As far back as I remember, I’ve liked animals just slightly more than I like people.
And, as most of you probably know, the feeling seems to be mutual.
I cross paths with the most random critters on a daily basis.
I’m pretty sure they scribble my name and number across the walls of their tiny animal stalls – For a good time, call Allison!
But, however great my love is, there’s one critter that terrifies me even more than Glenn Beck.
Flying tree cockroaches.
Yes, you heard right…enormous roaches…THAT FLY. It’s like the worst horror movie ever filmed.
This is what they look like:
As paranoid as this sounds, these guys are known for staring straight into your soul and attempting to make you shit your pants by flying at you.
No joke, you guys.
Do a quick Google search on “flying tree roaches houston” and you’ll find stories aplenty on these assholes.
Anyway, the first day the outside temperature reached 80 this year, I was sitting outside drinking with a dear friend.
That’s when I felt the little tickle.
I glanced down, prepared to shoo the pesky fly away. Only the fly wasn’t a fly at all, it was one of Satan’s messengers…crawling up my leg.
I screamed at the top of my lungs and ran around in circles, as it flew in circles around me.
I was in complete panic-mode and had no idea how to handle it. So, I did what anyone would do in this situation: pointed at it and yelled, “FUCK YOU, MOTHERFUCKER.”
(Aside: I suspect my neighbors think my marriage is in trouble, now.)
Then, I started yelling at my friend, Alfredo, “WHAT ARE YOU DOING? KILL IT!”
I scoured the yard looking for a weapon to hand him.
Holding my son’s soccer goal I ran back, only to discover that Alfredo had long since found a weapon of his own.
Oh, right. A shoe. What normal people use to kill a bug.
Thanking my hero-friend, I gently placed the soccer goal back on the ground and went to open another bottle of wine.
Bright and early the next morning, I called our exterminators and begged them to come as soon as possible.
Fearing for their own lives, they sent someone out the very next day.
Him: So, you’ve got a little roach problem, mam? What part of your house are you finding them?
Me: Um, well, inside I haven’t seen any, but I saw one outside last night and…it touched me inappropriately. I mean, not inappropriate like that. It’s not like it cupped my breast or slapped my ass or anything, but…you know.
Him: *long uncomfortable silence* Wait, you saw…one? Outside?
Me: Yes! The one that non-sexually harassed me.
Him: I hate to tell you this, but there’s not much I can do about those outdoor tree roaches, other than treat your yard so they’ll die soon after they venture in.
Me: Wait? You mean to tell me there’s not anything you can do to keep them from stepping all their tiny feet on my premises? There’s not one single solution to this nightmare?
Me: But, but, but….I don’t understand. THIS IS AMERICA!
Fast forward a week or so.
I was sitting outside, again, when two little lizards strolled on up to me. I’d never seen these miniature dinosaurs before and, completely intrigued, I ended up watching them for several days.
I’m sure you won’t believe me, and I promise I haven’t touched any magic mushrooms in years, but they watched me right back. Not in an evil flying roach way, but more in a “Hey, mind if we crash here for the season?” way.
Being the huge toddler that I am, I had to find out who these guys were. So, obviously, I emailed a herpetologist (not an STD scientist – a reptile one) I found online, and asked him to help me identify them.
I sent him another email, seconds later, telling him I did actually know how to spell inducing.
He replied quickly and not even with a restraining order. Thanks, Travis!
Then, just like that, a funny thing happened.
I stopped seeing those bitch-ass roaches in my yard, and started seeing more and more of those sweet-ass lizards.
Further nerdy research revealed what I already suspected: anoles eat roaches.
That’s when I knew what had to be done. That’s when I knew that somehow, someway, I needed these guys to multiply.
The decision had been made.
Soon, I would have my very own roach-eating anole kingdom.
Oh, yes, I would.
I racked my brain for hours thinking up ways to make this happen. How the hell would I get them to sex each other up?
Just like that, the answer came to me.
I would pipe this loudly into my backyard each evening, just before sunset.
And, you guys?
Unless this is just a great big bear-lizard hug, I’m pretty sure it worked.
Then, I ran into another problem. How would I keep them safe? Between my cat and birds, lizards are an endangered species in my yard.
It was imperative I figure out a way to protect my new tenants and their tiny newborns, because what good are roach-eating lizards if they’re all fucking dead?
So, I searched and searched and searched for answers.
(Aside: I’m pretty sure my husband will submit my internet search history into evidence should he ever file for divorce.)
In case you ever had any doubt, it’s true…the internet is overflowing with super useful information.
So, I hit up Home Depot in search of materials for my lizard friendly landscape. And, then I placed the random shit all over my yard.
Little lizard panic-rooms, if you will.
But, man, I was still at a huge loss about my cat. He may be beautiful, but turn your back on him for a second and he’ll decapitate you. Then bat at your headless body for hours, taking the occasional break to lick his paws and imaginary balls.
Just when I thought all hope was lost, I came across the most beautiful little nugget online.
Invented by some crazy people in 2007, the Catbib is genius.
It not only keeps their tiny kitty shirts stain-free, but it also harshes their hunting mellow by basically giving them two left paws.
And, bonus, it’s cruelty free!
I mean, just look at how happy it makes our feline friends.
I promptly ordered one for my cat, Snoop, in his favorite color – feline fuchsia. Then, I told the lizards, “You’re welcome,” and turned in for the night.
Snoop’s bib arrived a few days later, right about the time I began wondering if I even needed it.
Should I have purchased a Lizardbib, instead?
But, what was done was done, and I was now the proud owner of the CatBib.
(Aside: My cat will never get pussy again.)
Confession time: I’ve fallen pretty hard for this little guys. And, not just because they eat Satan’s spawn. They’re really so fascinating to observe and especially when you’re drunk.
I know. Right about now you’re probably thinking, “Man, I knew this chick was a little off, but I had no idea she was this much of whack-job.”
So, if it’s proof you need, it’s proof you shall receive.
Proof…that my anole-fascination is completely warranted and totally normal. In fact, after you see this, you’ll realize it would be weird to not be obsessed with them. Come hang out in my backyard for just a few hours and, I promise, you will be just as smitten.
Truly, they are…The most interesting lizards in the world.
Now, go on.
Tell me you wouldn’t have bought yourself a god damn Catbib, too?
That’s what I thought.