A couple of weeks ago, Satchmo caught and killed a mouse. He didn't eat it, but generously left the small furry carcass near the bedroom door, which was closed, so we would find it when we came out in the morning. Ron picked it up, using a few thicknesses of paper towel, and disposed of it in the garbage.
For a few days, Satchmo was on full alert, either prowling around for mice, or staking out a couple of places and sitting there, staring intently and not moving at all. One place is the laundry room; we think the mouse got in through the hose from the clothes dryer.
Yesterday when I got up, I saw a "blob" of indeterminate shape and color on the rug in the hallway, just outside the guest room. I hadn't put in my contact lenses yet, which is why the shape and color were so blurry. Once I had my contacts in, I took a closer look.
It wasn't a mouse; it was a lizard, about 5 inches long and of medium girth. Ron came and took a look, too. It hadn't moved at all, and we thought Satchmo the Sentinel had struck again.
But it was playing dead; when Ron reached out to grab it, again, with paper towel in hand, the lizard moved like a flash. I couldn't believe how fast it ran! It was like the roadrunner (from the cartoon) on amphetamines.
The lizard stayed out of sight for the rest of yesterday. Today it made a couple of appearances. The first was in the guest room (which is where it ran yesterday), but it disappeared again before we could catch it. The second appearance was in the living room; again, it played dead and when Ron tried to catch it, it ran away. But this time, Satchmo saw it and even pawed it a few times. So Satchmo is on alert again, but not full alert, not with the same intensity as he was with the mouse. I guess lizards aren't as natural a prey as mice are.
And if you're wondering how the lizard got in, he came in through the garage. Sometimes we leave the garage door open a couple of inches at the bottom. When you run swamp coolers, there always has to be an open window or an open door to relieve the pressure of the air that blows in.
He looks similar to the photo below, which is of a lizard called the plateau lizard.