Most of the year, my cat and I have a little daily ritual. Used to be my dog, but these days the cat is quicker- so it’s usually her and I. On my work breaks, we sit on the patio and she snatches a poor chameleon from whatever unknowingly perilous place he or she has chosen to catch some sun or show off for potential mates. She runs off towards the door, hoping I’ve left it open a crack so she can get herself and her new found friend inside. (Many times she has succeeded and once I washed a poor lizard that was hiding in my laundry, only to find him clean and dead at the bottom of the washer) She really doesn’t mean to kill them, she just loves to play with them. She holds them in her mouth so carefully, hoping I won’t notice. So I wait, ready to strike the moment she finally puts it down to play. I snatch her up, allowing the poor chameleon to scamper off to safety. Most of the time, it just sits there in a panic or is slightly maimed. I often wonder if chameleons sometimes play dead like an opossum. Anyway, she catches a couple of lizards per day and I scoop them up in the dust pan and carry them to the woods to release them to safety. And yes, I actually say out loud, “there you go little guy…” or some other sweet (ridiculous) send off. Two days ago it was a huge wolf spider that I saved from ‘death by cat’, carrying him at arms length on the dust pan out to freedom in the woods. (If my daughter heard that one she’d disown me) I have no idea why I’m so ridiculous, saving little creatures and bugs, but apparently I come by it honestly as I recently found out my sister does the same thing and once spent an hour chasing and trying to save a little lizard who got stuck inside of a store. And believe me, nobody raised us to do this.
So yesterday, I had walked out to the end of my yard to sit in the hammock. Just as I approached the hammock, a very bight lime green little lizard scampered up towards me and tried to climb my leg. I’ve never had anything like that happen as they usually scurry – away- not towards. He was also such an unusual lime color. I haven’t seen one quite like that in all the gazillions of lizards I’ve seen in my lifetime living in Florida. Anyway, I shook my leg and he ran off and I proceeded to sit on the hammock. I was sitting on it, in the middle, with my legs on the ground, not laying on it. I sat for a few minutes enjoying the warmth of the sun. I suddenly see something and turn my head to the left. The little lime green lizard is on the hammock, crawling towards my lap. I have never, ever, had a lizard even come on to the rope part of the hammock, let alone try to climb my leg in the grass, then climb the hammock and approach me. I jumped up just before he jumped into my lap. By this time of course the dog has run over to see what he needs to protect mom from. The lizard scampered to the wooden crossbar that all the rope is tied to. He gets to the edge and turns his head and just sits there looking at me with his little lizard eye for the longest time. It was the strangest thing! I half expected him to jump up on his back legs and talk to me like he was the Geico spokesman, that’s how he seemed to be looking at me, very intentionally.
So I’ve decided maybe word is out that the big human thing living here has saved half the lizard population from certain death and sent a bright colored spokesman to offer thanks. Or maybe not, but there’s no harm in thinking even a small act of kindness is a good act of kindness. And God wants me to know it’s ok if I’m a crazy lizard saver. He created me that way….