How to rescue a tree frog you discover jumping around and climbing the inside of your glass fireplace doors at midnight and driving the cat insane, in just 10 Easy — oh, who am I kidding — in 30 Not-So-Easy Steps:
1. Spend 10 minutes debating whether the frog is capable of getting out on its own. Remember the squirrel that died in there on top of the damper a couple years ago and how awful it smelled. Also, death flies. Resign yourself to performing sooty acts of heroism at midnight.
2. Put the cat in the bathroom. This is important, as the cat is faster than you are and she has been stalking that stupid frog for 20 minutes. She really wants that frog.
3. Retrieve the cat [see above re: faster], who now knows what you’re up to. Put her in the bathroom, again.
4. Decide you don’t particularly want to touch the frog. Get a paper towel.
5. Realize a dry paper towel will stick to the frog and you will have to touch the stupid creature to pry off bits of paper towel upon release.
6. Go back into kitchen and return with a damp paper towel.
7. Reassure the cat that NOTHING IS HAPPENING OUT HERE CALM DOWN.
8. Try to find the stupid fucking frog, which has now disappeared.
9. Find the flashlight. Hope it works.
10. Spend five minutes cursing the now absent frog, wondering how it is even possible for a frog to climb a two-story house and get past the supposedly critter-proof chimney cap and survive the drop and still have enough energy to torment the cat and then be wily enough to HIDE FROM YOU WHEN YOU’RE TRYING TO SAVE ITS STUPID LIFE HERE GODDAMMIT.
11. Take a deep breath and back away to reassess frog/fireplace logistics and have a sip, okay maybe a couple big gulps, of wine.
12. Reassure the cat once again that THERE’S NOTHING INTERESTING HAPPENING OUT HERE ISN’T THE BATHROOM LOVELY AT THIS TIME OF NIGHT OH JUST BE QUIET PROBABLY THE NEIGHBOURS CAN HEAR YOU.
13. Open the glass fireplace doors even wider and stick your head inside because you are now determined to save this frog like it is the only frog left in your entire ecosystem and the fate of the known world hangs in the balance. Plus, DEATH FLIES.
14. Realize the frog is quietly crouched three inches from your face on the front edge of the door frame staring at you like WHAT THE HELL EVEN IS YOUR PROBLEM WHEN IT’S BEING SO FUCKING COOPERATIVE SITTING THERE PATIENTLY WAITING FOR YOU.
15. Gently pick up the frog and wrap the damp paper towel lovingly over its filthy little ash-covered body.
16. DO NOT DROP THE FROG.
17. Try to ignore how it feels like you’re holding an eviscerated still-beating heart as the frog thumps against your palm and loosely curled fingers and tries valiantly to escape.
18. CHRIST DO NOT SQUISH THE FROG.
19. Head to the back door and freeze with your hand on the knob when you abruptly realize you can’t put the frog on the deck because there’s a BIG ASS SCARY SPIDER THAT HAS BUILT A MASSIVE WEB RIGHT THERE NEXT TO THE DOOR FROM WHENCE IT HAS BEEN TERRORIZING YOU FOR THE PAST WEEK. FUCK. THAT. WAS. CLOSE.
20. Mutter increasingly vile curse words under your breath as your heart rate returns to somewhat normal and you once again reassure the cat that THIS WILL BE OVER ANY MINUTE NOW JUST HANG ON DAMMIT STOP STRIPPING THE FINISH OFF THE DOOR.
21. Carry your throbbing bundle-o-frog to the front door and open it and gently DO NOT FLING THE FROG RECKLESSLY INTO THE NIGHT YOU MONSTER gently place it on the front step and tell it to go now and live free and TRY NOT TO GET EATEN and maybe USE BETTER JUDGMENT next time when confronted with a chimney because you’ve just gone to GREAT LENGTHS to save its stupid life PLEASE AND THANK YOU and hope no one is out there walking their dog who might witness you having a one-sided conversation with a goddamned frog on your front stoop in pajamas at midnight and decide to stage an intervention.
22. Nonchalantly, like you didn’t see that curtain twitch in the window next door and you do this ALL THE TIME YOU’RE A WRITER DAMMIT YOU MAKE STUFF UP FOR A LIVING WHAT DID THEY EXPECT ANYWAY, go back inside and close and lock the front door.
23. Close the glass fireplace doors.
24. Open the bathroom door and STAND THE HELL BACK. [Note: it is important to do steps 22 thru 24 in this precise order.]
25. Dispose of all frog related evidence and wash your hands. Thoroughly.
26. Place an apologetic offering of kitty treats on the hearth, which will be totally ignored due to lack of movement and also a heartbeat. Cats are barbarians.
27. Refill your wine glass and offer up a sardonic toast to the Frog Gods and their DEATH FLIES BRETHREN. Imbibe freely.
28. Pretend to be impervious to the cat glaring and sulking and withholding all signs of affection for . . . looks at clock . . . well, for however long it takes.
