As I was quietly minding my own business the other day, my chihuahua Zozo suddenly kicked up a great fuss. I turned to see one of the feral gray cats that grace the nights here with their love songs and torment my rescued beach dog Eeany fading ghostlike out the front door while a lizard she had brought in – for whatever obscure feline reason – spun to a convulsive, twitching halt at my feet.
Naturally, I shrieked.
Then I looked for a towel or something with which to capture the thing, still twitching and scrabbling for a claw-hold on the tiles, so I could put it outside before it ran loose through the house.
Too late. The lizard recovered, I pitched the towel over it, it fled with the towel as its cape and scooted beneath an armchair, leaving the towel like a magician’s empty cloak.
I shrieked again, although I must say, it did a fat lot of good except to verify to Zozo that she was finally right about intruders. Then I grabbed the chair and swung it out to gain access to the lizard.
Now, mind you, this was not one of the local iguanita/geckos I harbor by the dozen, nurtured by the dawn-and-dusk-tiny-insect farm maintained in my kitchen, living room, bedroom and bath. Noooo. Not one of the itty-bitty dinosaurs that eat my fruit flies and poop all over everything. Noooo. THIS was a LIZARD. It was not an iguana, which are a bit bigger, elegant and colorful, but a long-jawed, long-tailed, dark brown, almost-alligator —which BTW they don’t have here. Alligators, that is. Crocs, yes. Don’t go swimming in ponds or streams here.
Anyway, with significant household drama, I chased the lizard from under the chair to under the coffee table and finally under the couch, which he climbed from the inside to make himself basically inaccessible.
I gave up for the moment and the chihuahua also retired from the field.
An hour later I spotted a long, dark brown tail topped by a tiny butt at the top of my white bedroom curtain. I immediately knew who it was. So I took a stick and poked him gently to encourage repositioning. (Lizard poop and white curtains are incompatible.) He skittered down the inside of the curtain. I had great hopes of encouraging him to run out the door, but instead he ran past it and hid in my office not too far from the re-excited chihuahua.
The poor reptile was thoroughly terrified at this point. I decided to let him be. After all, his primary food was bugs, and the probability that he would find the open front door fairly soon was pretty good. So we declared a truce.
I haven’t seen him since.
Odds are good that he is even happier about that than I am.