V & M cat runs 8

Snake Season by Robyn Roberts

I was reminded a few days ago when my sister and I were walking along a path that snake season is upon us, when we almost stepped on a very lively snake. It gave us both a shock, and we’ll be more careful when walking along paths that lead through forested areas, even though we were only fifty or so metres from the coffee shops and restaurants of Buderim Village.

It also reminded me that we have to be careful of kittens, and also young and/or small cats, at this time, particularly if there are pythons around – as there are in most areas in Australia!

A number of years ago when I was living in Carindale I had a cat enclosure installed, which ran out into the garden from the house and included the paling boundary fence as one side of the enclosure. It was one of those paling fences with gaps between the palings, but it never occurred to me that a snake would come into the enclosure that way – in hindsight I guess I should have thought of that.

At that time I had two adult cats and one five month old Chinchilla kitten named Sam. I was getting ready to go to work one morning (fortunately running late!) when I heard him scream, and knew something terrible was happening to him. It was a large two storey house, and I ran downstairs to be confronted by the terrifying sight of a large python wrapped around my beautiful kitten.

I am utterly terrified of snakes, but of course, without thinking, picked up the whole bundle (it was a large snake, and quite heavy, and I was a lot lighter in those days) and proceeded to try and separate the snake from my much loved kitten. I was about to drag the whole lot into the garage and grab a shovel to hit the snake, I guess, when the snake let go and poor little Sam took off, with me in hot pursuit. I was terrified he would have collapsed and died before I caught up with him – thankfully that was not the case!

However, I had the presence of mind (thank goodness) in my panic-stricken state, to shut the enclosure flap leading into the house, because when I came downstairs later the snake was right at the entrance, very keen to get at my much loved kitten.

Needless to say, I was very late to work that day. Firstly, I rushed my kitten off to the vet, where he was given anti-inflammatory and antibiotic injections, and then I saw my GP for a tetanus shot as, unbeknown to me at the time, the snake had bitten me on the arms several times.

We both lived to tell the tale, although I have to say poor Sam developed severe asthma at about age five, and having seen the large snake wrapped around his tiny chest I often wondered if that had been the cause of the asthma.

However, I mention this as something to bear in mind when planning the installation of a cat enclosure if a boundary fence is to be included. It’s not something I would like to go through again, although I guess I’d do the same thing, and I hope this will save someone else going through a similar ordeal.

As you can see, Sam survived the ordeal and is inspecting Ken’s efforts to produce our zip installation manual.


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