Finally, I started to turn around. "What IS your problem ... cat ... why is there a snake on the carpet?"
A little black snake with beige stripes was curled up in a heap in the middle of the doorway from den to hall. My cat looked at it. I looked at it. "Lut. There's a snake on the carpet."
From the bedroom: "What?"
"There's a snake in the hall."
"Is it alive?"
"I don't know," I said. Kali batted at the snake. It uncoiled, slithered around a little, and glared at her. It was perhaps a foot long. "Yes."
"What color is it?"
"Black with beige stripes." I turned to Google to identify the snake breed, although I highly doubt there are any dangerous snakes in my neighborhood. Then again, I also didn't expect my house to have any snakes at all. "How did a snake get into my house?" Kali is an indoor cat.
Lut came in, shooed Kali away from her trophy, and poked at the snake with a staff. "It's a garter snake. If you want to get a bag I can put it in."
"I'll just pick it up. I'm gonna get dressed first so I can put it outside." I was weirdly squeamish about touching the snake. This is weird because when I was a little girl in California, I often went snake-hunting with my siblings and friends. I liked playing with snakes: they were cute and fun to hold and touch, although they make really boring pets. But for some reason, the idea was squicking me now. I threw on a dress, suppressed my strange reluctance, and picked up the snake just behind the head, as I'd done with so many snakes before. The snake curled its tail around my opposite wrist, and my mind went instantly from "ick" to "awwwww". Snakes are adorable. ♥
The poor snake had a few claw marks on its body and tail. It didn't look too bad, but I don't know how well it'll do long term. I set it in the grass outside and wished it luck.
I gave my mighty hunting cat some cheese in reward for her catch. Even if I still have no idea how a snake got into my house, or moreover, why that seemed like a good idea to it.