By Diane Ako
"Mom! Mom!" I heard Olivia call excitedly one afternoon from the garage. "Come quick! Look!"
I was in my rocking chair, reading, trying to have a quiet moment. I had watched Olivia all morning and now it was Claus' turn. They were going swimming.
"What is it?" I answered.
"It's a black catrick!" she replied. "Hurry before it goes away! It's under this box!"
"What?" I asked.
"Black cat trick!" she said again. It was noisy. I have no idea what she said.
A black cat? Cat something? Must be a stray kitten under a box in the garage.
We don't have many or any stray cats in the neighborhood. Most every home is populated by a domestic pet, and most of those pets are territorial. The scent of my dog definitely is enough to deter most felines.
Curious, I walked to the garage to see what all the fuss was about. She was pointing to a dark brown anole lizard (Anolis sagrei) on the box flap.
I think they are ugly. I usually see them - lots of them - on rock walls when we walk around, so I have never noticed how clawed their feet are. It's very dinosaurish.
I really don't like them after reading that they're killing all the nice green ones.
I moved. It jumped. Far. It practically reached Olivia, three feet away. She shrieked and jumped back.
After we stopped laughing, I asked Claus what she was saying to me before. What was she calling it?
"Black Patrick," he clarified.
Oh? Oh! Right! Patrick is what we named the beautiful gold dust day gecko who took up residence in our house.
We noticed him on March 17 of this year, which is why we named him Patrick. We like geckos, in particular, the pretty ones.
Black Patrick ran out to the yard. Olivia and Claus went to the pool. I finally got my quiet time.