Right Working Romantic Related Learning Friendly Healthy Legal Inspirational Unfiltered

Snakes, Why Did It Have To Be Snakes

, , , , | Right | June 20, 2018

(I am working at a wildlife clinic where we care for injured or orphaned animals brought in by the public. A somewhat anxious-looking woman comes in to the exam room, gingerly holding a small, sealed plastic sandwich bag away from her body. I can’t see what’s in the baggie, because it’s very thickly frosted on the inside with ice crystals.)

Woman: *drops baggie on counter, making a faint clunking sound* “I need you to take a look at this snake for me. It was in my garage.”

Me: *thinking she wants me to ID the species; something we’re asked to do sometimes when people are worried about venomous snakes* “Sure, no problem.” *starts to open baggie*

Woman: *screams and jumps back* “No! DON’T OPEN IT!”

Me: “Ma’am, I can’t see the snake well enough through all the frost to tell what species it is. I have to open it.”

Woman: “But it might get loose! It’ll bite me!”

Me: “Ma’am, the snake is dead. It can’t bite anyone, I promise.”

Woman: “You don’t know that! It might still be alive! What if it’s poisonous? How do you know for sure it’s dead?”

Me: “Well, for one thing, it’s frozen solid—”

Woman: *interrupts* “It could thaw out!”

Me: “Not instantly, ma’am; and aside from that, the snake itself appears to be half-flattened, and in four separate pieces. Trust me: it’s very, very dead.”

Woman: “It was under the garage door. I made my husband cut it up with the shovel. It could be poisonous! Be careful; it might still bite! Why aren’t you wearing gloves?” *points to the gauntlets we use for eagles*

Me: “Those aren’t for snakes, ma’am. Don’t worry; I’m a professional. Besides, this is a black rat snake, a baby one. It’s nonvenomous and completely harmless.”

Woman: “It’s not a black snake! It’s got diamonds on it! It’s a copperhead, I know it!”

Me: “Black rat snakes start out patterned; they don’t turn black until later. And copperheads are copper-colored, hence the name. This snake is silver. Copperheads are actually pretty rare in this area. This snake is harmless, I promise. Actually, some people like having rat snakes around because they keep the mice at bay!”

Woman: *suddenly angry* “Well, fine, then. You might be a big snake lover, but it could’ve been poisonous. I had to kill it! I could have died.”

Me: “Well, luckily, this one wasn’t! Have a nice day!”

(The woman leaves.)

Coworker: “What the hell was that all about?”

Me: “Uh, I guess she really doesn’t like snakes.”

Wish The Cat Caught Her Tongue

, , , , | Working | May 25, 2018

(My friends and I are a bit bored, so we decide to go to our local cat adoption center to hang out with the cats. Usually the ladies there are more than happy to have people come in and keep the cats company, but today they have a new woman working. I’m speaking with one of the older workers about how I want a kitten someday in the future, and telling her about my current cat.)

Lady: “You want a cat? Well, what is your current cat like?”

Me: “Well, she’s a bit old and grumpy. She doesn’t really get along with other cats very well, but—”

Lady: “Was she raised around other cats?”

Me: “No, she was mostly raised around dogs. She doesn’t get along with other cats. That’s why—”

Lady: “Well, is she stuck in one room all the time?”

Me: “She likes to stay in one room. If we let her roam she tends to pee on carpets, especially if there are other animals in the house. So I was planning—”

Lady: “Well, she sounds very territorial. It sounds like you want this kitten for yourself, not for your cat. If you really want an application, I’ll give you one, but you shouldn’t be introducing a new cat into your house.”

(I try and get a word in, but she just shoves an application in my hands and walks away. My friends and I are all very confused, and I turn to the older worker I was speaking to previously.)

Me: “But I’m not even planning on getting another cat until after my cat is gone. I just wanted to pet the kittens.”

Worker: “Oh, don’t worry about her. She gets angry when people come in to pet the cats because she says you’re ‘getting their hopes up.’ I think it brightens their day to have people to play with!”

(I had a great time with the cats, but I won’t be back to adopt a cat while that lady is working. Hopefully she’s gone when I’m looking to adopt a cat in a few years!)

