Dear Neighbors… Seriously?

So our house has been consistently invaded by animals this year, but I can’t figure out if they’re drawn to us out of love or hatred. Either way, they love hanging out there.

First there were the cockroaches and slugs (still there, but in much smaller quantities). Then, there were the evil cats (who no longer poop in our planter, thanks for all the tips!). I also saw a teeny tiny frog in the kitchen last week, but at least he was cute. Now… ok, I seriously can’t even explain this one. My Facebook and Twitter friends already know that one of our neighbors a few houses down has acquired a rooster.

A ROOSTER.

A ROOSTER THAT CROWS.

A ROOSTER THAT HAS LEARNED TO CLIMB NOT ONE, BUT SEVERAL BACKYARD WALLS.

Apparently our house is a Mecca for Yucatan wildlife.

What animal do you think will be next? Place your bets!

Tarantula Crossing (or "Why I Don’t Go Into the Jungle")

So on our trip to La Ruta de los Cenotes this weekend, I mentioned that you can often see Yucatan animals crossing the road. On our way back from Cenote Lucero Verde, we stopped when we saw this bad boy crawling out of the jungle:

Posted in full size so you can take in every hairy detail

I asked my father-in-law if I could get out and take a picture because… well, because I’m a blogger and that’s what we do. I would have put my hand side-by-side for a size comparison, but I’m not suicidal. (Just trust me when I say it was roughly the size of my face.)

I’ve identified it as a Yucatan Rust Rump Tarantula.

Operation Chile Cat Part 2

Two weeks ago, Jorge began Operation Chile Cat to rid our front tree planter of cat poop. With just one night of chile powder set around the ledges of the planter, it seems we were partially successful. As it turns out, we had TWO neighborhood cats pooping in our planter, and now that number has been reduced to ONE.  *evil grin*

Saturday night we heard about 10 minutes of yowling from outside, and I just chalked it up to some “naughty business” going on with the neighborhood cats. Jorge looked out our front window to see 3 cats sitting outside our front gate, looking at our house and yowling. I think they’re on to us.

At the recommendation of my reader Johanna, we decided to kick it up a notch by using coffee grounds. Last night, Jorge poured chile powder and coffee grounds around the planter, then sprinkled some in the dirt.


Game on.

An Insincere Apology to Cat Owners Everywhere

So Jorge hates cats. This hatred goes all the way back to childhood, when the neighborhood street cats would tear open his family’s garbage bags and litter the remains outside their front gate.

In our current neighborhood, several of our neighbors have cats that they let roam free. We didn’t have a problem with this until they started pooping in our planter.

Tired of cleaning up cat poop (why does our life seem to center around animal feces?) and having a smelly front patio, Jorge came up with a Master Plan.

Chili powder.

Excited and with just a hint of crazy in his eyes, Jorge picked up a small bottle of chili powder at Walmart last night. It was time to put the Master Plan into effect.

He scattered a line of chili powder around all the edges of the planter so the cats would have no choice but to land in it if they wanted to poop in our dirt. I heard him mutter, “Espero que esos cabrones vengan HOY.” (“I hope those bastards come TONIGHT.”)

Cockroaches, Slugs and Poo… Oh My!

So the last week and a half has been interesting at my house. We had a very dry season for several months without a single drop of rain. Two Saturdays ago, however, that all changed. Torrential rains began all of a sudden. We had two days of rain, followed by a week of sunshine, followed by spurts of rain the last 2 or 3 days.

Rainy season at our house was ridiculous last year. To explain, we leave our back door open during the day when we’re not home so the dogs can go outside to do their business. (We have a back gated door as well, which remains closed. The dogs can slip out to the backyard, but no one can get in.) Anyway, when the ground is wet, my snobby princess poodles don’t want to get their precious little paws wet… which means pee and poo on my living room floor when I come home. (We hadn’t had a single incident in MONTHS, and now we’re back to square one.)

This year, however, has been far worse than last year’s rainy season at my house.

One on particular occasion last week, Suki got diarrhea and decided to leave evidence all over the living room and stairs. She also thought it would be productive to smear it around. That was a fun afternoon.

We also get some large cockroaches here in Cancun, which everyone’s kinda used to. We kill them on-site with chankletazos (meaning “hard blows with a flip-flop”… I love the Mexican language). A few days ago, I put the dog’s food bowl on the counter and poured some dog chow. I went to the fridge for yoghurt, and when I turned back around there was a huge cockroach in the dog bowl. Jorge and I looked on in horror as the cockroach grabbed a large piece of kibble, carried it out of the bowl and on to the counter, and began to eat it. A cockroach eating dog food on my counter. I don’t think I can even begin to describe how gross that is.

We also seem to have a slug infestation. I didn’t even know Cancun had slugs, much less our backyard. Since we’ve been leaving the back door open, on several occasions we’ve found a slug in the kitchen near the back door. Last night we went to the movies and got home to find about 30 – 40 slugs all over the walls and floors of our kitchen, hallway, living room, downstairs bathroom and stairs. I wish I’d taken pictures, but my memory card is broken. 🙁 But they look like this:

So anyway, after a nice movie date, Jorge and I finished off our romantic evening by cleaning puddles of dog pee (me) and scraping slugs off the walls with a floor squeegee (Jorge). Then we watched an episode of Law and Order, because there’s no way I was going to sleep after that horror of an evening.

I’m happy to say that soon we will be fixing up the backyard with grass, shade and a doghouse so that the dogs can stay outside while we’re not home. That way we can finally actually USE our living room and keep the back door closed so the slugs and cockroaches don’t get in. *shudder*

If I don’t invite any of you over to my house until 2012… you’ll know why. On the bright side, our trees and plants look lovely.

 

The Mexican Monster Cricket

Went to Jorge’s soccer game last night.

My friend Viri went to the restroom, then came out and told me she “wanted to show me something”.

Went into the ladies’ room and saw this:

I was so sure it was a fake plastic bug… until it moved its back legs and did this:

**Note: Viri refused to put her hand up to it for size comparison. Can’t blame her. I tried to keep the second image true to size… about the length of 1.5 average-size index fingers. GAH!

**Extra note: Just found out this is a locust.

Buddy the Gecko

One of my fave things about living in Cancun are the little critters we share this space with. Some of them are less than desireable… like scorpions, mosquitos and cockroaches.

My favorite, however, is the gecko. When you have a gecko in your room, you’ll usually notice fewer mosquitos and no spiders. They also make this fun high-pitched clicking noise from time to time… sounds like they’re clicking to a horse or something.

In my last 2 homes, I have experienced the joy of a live-in gecko. At my previous house, where I rented a room, there was Sticky the Gecko. Sticky was a loner who liked to hang out behind picture frames and above my door.

At the current house, I have Buddy the Gecko. He’s also a loner, and he enjoys hanging out behind my curtain and on the wall above my TV. He was shy at first, but in the last 2 weeks or so he’s really come out of his shell. He’ll hang out in open wall space for long periods of time, instead of being constantly behind my curtain.

Last night he got into optimal posing stance, and stayed there while I took pictures. I was worried that Buddy would be scared off by the flash, but he seemed to enjoy his photo shoot. Oh Buddy, you’re such a diva.