The other day I was about to enter our bathroom when I was startled by a little lizard, staring up at me in the middle of the room. I screamed aloud, even though there was no one home to hear me. Now, I am not afraid of these little anoles. We have an abundance of them outside, scurrying around our patio, and mostly I think they’re cute. Certainly they’re harmless. But I did not expect to see one in our bathroom and I didn’t like him there. He belonged outside.
After I got over my initial panic, I had to figure out how to catch him so I could put him back outdoors. He was longer than the average lizard we see, about 4 inches from nose to the tip of its tail. And, no doubt about it, he was cute.
I grabbed a plastic cup and approached, thinking I’d cover him and then slide something flat under him and carry him away contained in that manner. But he was too fast. As soon as I got close to him, he scurried behind the toilet. Talk about an awkward place to catch a lizard! In addition, he was too long to fit under the cup and I didn’t want to hurt – or break – his tail. My plan having failed, I was somewhat flustered. I do have an affinity for the critters, but I am squeamish about touching them and would never even consider picking one up.
I did not know what to do. So illogically, I decided to ignore him and went to my desk, sat down, and tried to work. Crazy, right? There I was, not focusing at all on what I was doing, but instead worrying about where the lizard would get to and thinking he’d end up hiding in a place where I’d never find him. (I apologize to my gender, but at that moment I had a fervent desire for my husband to be home so he could deal with it.)
I returned to the bathroom to check on the lizard. He had once again come out to the centre of the room. We stared at each other as I pondered how to catch him. Then the phone rang. It was my friend Nancy, who commiserated and proceeded to give me advice on how I might trap the lizard. I didn’t use her ideas, but talking to her somehow made me buck up my courage. I fetched an oblong Ziploc container and lid from the kitchen. As soon as I stepped into the room, he scurried off again, this time in the corner behind the laundry hamper. I quickly lowered the container over him, but he scampered away just as it touched the floor. Again, even quicker this time, I lowered the container over him. This time I caught him! I slid the lid under him and ran to the patio door, opened the screen and threw him outside, container and all. Believe me, if the capture and release had been videotaped, it would have been good for a laugh.
On the patio stones, the cute little lizard stood and stared at me, now green instead of brown. “Go off,” I said to him. “You’re free.” And off he went, to the shelter of his familiar trees. I sighed in satisfaction and went back inside.
The title of this blog is “Uninvited Visitors” plural. That “s” is not a typo. Two days later, as I walked across the living room, another anole startled me. Again I screamed aloud. This little guy was much smaller than the previous one and was more frightened of me. At my scream he immediately ran under the couch. This time I reacted quicker. I opened the patio door, pulled the couch away from the wall and chased him. He ran toward the door. “Success,” I thought. “He’ll be outside in no time.” But instead of running straight through to outside, he went up the corner of the wall, and disappeared behind the curtains.
No matter how hard I looked, I could not find him. Leaving the door open, I replaced the couch and straightened the room, hoping he’d get outside on his own. But eventually I had to close the screen. Who wants more lizards in the house?
I have not seen him again. My hope is that he did make it outside when I wasn’t looking. Otherwise I might soon be surprised by a lizard in the house again!