I spied some little trinket of nature’s making and decided to go outside to snap a few photos. I armed myself with the camera and a spare battery just in case, then I unlocked the front door and opened it.
To my surprise, something quite small and agile darted through the doorway, scampered over my sandaled foot, and disappeared beneath the love seat. I failed to see it clearly due to its minuscule size and rapid pace.
Yet I had not been the only one to see it. Normally drawn to the front door when opened due to its being used so infrequently, all five of The Kids stood at my feet watching me. Their attention immediately fell to the floor when our visitor rushed in unannounced.
I pushed the door shut, placed the camera on the cat tree by my side, and turned my focus toward whatever hid beneath the furniture.
Oh, what a drama!
The invader was much smaller than a single breath. Dark and stealthy, fast and frightened, it rested in safe shadows hoping to remain undiscovered and undisturbed.
I moved this and that out of the way, then I pulled the love seat away from the wall. But I was not alone.
A handful of predacious felines remained so close that their whiskers tickled me at every turn. Every nook and cranny exposed by my actions demanded immediate investigation by them. Whatever shared our abode could not be in more danger. . .
Litter boxes and scratching posts pushed aside, I picked up the love seat and moved it some distance from the wall, perhaps an arm’s length. Nothing. Even as The Kids moved in and investigated, I stood bewildered and worried.
Some coaxing and petting drew away the killers long enough for me to move the furniture even further away from the wall.
Then I spied it! A Mediterranean gecko (a.k.a. house gecko; Hemidactylus turcicus) so small that I feared any of the cats could swallow it in a single motion.
Before it could move, I reached down and enveloped it with my hand.
Who knew a closed fist still provided enough room for some creatures to run? I didn’t, yet I could feel the tiny lizard rushing about looking for an exit.
I knew it wasn’t safe. I knew its fear would drive it to leap away as soon as it could. Photos would be impossible. Still, I grabbed the camera and headed outside to release it.
The moment I opened my hand, it scurried across my skin, me turning my appendage rapidly to compensate.
Finally, it perched momentarily between thumb and knuckles. I snapped the only picture I could take.
And then it was gone. With one bold leap it flew away from me, landed on the patio fence, ran with utter abandon to the nearest wall, and disappeared around the corner.
I felt my job was done.
[btw, I assume it to be a female because many of these exotic lizards are parthenogenetic; I could be wrong, but it’s still a safe assumption; also, if you look at the larger size of that image, you’ll get a very good understanding of its size; it’s shorter than the length of my thumb (and I mean from tip of nose to tip of tail); this indeed was a young’un in every sense of the word]