The Offering

This is Calico.  She’s lived outside of my house ever since we moved here five years ago.  She was fully grown then, though much more scrawny.  She’s a very feral cat, and she’ll hiss wildly if you get within ten feet of her.  That said, she’s learned that at my house, we’re cat people, and we feed her twice a day.  So now, like clockwork, she comes walking up to the front sidewalk for her daily fix of food.


It sometimes frustrates me that while she grants us the privilege of feeding her regularly, she will not allow us to even walk near her, much less touch her.  When it gets cold outside, such as this past year, we’ve finally been able to get her to lay on a blanket that we put outside with catnip on it.  But the poor girl refuses to take shelter from the rain.

My son Jeremy besides being a music engineer, works building, screening, and repairing pool enclosures.  He even built a little screen room for Calico which was made with a type of screen that doesn’t allow water to penetrate so she could still feel like she was outside.  But she refuses to even get near it.


But just when I get the most frustrated with poor Calico’s demanding personality, she does something kind such as leaving an offering on my front doorstep.  Usually it’s a dead mouse or bird, or perhaps a snake.  Thanks, Calico.

But Calico isn’t the only kid around these parts to leave offerings.  The other day, I went to my computer and found that my son had left me a gift on my mouse pad.  Thanks, Jeremy.

Dehydrated Lizard Carcass

Yes, that’s right.  It’s a dead lizard that he found dried up in a gutter he was working on that day. Wasn’t he sweet to save it in his pocket all day long to bring home for me?

Yeah.  Sweet.  But at least he’s getting better.  A few years ago, he and his friend Austin found something else that they wanted to bring me…

Old Dead Alligator

Yes, that is indeed a dead alligator!  They found this rotting gator carcass in the woods behind my house and thought it would be a great idea to bring it home and leave it on my front porch for me to find!  Of course I made them put it back and wash their hands, and a couple of days later somebody else found it and cut off its head, then the day after that, the game patrol or some such authority came and took it away thankfully.  (I’ll admit, it was me that insisted on taking photos first.)

But don’t worry.  I know how to reciprocate.  Just last night, Austin brought me a live ball python.  Jeremy hates snakes (and spiders and roaches, oh, my!).  So, of course, being a good mother, I attempted to help him alleviate his fear by wrapping the snake around my neck then going to give him a hug.  Unfortunately, he saw it and ran screaming before I got close.  But there’s always the holidays…

At any rate, at least my son thinks to bring me things.  After all, it’s the thought that counts, right?

What’s the best gift you’ve ever received?  What’s the largest gift you’ve ever received?  What’s the oddest thing you’ve ever found in someone’s pocket when you did laundry?



54 thoughts on “The Offering

  1. Well what with alligators and snakes that’s Florida off me list! My son had a very small spider in his shower room the other evening though! Cracking tale Rachel.

      • It was a beautiful girl many, many years ago who rid me of my fear of spiders for she asked me up to her bedroom to remove the world’s biggest spider. In order not to look like a wimp and maybe get a date with her I duly obliged and got the spider into a cup and took it outside. I never got the date though – always felt rather cheated in that regard.

  2. Bonkers… the lot of you lol! My cats used to bring me presents, live and dead; mice, voles, birds. Often theyd just leave little piles of entrails on the living room carpet, or decorate the house with feathers. Once I found a live coy carp under my sofa, another time awoke to a huge dead mole on my bed. I guess I must be as mad as you, cos Id love another cat!

  3. We share our house with three cats. They are very friendly and cuddly with us. One of them, Mozart, also likes the neighbours’ house where he visits regularly, but apparently he never allows the neighbours to touch him… That is also a kind of offering (to us), I guess. We also get mice, geckos, birds, and chameleons (dead or still alive…).
    When I went to visit my old school in Warwick, NY, three years ago, I also met up with one of my teachers. The last time I saw her was in 1991. I didn’t know that all this time she’d kept one of my notebooks to show to her students every year as an example of how she wanted notebooks to look like. She returned it to me during our meeting, saying that now that she was retired she didn’t need it any longer. It might not be the best gift ever, but the one that moved me to tears and which I will treasure forever.
    The largest gift was a second-hand car my Dad gave me for my 18th birthday. I crashed it six months later…
    And, I always find money in the laundry 🙂 Not odd, but nice 🙂

  4. One of the best gifts I’ve received was my cat, George Bailey, who was a member of our cat community, and insisted that he was my person and that he would move in, thank you very much. And he is amazing. He loves me with all of his feline ardor and comes when I call. Now THAT is cat love.

  5. When I lived in a rural house my cat Dusty often left a caught mouse at the foot of my recliner in the living room, Rachel. So proud he was. That was soon after my divorce, and getting temporary Dusty custody from my ex solved the mouse problem in the house pronto.

  6. I do so enjoy your writings. The standout is the morning I was trying to gather myself, my 3 kids to go to play with their cousins at their home and to visit with my sister and mom. Usually this was done quite easily. Nothing like tv mahem but of course this one morning I just couldn’t seem to get myself in gear and collected. FInally got the baby changed and dry for the umpteenth time and went in bathroom washed hands, brushed teeth.. AH during the teeth brushing which I went into kitchen during as I heard My Happy 3 yr old daughter calling me to “Come see this” AH uh…couldn’t be good. As I walk into the kitchen I see the back door open and my little girl walking through the kitchen holding a squirrell by the tail. (of course dead squirrel). Being a nurse I was horrified (late spring /early summertime, I yelled drop it- which of course she wasn’t giving up her prize that easily. All I could think and blurt out was how it could have died of anything. I proceeded to interrogate her with things like “Did you touch its mouth, its eyes. in its ears (Was a reason for that one!!!involving our dog and crayons and ears-ugh)” Of course we had a little session of education on wildlife and the importance of not handling wildlife – alive or dead. Od course my 13 yr old son in his tongue in cheek humor walks through the room saying “Oh cool. Erin’s gonna hive everyone rabies.” Which I correct immediately. And of course in his way of needling at just the right/wrong moment, “That’s right she’ll just turn into a giant squirrell. .” Ugh… lol Funny thing is that I left Jason name our youngest daughter, Brittany…only to find out long after it was official, this was a name after a cartoon character, a squirrell. NO wonder Erin and Brittany have always been so very close.

    • LOL! Oh no! That is a funny story, but I would have been worried about diseases as well. I freaked when Jeremy showed up with this dead alligator, but since they had already handled, I HAD to make them take it back. At that point, photos were a must just to prove how weird it was! LOL! 😀

  7. I love your heart that motivates you to take care of that cat Rachel! ❤

    When I was a kid, I brought a Garter snake into the house. My mom was on the phone and smiled at me, that is until she saw the snake move, then she threw the phone at the wall and screamed. 😉

    I used to love the praying mantis too, mostly because people, including tough boys, would run away when they'd see one in my hand!

    Diana xo

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