Among a few other activities, this week marked Lily’s check-up at the vet. True to form, she parked herself inside her carrier and, by the time we had to leave, had made a little nest in her soft pink towel and was sleeping peacefully. Drowsily she rode along next to me, looking all the while like she was enjoying the outing until…
...WE TURNED THE CORNER TO THE VET'S OFFICE. Like a bullet, Lily sat straight up and began to cry that piteous “I KNOW WHERE YOU’RE TAKING ME!” cry that cat people know all too well.
Little did I know that things were only going to get WORSE.
While waiting for our appointment, I could see a man approaching the office carrying a pillow case pinched tight at the top. Just before he came through the door, he lifted the bag and kissed it. Yes, he kissed it.
I knew what was in that bag -- and it certainly wasn't a kitten.
Of all the places to park himself, the guy sat down on the bench NEXT TO ME. Well, next to Lily (still in her carrier). I glanced over at the bag resting in his lap and saw it writhe. He lifted the pillow case high, as if he WANTED me to ask him about it.
I felt the blood drain from my body. I am DEATHLY afraid of snakes and here sat one next to me, loosely corralled in flowered fabric.
“HEHEHEHE” he laughed maniacally (okay, I had now stereotyped the guy as some kind of raving lunatic). “He’s more active than he’s been all day!”
I took the bait. Smiling weakly, I asked, “So what is it that you have there?”
“Oh, he’s just a little corn snake.”JUST A LITTLE CORN SNAKE! I don't care if it's a MICROSCOPIC corn snake! The fact remains that it's a SNAKE and it's next to me! Not locked in a box, but loose in a pillow case! (Of course, I didn't say any of those things because that would have been rude. Instead I tried to smile pleasantly.)
He peeked into the bag and laughed again. I could feel in my gut that he was on the verge of fishing the snake out to show me. In an effort to look busy, I whipped out my phone and texted Daughter: "AT VET - SNAKE IN BAG NEXT TO ME" and received her immediate response: "OMG! RUN! RUN! RUN!" Her fear of snakes probably surpasses my own.
Thankfully I was spared further torment because at that moment, they called Lily back to the exam room. Such was my fear that I was transformed momentarily into a Bad Cat Mom, using Lily's carrier for protection as I squeezed past the snake, my legs so weak I could barely walk.
But let me assure you, her feistiness was mild compared to the scene I would have made if that "little corn snake" had shown his face to me.