I just returned from an attempt to get my mail. My mailbox is about, oh, 200 and some yards down the road from my house. (I've never measured it. It may be less than 200 yards. All I know is that it's about a five-minute walk for me, and I am a slow walker.) So, I was walking down my road to the mailbox, enjoying the bright, sunny spring day when all of a sudden I saw a Black Racer right in front of me, right between me and my mail. I know Black Racers are not poisonous, but, if age has not yet eroded my memory too much, I seem to remember that they bite and bite as quickly as a lash of whip. Anyway, I wasn't going to test the accuracy of my middle-aged memory. I turned tail.
My cat Fledermaus, who has apparently overcome or forgotten her fear of red foxes, walked up beside me as I was turning around as gingerly and as soundlessly as a person with poor balance can. She stopped, sat down, and appeared to be contemplating the snake.
I told her, "Fledermaus, get the snake. Come on, protect me. Earn your keep. Please."
Fledermaus did not budge. At all. She just continued to sit on her haunches and stared at the Black Racer.
And I ran back to the house.
Perhaps, I should replace Fledermaus with a Mongoose.