It was Patchy done brought this alligator lizard inside. Out of the corner of my eye I spied her playing with it under a dining room chair, to which I sounded the “Ahhhhhck!” which is the universal cat distress call for “Stop it and drop it!”

And she did.

The lizard, though freshly minus its tail, was ultra mobile and scurried under the serving table. Moving rapidly into the kitchen I managed to stop it at the last moment from running under the pantry by covering it with a large wooden salad bowl. Sliding a piece of cardboard between the bowl and the floor I turned it upright and sure enough there was the lizard looking none to pleased.

So we recessed outside to the Lizard Relaxation & Rehabilitation Center — otherwise known as Buster the tortoise’s hutch — and I snapped the above photograph of it relaxing and rehabbing.

The next time I checked on it, it had already checked out. Not as in “died.” As in “exited.”