Tawn’s Kitten Eaten By Snake

File this story under “Urban Jungle” as at first, in a city of six or seven million inhabitants, it sounds improbable.  Tawn’s mother sent a text message to him breaking the news that one of the cats they take care of was killed and eaten by a python.  Tawn called back and spoke to his father for the rest of the details.

Tawn’s parents have a bit of a menagerie with seven small dogs, three cats and several more strays that his mother puts food out for.  The cat in question was a copper-colored kitten that had shown up a few months ago and was actually given his own cage in the house.

Friday morning, as was its habit, the kitten was out playing and exploring the yard as the maid did chores in the area.  The maid left the yard for a few minutes and when she came back, she saw a two-meter long python wrapped around the kitten, suffocating it.

Alerted by the maid’s screams, Tawn’s father came out of the house to catch the snake with the kitten halfway in its mouth, trying to swallow it.  He grabbed a stick and hit the snake, which then spit the kitten out and slithered away through a gap beneath the wall.

Sadly, the rescue came too late as the kitten was already dead.  He was buried that afternoon in a corner of the property that has come to be their pet cemetery.

There’s an interesting back-story to this, though:

The neighborhood where Tawn’s parents live is fairly developed, but here in Thailand even developed areas have lush tropical foliage.  The jungle is never that far away.

In September 2000, when Tawn and I had been dating for a half-year or so, I came back to Krungthep to visit him for his 25th birthday.  Arriving late at night, I stayed at his parents’ house as they were out of town.  In those days, there was a vacant property behind his house, an empty, overgrown field that Tawn’s father has since purchased and annexed.

Shortly after I fell asleep at about 2:00 am, there was a commotion outside.  A large snake was found resting on the top of the wall between his parents’ house and the vacant land.  Tawn summoned the police, who stood around talking about what lucky lottery numbers the arrival of this snake might symbolize, unsure of what else to do.

Eventually, one of the Chinese mutual aid societies, rescue squads of young men who volunteer to attend to accidents and who monitor police radio frequencies so as to rush to collect the bodies of the dead and injured, showed up to help.  Two truckloads of young men, in fact.  Eventually, someone got the idea to prod the snake with a stick and it slithered away.  One young man helpfully suggested that if the snake returned, Tawn should call the zoo.

I slept through the whole ruckus but Tawn related the story to me the next morning, explaining that the arrival of the snake was seen as a good omen, because of the Thai belief that when smaller animals seek shelter at our home it is because we are seen as kind and generous to them.  I assume this does not apply for mice, rats and cockroaches.


34 thoughts on “Tawn’s Kitten Eaten By Snake

  1. OH yes it does!!! I still get shivers when I think of the first New Years Day that I lived in Bangkok!!! We had been out late on New Years Eve, celebrating at one of the big hotels. I woke up early and went downstairs to the kitchen to get a drink…as I started through the door,I sensed something moving up on the open rafters in the tiny little kitchen…as I looked up I saw an enormous …I mean ENORMOUS…RAT scuttling along the rafter!!! My screams brought not only my husband but the maid rushing into the kitchen to see what on earth was wrong!!! By this time the rat was behind the stove and I sat on the window sill with my feet safely out of the way…while the made chased the vermin out of the kitchen with a broom!!! I will never forget her remark….”Oh Madame…it is a sign of wonderful good luck for the year…this is the first day of the year of the RAT!!!” I was just grateful it wasn’t the year of the Tiger or the year of the Dragon!!! lolPlease tell Tawn I am so sorry for the loss of the kitten…I am such an animal lover myself…I would be devastated!!! Ruth Ann

  2. Aiyah! I hate it when animals kill each other…cannot stand watching Discovery channel for this reason. Why, oh why, did kitty have to die?

  3. It just is the way of the snake. Because the kitten is little and young, plus a pet we tend to side with her but she is just food to the snake. Judi

  4. @jassmine – I agree.  It probably didn’t help matters that when Tawn told me the story I started singing “The Circle of Life” from the movie, “The Lion King”.@agmhkg – Yeah, too bad it doesn’t go after the stray soi dogs.  Those we could do with a few less of!@kenpcho – Are you vegetarian these days?@Redlegsix – Not the kind of auspicious welcome I’d appreciate, either!@yang1815 – Otherwise I’ll have to put out my good luck rat traps!@Wangium – Especially as Tawn’s parents are quite attached to their pets.

