My uncle Ymmit and I were asked to investigate what happened to the cats at my Great Grandmother’s home. She had been a safehouse for captured ferals who the humane society spayed or neutered and brought to her property to live. We had gotten a call asking where the cats had gone, and well, none of us had really stopped to consider what to do with them after she was submitted into the Nursing Home with dementia.
It wasn’t like they weren’t being fed. The no-kill arrangement was that they provided the food while she provided the place. For years it was a wonderful symbiotic relationship between my great grandparents and the cats. They kept rats, mice and other pest out of the house, sheds and garden while providing wonderful companionship not only for Granny, but even us grandkids.
There we stood, the grass was up to my waist almost as I stood there. I was like 13~15 years old at the time. We checked out the house, to see if maybe they had gotten in there since the home was starting to fall apart. It was disheartening to see the place where so many Thanksgivings had been thrown with a section of the floor caved in, but we both knew the house was built by hand. Seeing no signs of even mice or rats, we walked outside again.
On the back porch was a bowl still full of cat food and a small path treaded through the tall grass where someone was still attempting to feed them. For several minutes we tried calling the cats, “Here kitty-kitty-kitty!”
We looked at one another, shrugging baffled from zero signs of one single feline. There had been like over 30 cats and a family of raccoons at some point; all vanished. Looking at the jungle of grass, we were both debating on attempting to tread our way to the sheds when movement caught my eye. The grass was parting in a strange manner about 12 feet behind my uncle. I started to pale when I was starting to figure out what I was looking at.
“What’s wrong?” My uncle gave me a concerned look.
“What is that in the grass behind you?” I pointed and he turned to see what I was watching. “Is that what I think it is?”
He turned and in an instant took several quick steps to gain more distance. Standing on my tippy-toes I once more caught the slow slithering motion and then the scaly back of the monster. “Is that, is that a rattlesnake?”
“Holy shit…” Stammered my uncle as we watched the monstrosity slither toward the house.
It was almost as thick as I was wide and we watched as it made its way to lay under the house. Looking to one another, we knew where all the cats and the family of raccoons had gone; the belly of the beast.