Visitors to Hotel California

The latest report from isolation is that we’ve had visitors! You might already be acquainted with the family – me, Constant Companion, and Daughter. We also have the “girls,” our three cats – Jinxie, Sweetie, and Princess Tuptim. Each one wandered into the yard and the house and stayed.

Pastiche, the outdoor cat and only boy, completes the family. For the past 21 years, we’ve  had a number of cats who’ve made our backyard and our hearts their home.


The recent visitors are of the non-human variety. I was going to characterize them as 4-legged, but one is not, she was feathery. Every spring, a lovely little yellow warbler brightens our backyard for about a week while migrating from somewhere to somewhere else. The flash of gold outside the kitchen window is such a delight for too short a time. This year, one was foraging for who knows what on the back patio. (Apologies for the quality of the photo, you can just catch the gold on its neck.)

Then this week, Daughter took her morning breath of fresh air. A sight took her breath away – an adolescent iguana hanging out on the power line usually occupied by a resident squirrel. Iguanas are commonplace in our community; they are at home in our warm, year-round temperatures. We see them from time-to-time in the municipal golf course across the road. This was a first in our environs. I saw our neighbor shortly afterward. Apparently the iguanas visit more frequently; they have a swimming pool.

Visitor number three was a green anole (I think they are related to iguanas, but smaller) on the front porch. Sweetie  the cat often brings home the smaller lizards, which she also eats. Every once in a while, she loudly informs us that she’s got an anole. One time, I had held the door open stupidly and into the house it scampered. I finally caught it with my kitchen tongs and threw it outside. It took a half hour for my adrenaline to subside!  Whew!

knocking at the door
flying anole
photos courtesy of Daughter

Sweetie stalked this anole for a while before losing attention. She came home for lunch instead.

Sweetie on right, visitor on top of A on left, very small

Even the most mundane keeps up entertained in Hotel California.

And should you wonder about my rock collection … the A is Indiana limestone, rescued from the trash at the house next to my grad schools house; the blue glass is slag glass from the Ford Glass Plant in Okmulgee, Oklahoma.

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