24 September, 2006

An Afternoon With Mirela

Yesterday Taylor and I went to visit our friend Mirela. Mirela is unique and brilliant. She reads widely, speaks multiple languages, paints, writes, studies philosophy and pharmacology on her own, plays the violin, and articulates her strongly held opinions very well. She's moving to Slovenia for school pretty soon, so we enjoyed the few hours we were able to spend with her here in Rijeka. We ate pasta and grapes off the vine, and talked about art and stories and God. She took us to a nice big field with a great view of the sea and plenty of fresh air. And we got to meet her dog, talking bird, and cat.

The bird was pretty funny and kept making whistling and coughing noises. Apparently, when Mirela and her mom brought their kitten home for the first time, the bird exclaimed, "Mačkica!" (the word for small cat). This surprised them because they'd never spoken the word in front of the bird, but the previous owner had taught it to him.

While we were sitting and talking in Mirela's room, the cat jumped in through her window, carrying a small lizard straight from the garden. She proceeded to dismember the animal and eat or stow the various portions right in front of us. In the picture you'll notice the tail. What you can't see here is that it continued to jump, spin, quiver, and twitch for a full 10 minutes- completely independent of its body or organs. It was kind of gross, but weirdly interesting, too.

The view from Mirela's balcony


Taylor said...

I think that lizard tail might be the most amazing thing I have ever seen. It almost makes me want to time it to see how long a tail will jump all over the place without a body. Ugh... I'm torn between utter disgust and wild curiosity. Is it a defense strategy for the mackica to chase the tail instead of the lizard body?

Anonymous said...

We have lots of lizards in Florida, and when we were kids my brother and I would capture them and purposely pull their tails off to watch them twitch.

That sounds kind of Jeffrey Dahmer, but really, it was harmless fun. The tails grow back.

zoran said...

@Francine - I'm sure it doesn't hurt them at all, actually, I'm pretty sure they do that themselves sometimes, out of pure joy. :) NHF