Tuesday, October 8, 2013

See you later, alligator!

This evening, Andy and I decided to move the leftover hardwood boxes that we used in the den and master bedroom floors (post to come soon!) from the floor in the living room to the basement.  Andy assigned me the job of finding a place for the boxes in the basement and clearing the floor.  On a scale of 1 to 5 (5 being finished basement; 1 being murder zone) our basement is a 0.
Creepy basement
It is dank, dark and small.  The full basement is only under the living room, bathroom and kitchen areas of the house and the ceilings are low enough for easy spider access into a passerby's hair.  The floor is concrete and the walls are cinder block.  The most Iowa part of our basement is the cellar door leading down to it which I refer to the "Twister" cellar door.
Cellar door for murderer and critter access
Said door needs replacing to properly seal up the basement.  In the past year, we have found the usual critters:  spiders, mice, insects as well as the more unusual critters: a bat and a toad.

Anyway, tonight I am tasked with moving various basement sundries to make room for the hardwood boxes.  I lifted up a cat carrier and was shocked to find a lizard-like creature under it.  Unsure if it was alive, I tentatively called up to Andy, "Andy.... there is an alligator in the basement...."  I froze in statue form to not alert it of my presence but prepared to jump cat-like on top of a box if it moved at all while I waited for Andy.  Finally, Andy creeps down the stairs in tennis shoes and boxers (he was in the middle of changing out of his work clothes).  "Cool! A lizard!  Let's keep him."  Typical boy response.  Since my savior was now there, I dashed away from the mini alligator's strike zone and ran to get a bucket and cardboard to capture it.  Andy was convinced it was going to bolt as soon as he got close (though I still wasn't even sure it was alive) so he crept slowly toward it and dropped the bucket on top.
Edited for the sake of your eyes
Sliding Esther's place mat under the bucket he captured the reptile and we took it outside.

More editing needed...
After barely escaping with our lives, we checked online and found out the lizard was a tiger salamander.

It was alive but moving very slowly.  Apparently, salamanders spend most there time underground in burrows and are very secretive so, though abundant, they are rare to see.  We can only imagine it got in the basement and found a warm, dark place under that cat carrier.
Cobwebby/cat-hairy from the basement
 Hopefully, he will find a new burrow before it gets too cold for him... or I will find that Andy has taken him to his shop and is keeping him as a pet in there.  Hopefully not....

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