  5. Jeeze, that’s crazy! We use to have raccoons threaten our kitties (we usually had 3-4) but nothing like a snake! My regards to the kitten and it’s family 😦

  6. Poor kitten … Given that NYC is also an urban jungle without the lush tropical foliage but with other types of dangerous “animals”, you might be surprised by this bit of news “Terror: Python Found In Brooklyn Toilet” (http://wcbstv.com/local/python.snake.brooklyn.2.376219.html) which is a lot freakier than a python in it’s natural habitat. Come to think of it why do some morons like to have pythons as pets in NYC!?!? and then don’t report something like, “hey my pet python is nowhere to be found?”. I just hope my neighbors in Manhattan only have cats and dogs as pets!

  7. I feel sorry for the poor kitten, but perhaps this kind of situation is inevitable. My guess is that the python has been scouting Tawn’s parent’s house for a while since there’re so many little ‘preys’ over there. There are numerous small klongs and river ways all throughout the Big Mango, I’m not surprised about all sorts of creatures roaming around during the night!

  8. sorry Chris, I didn’t read this post. I cannot read anything about those reptiles. I am morbidly afraid of them, and cannot read, see or hear about them at all. The title said it all. I am so sorry.

  9. I’m sorry to hear that. Are pythons a common thing? Do you think it was really hungry, and that’s why it ate the kitten? I was out on the east side last week and around 1 AM saw a fox bouncing around the neighborhoods of Silverlake.

  10. @AppsScraps – You would think that in a Buddhist country, the cats would have at least nine lives, if not more!  LOL@Rm2046 – In that case, you’d best cross Bangkok off your list of potential neighborhoods to live in.@minhaners – A fox in Silverlake?  And you’re not just refering to a grey-haired gay man, right?  Oh, that would be a silver fox!  Sorry, my confusion.@ZSA_MD – The power of words, eh?@curry69curry – Not just the night – this occurred during daylight.@Fongster8 – Yeah, it makes you wonder what else is out there.@ElusiveWords – Hmmm… hope that isn’t true for Tawn’s family.@TheLatinObserver – Okay, that’s just a crazy story.  If you live in a big city like NY and you have a pet snake and lose him, you should let people know.@secade – Snake versus raccoon… who would win?

  11. I’m surprised that you were not sympathetic to Tawn’s loss. Really, Circle of Life? I do think the snake will be back especially if there are more “tender morsels” in the area. I don’t mind the critters as long as they respect my space…

  12. @Redlegsix – Thank you very much.  My parents said they already made a merit (feed a monk) for the cat to rest in peace.And thank you all for the comments to the lost of my family’s kitten. 

  13. fascinating. again this story reminds me of my travels in India.  Especially where the police stand around talking about lotto numbers and so forth. And two truckloads of young men for one snake. And the ultimate outcome which was, basically, to do nothing.

  14. I just read an article in The New Yorker about the animals that come in to the US and then end up in “the wild.”  The article focused on Burmese pythons in Florida (including cities).  I found it quite alarming.  It really is very dangerous to ecosystems!  I am so sorry about the little kitten.  My thoughts are with Tawn’s mom and dad.   Hope you both are well.Love,Albert

  15. @christao408 – No…not vegetarian…I would not be Korean if I were (terrible over-generalization). I should though, because so many people drop so much weight once they do! For that alone I would love to, but I don’t know…I need meat. And I’m very interested in this Burmese python you dated…hehe.

  16. sorry to hear about the kitten, but an interesting back story to the snake’s arrival. Perhaps snakes keep coming to the house because they can easily find food there?

  17. cant understand the rumor about this. living in such an area and let pets out to roam is pretty much the same than place some bowls with food and milk to feed ferals, only difference you actually will feed wildlife instead. i dont feel sorry for the kitten i do feel sorry for all the small native animals feral and roaming cats destroy all day!

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