29. Take a picture of the cat, still stalking that stupid damned frog at noon the next day.
30. Write a blog post about it, because of course.
19 responses to “Yet another incident of critters in the fireplace, dammit”
Prince Rupert hopped down the front steps, heart broken that his One True Love had cast him aside after all his heroic exertions to climb down the chimney to win her heart…
DH keeps asking what is so funny so I’m going to share this with him. He’ll appreciate it. He rescues mice from the sticky traps and takes them for a ride (in a bag) to a new location armed with a can of Pam in hand. He sprays the mouse with Pam to release it from the trap then lets it go. The last one had a traumatic experience before it left the house. Youngest cat heard it in the pantry, managed to get the door open and got herself stuck along with the mouse. She was running around the kitchen dragging the tray and the mouse along with her. So then we had a Pam coated cat as well as a Pam coated mouse. The other two cats and the dogs ignored the whole thing and I’m happy to say I slept through it.
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Prince Rupert, my ass. He needs a refresher course on How to Woo a Princess if he thinks B&E at midnight and traumatizing
my familiarthe cat is the way to go about things.
Glad it made you laugh, Robin. Your DH is very brave (hope he enjoyed the story!). I can’t even imagine spraying The White Ninja with Pam. *snort* I’d be rolling on the floor at the sight of a cat dragging a trap and a mouse.
Do you have a . . . frog in your throat?
Psst. Who’s going to tell her the frog followed her in when she did a grocery run?
I’m just saying, if you are going to open the door and offer to feed them …
you should know better than to offer refuge to strays.
McB, I would never! Now the cat, on the other hand . . . maybe I should check my Amazon Prime account for suspicious orders. Those drones are probably capable of delivering anything.
Maybe we’re in the midst of a tree frog invasion. A couple days ago, the pet sitter texted me a that she found a frog in one of the cats’ water bowls. How the cats did not notice this, I do not know.
*nervously eyes fireplace*
I think I’m gonna need more cat treats.
There is a 2-inch frog stuck on the outside of one of my windows….I think it’s a plague.
I’ve been wary of saying anything, but . . . for the past three nights there has been a frog (or frogs?) on the deck, throwing itself against the windows with intermittent thumps that have not gone unnoticed by The White Ninja. At least it’s outside. For now.
Perhaps we need to re-think Evelyn’s theory about princes. Or relocate. One of those.
That does seem like an awful lot of determination for a frog…
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We get a lot of geckos in our apartment (here in Malaysia). We’ve trained the cat, Tasha, to not eat them (she forgets this once or twice a year, but her upset stomach seems to be enough of a reminder). Tasha has developed a special meow that she uses only when she sees a gecko.
We work together to corner the thing (me with a broom for high places, her with her paws). I have a cheap plastic place mat and equally cheap plastic container. Once cornered the container goes over, and the place mat under. Then the whole contraption goes onto the balcony and our dear visiting gecko gets a free express flight to the nearest tree.
Tasha then goes to the fridge and awaits her special treat of anchovies. It’s the only time she asks for them (And once we ran out, and boy were we in trouble then).
Oh geez, Stephen. Geckos are BIG. I’m so glad I only have tiny tree frogs that I can easily (or not so easily) pick up. Speaking of which, as of last night there is now another one in my fireplace. #^$&#*%
I can’t imagine training a cat not to eat something. Your Tasha must be very smart. When we lived in Florida, the house had two large screened porches and little lizards would get in under the doors. The cat (a different cat) loved those lizards. Took me a while to figure out why I kept finding the odd lizard tail on the floor. Luckily, they didn’t upset her digestive system.
It’s never occurred to me to give the cat anchovies. I wonder . . . if I did, would she kill spiders? I really hate spiders and she won’t go near them.
The geckos here aren’t that big, nose-to-tail maybe as long as my hand, and thin. We have monitor lizards by the pool. Those things are big – over a meter (~4 feet). They’d kill a cat if cornered but are timid most of the time.
And Tasha already kills spiders (she’s fascinated by them until they’re squished in her paw). But she’s terrified of cockroaches (we live on the edge of a rainforest – lots of creepycrawlies and snakes… snakes… ugh).
Monitor lizards sound like small alligators. By the pool. :shudder: I don’t think I’d enjoy the wildlife in Malaysia. Not that I’m particularly enjoying it here in NC right now, either (we have cockroaches here too, which my cat does kill). Last night there were raccoons on my deck, which is good because they eat frogs. Except . . . now I have raccoons.
Yeah, it’s a trade off, wildlife. You get the good and the bad. For what it’s worth, monitor lizards are the small cousins of Komodo dragons, a lizard that will hunt and kill humans. But monitor lizards mostly eat insects, grubs and any bird’s nests they can access.
The snakes here are much worse. We have pythons up to 3 meters (11-12 feet) long, cobras, and flying snakes that ‘fly’ the way flying squirrels do – jump from a high place and make their bodies aerodynamic as they fall. Flying snakes can even change direction mid-flight. (There’s a cool NatGeo video that demonstrates it). One landed on my upstairs neighbour’s balcony last year (I’m on the fifth floor).
On the bright side, we have civets (a rare cat), leaf monkeys (cute and mostly harmless) and sugar gliders (very cute hamster-like marsupials – i think).
I grew up with raccoons in Canada, and they were a challenge. Too damned smart and sure of themselves. Caught one breaking into our kitchen once. It was pulling a bag of onions out the door. It gave us a “What’s your problem?” look before finally letting go of the bag and sulking out (no running away there).
Yep, definitely not going to your part of the world any time soon. Or, if I do, I’m staying inside. I played with salamanders and had a pet garter snake as a child, but I’m not a fan of the varieties that can kill me.
I tried to shoo a raccoon off my deck once. I got not only the “What’s your problem?” look but also the “Get off my deck, you pest.” look. I retreated to the house.