cat who would think he looks delicious! Once outside, I try to creep up to him keeping my eyes diverted. I don't know why I keep trying this trick with him because he always keeps glaring at me and runs for it no matter how slowly I go.
This time was no exception, he dove into the pool with all the grace of a wild iguana. Pretty amazing for a juvenille who's never been outside the house. My real terror spawned from two facts: 1. the pool cover was on almost guaranteing he would drown 2. the water was absolutely icy meaning I wouldn't have to worry about the cover because he would go torpid and drown long before he tried to surface again.

I hastily began to rip the cover from the pool trying to spot him. Frigid beads of moisture flew everywhere splattering me. Half way through the process, I finally spotted him as a green smear at the very bottom of the deepest part of the pool.


I had a very bad moment when I realized what I had to do next. This is when I realized that my love had gone to far. In that freezing weather even with the knowledge of what an amazing swimmer my lizard is, the sinking dread of my task settled over me. I could only shake my head as I stripped down to my underwear as fast as I could and jumped in. It was only then that I began to regret not taking diving lessons. While I spent those first few moments trying to breathe and halt the central nervous system shut down the icy water had inspired, my mom came running out of the house asking me what I was doing.
Gee, it makes me wonder just how well she really knows me? Given the fact that she was the one who alerted me to the fact that my lizard was contemplating freedom near the pool, I should damn well hope it was obvious what I was doing. How often has she caught me skinny dipping in the fall?!
At any rate, I gaspingly pointed down while pushing more of the cover aside and preparing to dive for the slightly relocated green smear.

Now comes the example of heredity. Without furthur conversation, my mother (who actually doesn't like reptiles and abhores touching them but loves animals none the less) strips down to her underwear and dives into the water like a fish. She absolutely astounded me because she actually caught him with that initial dive!! She mastered the great swimmer! (I guess the frozen water didn't help him) She came gasping to the surface holding him by the tail while he thrashed madly. Unfortunetly, she came up under the cover so I was frantically trying to push the cover away leaving her to fend for herself with writhing godzilla-want-to-be. Despite a distinct possiblity of drowning because of the cover, she still didn't let go of the little guy to save herself. See, we're both crazy together.

She finally managed to swim to safety and I took him from her and held him tight. My dad made it outside just in time for me to climb out of the water. To add injury to insult, that was the day my dad got to find out that I sometimes wear a thong. Wonderful. So, despite muscle fatigue, I sprinted up the stairs to deposit my now sulking iguana back into his cage and put on something dry and voluminous. Days have past and all my iguana can do is glare daggers at me through the glass. I guess he must have spent the last three years carefully plotting his escape only to have them twarted.
So, in honor of his cleverness, I'll respect him and try not to glare back.

Thus, I love my animals too much. There was a lot wrong with that scenario but it makes a great story.

The moral to the story is: Never wear a thong when in the same city as your father. You never know when the forces of fate may require you to strip down and do some lizard rescue work with him nearby.


Blogger Doggie Extraordinaire's Mom said...

You said this wasn't funny -- you lied! That's hilarious! Poor iguana thought he finally escaped, dipped into the frozen pool where he surely thought you wouldn't follow, and your mom blows everyone away by diving for him. I love the image of you and your mom, getting out of the freezing pool, gripping a large lizard, and your dad there to greet you! Priceless!

I have frogs, and while they don't have dramatic escape plans like your iguana (it's Chicago, so it's too cold anywhere outside their cage), I can honestly say I would dive about anywhere for them too. And my dog, well, let's just say I'd give a lot to save him.

Your a good mommy! And your mommy is a good mommy too!

Oh, (as if this comment isn't long enough already) congratulations on having your own blog! I'm so proud of you!

12:37 PM  

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