A rambunctious kitty, a venomous snake and an intrepid country catcher have all been brought together under a rural Queensland Christmas tree.
On Monday, a rascal cat left a bane gift for its family among other presents under the tree.
A local catcher, Darling Downs Snake Catchers’ Gunter Glaser, was called to a family home in Queensland’s Darling Downs after the family’s cat left a 60-centimetre red-bellied black snake among their presents.
Photos shared by Darling Downs Snake Catchers show the reptile curled up among the gifts at the Hampton home.
The family, and miraculously the cat, avoided being bitten with the reptile relocated to a bushland creek.
Likewise, the cat didn’t inflict much damage on the snake either.
“Sometimes when cats bite a snake really bad, it’s got to be euthanized,” he explained.
“The cat brought it in fairly gently and didn’t puncture the skin or anything – it was all right,” he said.
Mr Glaser told news.com.au despite the snake being over half a metre in length; it was considered “a small one”.
He said the family had shuffled other presents around the snake to help contain it until he arrived.
While there are no recorded deaths in Australia from the fangs of a red-bellied black snake, they are considered venomous and dangerous to people.
A bite can afflict its victim with bleeding, swelling, nausea, vomiting, headache, abdominal pain, diarrhoea, sweating, muscle pain, weakness, and red-brown urine.
You wouldn’t think it now, but less than a month ago, in late November, a month he described as “flat out”, Mr Glaser was bitten on the finger by a deadly eastern brown snake during a call out.
“That was not good. Browns are the worst thing you can get tagged by,” he said.
“This one was just extra fast. Every situation is different – they all jump around madly – but this one just caught me out.
“I can’t think of anything else I could have done differently; really, it was just an awkward situation.”
Eastern browns are widely considered the deadliest of all Australian snakes, with their venom ranked the world’s second most toxic of any land snake.
With this knowledge, Mr Glaser calmly bagged the snake, applied a pressure bandage to his hand and called for an ambulance.
After a short bout with nausea, vomiting, headaches, and terrible kidney pain, he blacked out while in the hospital, waking up the next day where he was tested for heart and kidney damage.
But the close call has deterred him little, and he’s already back in action with updates of his call-outs almost daily on his Facebook page.
He admitted there were nerves during the first few eastern brown call-outs caught after the bite.
“I was a bit nervous – It was only a small one – but it doesn’t matter how big they are, they’re still deadly,” he said of the first eastern brown he caught after his recovery.
“I’ve relocated three since then. But you just got to be extra careful.”
Originally published as Family cat drops snake under Christmas tree in regional Queensland