Free Lizard — You Catch

DENVER — A sheriff has warned residents in a tourist town northwest of Colorado Springs that a strong, aggressive 6-foot lizard that eats small animals — including dogs and cats — is on the loose in the area.

Teller County Sheriff Mike Ensinger said Tuesday that a 25-pound pet Nile monitor lizard has gone missing after breaking a mesh leash and crawling away.

Ensinger said about 400 homes in the Woodland Park area were warned. He added that the animal, which escaped Monday and is known as Dino, has not bitten any humans — yet.

“We have a 6-foot reptile out and about,” Ensinger said. “If it gets hungry enough, we don’t know what it will do.”

Ensinger said his animal control division is searching for the animal.

Area resident Rick Stasi said the sheriff’s advisory was unsettling, warning “pet owners and parents are urged to use caution while pets and children are outdoors.”

Stasi said he plans to keep his two small dogs indoors.

Bradley Bundy, a veterinarian at Dublin Animal Hospital in Colorado Springs, said the lizard could inflict a nasty bite if cornered.

“This kiddo could hurt someone if they don’t know how to restrain it,” Bundy said. He added that the lizards are sold in area pet stores and look cute when they’re only 8 inches long, but they can grow to reach 9 feet when they get older.

Ensinger said officers may use a tracking dog if Dino isn’t located by Tuesday afternoon.

“I’m not going after it,” Ensinger said. “I don’t do reptiles.”

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Snake Report: Day 3

Sigh. No snake. I think it left after our confrontation. I even walked around to see if anyone talked to me. Nope.

I have been taking a picture each day as a way of seeing if the trap is occupied but the small image on my camera and my poor eyesight make it impossible to tell anything. So I carefully use the hoe!

But someone had been there.

The Flicker feathers are still there but they have been joined with some gray feathers from another bird. If you are wondering why these birds end up in the barn and then dinner, here is why: they enter the barn either under the large doors or through the small openings along the roof beams.

Then they find themselves trapped. Most birds can’t figure out how to get out. Hummingbirds can if one opens the large sliding doors. The others go up to the skylights.

They sit on the rafters in the heat and fall to the floor. And get eaten. Probably by Mittens.

On my way back up the hill, I pass the pet graveyard.

Five of our beloved family members are buried here. The second one, the little one, is for Loki who passed away very early in his life. There should be a sixth, Velvet, the cat who moved with us but our lives were disorganized at the time and we left his body with the vet. 😦 He took to living in the woods much better than we ever expected. He was much like Stubbs is now: a large, friendly, black cat.

Stubb’s Baby Bunny

Yeah, that is redundant, kinda. But this one is young, maybe not even weaned.

I had set my alarm for my first day of library duty this school year but naturally woke up before it went off. Then heard squealing from the living room! Donna and I came into the room at the same time. Stubbs had this little guy in his mouth. Donna rescued it from him.

Isn’t he cute? But we have learned that unweaned rabbits are very susceptible to human bacteria. No mention of cat bacteria . . . 😦 If he is not old enough, whatever we do won’t help and we have NO idea where Mommy is.

He now resides in a cat carrier in my bathtub with the door closed. Stubbs is confused and thinks the bunny is hiding in the living room somewhere.

Snake Report: Day 2

Still no snake. Bot someone had been there, like a cat.

And as I got ready to leave, Stubbs was standing behind me! And refused to leave when I did! He lay on the straw floor and waited for whatever I was looking for!

Sigh. He showed up later at the house.

Kimi’s recovery

Kimi is finally appearing around the house. The first three days, we didn’t see her! She got under the covers on Donna’s bed like it was cold the second day! I almost sat on her!

But now she wanders around looking lost. She looks out the doors but doesn’t go outside. Which is good!

Last night we ganged up on her and cleaned her tail. It was scabbing over; I let Donna hold her while I was the “bad guy”.

The wound on the bottom of her tail is not so bad but she is VERY uncooperative about me lifting her tail for a picture! I was surprised how little she struggled while I rubbed the injuries with a wet sterile sponge the vet had given us.

Later she hopped up on Donna’s bed and began grooming herself. I was very pleased when she licked her wound; at least the top one! But the new fur arrangement on her tail freaks her out if she sees the tuft at the end move while she is watching! Lol.

Kimi’s Adventure

Kimi was held “prisoner” all night then this morning, forced into the carrier again! She suspected what was gonna happen and wasn’t cooperative. 😉 As usual, there was much protesting on the trip down the mountain. At one point, she was so angry, she sounded like her big brother yowling!

We left her at the vets and went to breakfast, waiting for The Call. Which came much later, about 12:30 PM! She told me Kimi had an infected bite on her tail which should heal well since she drained it.

So back up to the north end of Cañon City we went. There was a crowd in the office by then: A family with a three-legged dog; me; and a guy dropping off a horse! The vet was gonna work late today! The little girl with the sick dog talked my ear off!

The vet asked me to come in an exam room while she showed me the wound and how to clean it a few times a day. I asked how much she cooperated during the cleaning and she said she was very cooperative, just one person holding her. There were some tendons showing but it will fill in if we don’t allow a scab to form, she said.

She thought it happened 3-5 days ago. I recall there was a late night cat fight about then with Lily barking and Kimi dashing into the house. But Stubbs went missing for hours! He showed up the next morning none the worse for wear. Now I can guess that Kimi was in the fight and Stubbs and Lily came to her rescue! If it were Mittens who bit Kimi, Stubbs probably followed/chased him down to the barn where he seems to live and they had a discussion.

Kimi gave no indication of being attacked. But when her tail infection got going, then she acted injured. When we got home, Kimi grudgingly allowed me take the pictures then dashed under Donna’s bed! Haven’t seen her since!

Kimi is Found

As I was leaving for my school Board of Education meeting, Donna found Kimi! She was under my bed. We hadn’t looked there because she NEVER gets under there! We got her into the pet carrier.

While stroking her, it was obvious her tail was injured. Yesterday when we saw her, her tail had a right angle a few inches from her butt. That is not normal.

She called the vet and decided to take Kimi tomorrow. Early. Joy.

For now, Kimi is living in Donna’s bathroom.

Kimi is MIA!

She was acting strange yesterday like she was in pain and would hide from us: under a bed, outdoors, under the front porch. Wherever we couldn’t get to her. Donna stayed up all hours last night watching consecutive “White Collar” reruns waiting for her and when she did come in and Donna tried to approach her, she bolted back out the pet door!

I woke to a note on my desk:

Watch for Kimi (underlined twice!)
When she comes in – shut the front door and put the laundry basket in front of the back pet door.
She must be examined. Thanks

But I haven’t seen her this morning. We have no idea what is wrong with her or what caused it. She is walking/running normally so it is not her legs. Maybe she lost a fight with a pocket gopher!

This is a picture of Kimi sleeping on Donna’s bed just two days ago. This is our little cat, almost kitten sized.

This is common cat behavior. Stubbs will go in the Water House and sleep for hours when he feels bad but he doesn’t run from us. Unless he sees the cat carrier to take him to the vets! Which is what will likely happen to Kimi.