Thursday, May 30, 2013

A New Playmate for Johnny?

Yesterday evening, while I was sitting at my desk at one end of the studio, doing something on the computer, Johnny be Good was energetically playing around with something at the other end.  This wasn't unusual activity.  Even though Johnny and his sister, Grace, are 7 years old, they still play like kittens and continue the tradition of seeing everything as a toy.

At some point, Johnny came over to the desk ... a long tail hanging out of his mouth.  I thought he was bringing me a (dead) gift, but it was clear when he dropped the lizard and started playing with it at my feet, he just wanted to introduce me to his new friend. 

Johnny and the LizardAbout the time I was figuring out what was going on, he picked up his new friend, carried her through the kitchen and into the living/dining room and resumed their game of catch and release on the sisal rug.

This New Mexico Whiptail Lizard (I think) must have followed me inside when I was carrying in groceries earlier in the day.

While I was thinking up a plan to separate cat from new lizard friend and lizard from my house, they played on.  At the point I grabbed the camera and took these photos, I think the lizard was stunning ... and perhaps thinking up a plan of her own to get away from that cat.

Playing Under-OverI knew it was strictly play for Johnny when he picked up an edge of the rug so that the lizard could run underneath.  He was teaching her how to play over/under like he and Grace play with rugs (and quilts on beds).

The lizard clearly didn't understand how the game was played and never popped out from under the rug to attack the cat.  (Imagine that).

Play (and the lizard) slowed enough that I was able to capture him under a plastic storage cup.  While I went into the studio to grab some thin cardboard to slide underneath so I could pick up cup and lizard and carry her back outside ... Johnny continued to play with her and slide her (inside) the cup) around on the floor.

Lizard caught and ready to be released outside

This morning, after breakfast, I found him sitting on the rug and looking around as if expecting to find his new "friend."

If you are curious about the NM Whiptail lizard–the New Mexico State Lizard–I found her (they are always female and reproduce parthenogenetically, without a man) on this state symbols site.

Johnny's sister, Grace Hopper somehow missed all the excitement–she was upstairs napping through the commotion and didn't come down until it was time for her to come into the studio and remind me to grab some handwork and head upstairs to the den to hang out with her.   I don't think the little lizard would have lasted long had both cats been part of the "game." 


floribunda said...

Cute! I have never actually run across a lizard in my garden, but every summer Bucky manages to bring a few into the house... don't know where he finds them. He's slowed down enough now (age 15) that I'm hoping he won't be able to continue the tradition this year!

Barbara said...

Bummer for Johnny Be Good. Smitty is always losing his mice that way too.

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