It’s The Stray Details That Matter

, , , , | Hopeless | April 15, 2018

I work in an animal shelter, and I know how difficult it is to find owners for certain pets. The older a pet is, the harder it is to get them adopted.

One day, a man walked in to give up an animal, and I sighed inwardly because it was an adult female cat. They are some of the hardest to find homes for. The cat was a beautiful torbie, young and in perfect health, but absolutely terrified.

She never really calmed down around us. She did nothing but hide and freak out whenever someone got too close. We could tell that she wasn’t doing well, as she was losing weight, and her fur was getting a lot thinner.

Then, after almost two months, a girl walked in. She looked like she was about to cry; she was shaking and biting her lip and blinking rapidly. She asked to look at our cats, especially if we had any nervous females. I was surprised and confused by her very unusual request, but I immediately thought of the torbie and took the girl to see her.

As soon as the girl saw the cat, she broke down in tears. To my surprise, the cat responded by letting out a meow, the only sound I’d ever heard her make, and instead of trying to run away, she started to carefully sneak closer.

I couldn’t think of anything to do but watch silently as the girl grabbed the cage, sobbing and blubbering incoherently, and the cat pressed herself against the girls’ fingers.

It took close to twenty minutes before the girl calmed down enough to explain things to me. The cat used to be hers, but her dad gave it away, because neither the cat nor the girl got along well with the rest of the family. Apparently, the cat was a stray that had snuck into their house and stuck around, eventually growing close to the girl, but never really settling in with the rest of the family.

The father had threatened to get rid of the cat and eventually went through with it. Now, the girl had moved out and she’d been looking all over for her cat, desperately hoping she was still alive.

I was overjoyed to see the cat return to her rightful owner. By pure coincidence, I ran into the girl a few months later at a grocery store. She showed me pictures of the cat in their new home. She had adopted an older female cat who got along famously with the first one, and both cats looked like they loved their life. The girl was even buying a grilled chicken just for her cats!

Introducing A Wonderful Situation

, , , , , | Hopeless | March 4, 2018

I was working at an independent non-profit animal shelter. We’d gotten a few new adult dogs in that day. A man came in to visit and found a dog that he liked. He filled out the application and said he’d be back later in the day so his wife could meet the dog. This is common and usually goes fine, so mentally I figured that dog would be going home that day.

When the wife came in, they visited with the dog, but then the wife asked to visit with another dog. So, the husband was in one room with the first dog, and the wife was in another room with a different dog. They went back and forth between the two rooms. I thought that the wife must have changed his mind, and they’d be taking home the other one instead. Not a big deal, though I was starting to feel kind of sorry for the first dog. But then the couple came up to a coworker and me and asked, “Could we introduce these two dogs? We’d kind of like to take them both home.” We said we’d be happy to do it, but it was a busy dinner shift, so they’d have to wait a little bit. The couple was very patient, and spent their time visiting with the two dogs individually.

After a little while, my coworker and I were able to take the dogs to a play area and introduce them. They were immediately friendly and playful! They started running around the play area. They got along great, and the couple took two dogs home that day.

Cats Have Nine Lives And More Names

, , , , , , | Working | October 30, 2017

(I work at an animal shelter. We have several different buildings on our site, and different rooms for the cats to be in. Our frequent volunteers know some of the longer-term resident cats really well and notice when they are adopted or pass away.)

Volunteer: “I saw that [Cat #1] was adopted!”

Me: “No, she is right here.” *points to [Cat #1]*

Volunteer: “I mean [Cat #1] out in [Room #2].”

Me: “I don’t think we have a cat by that name in [Room #2].”

Volunteer: “With the squished face? She was moved to [Other Adoption Center].”

Me: “Oh, you mean [Cat #2]?”

Volunteer: “I call her [Cat #1].”

Me: “Okay, I was unaware of that.”

Volunteer: “Or sometimes Amanda because her eyes look like Amanda Bynes.”

Me: “…”


This story is part of our Volunteer roundup!

Read the next Volunteer roundup story!

Read the Volunteer roundup!