Carlos the Frog


Over the many years we’ve lived in Florida, we’ve encountered a lot of wildlife in the suburban neighborhoods where we’ve lived. Alligators in a lake we lived on, burrowing owls that had a nest in our backyard, a raccoon that once strolled into our kitchen to help himself to cat food, various types of birds.

Before Hurricane Wilma, we found hordes of fire ants seeking refuge in the aluminum folds of our hurricane shutters. We’ve had spiders, snakes, foxes, and the usual roaches.   Over the years, we’ve also had our share of frogs who appear in odd places in the house. We usually have managed to free them before the cats grab them.

But about a month ago, Rob noticed a little frog living in one of our potted plants on the ledge between the kitchen and the dining room. The pot once held an orchid, too, but only the ivy and the moss it grows in have survived. We tried to free him by picking up the pot to move it outside, but he jumped away. We returned the pot to the ledge and he was back the next morning.

We now leave a shallow container of water next to the plant, but the other morning, Rob found the frog – now named Carlos – in the water in our coffee pot. He has also been spotted on another area of the counter, near the cat food. There are plenty of insects that flit in and out of the house for him to catch, but I’ve been leaving him bits of lettuce and I’ve found it inside the little hole he has dug for himself in the moss.

What’s interesting about this frog is that he’s a totem animal in this house. We have a lot of these metal depictions of frogs:

Frog has often been a messenger for us, a sign that something is on its way into our lives. Whether its appearance is positive or negative depends on the room where the frog is found and its condition. Is it healthy? Sick? Injured? Dead? Hopping around?

Tonight, I placed another plant next to the pot where Carlos has been living and filled a shallow bowl with water so he could sit on the edge of it and drink. And I snapped a photo of him that’s at the top of the post.Look closely to the lower right of the pic. You’ll see one of his eyes.

This weekend when Megan comes home, we’re going to try to free him.

PS Rob freed Carlos several days before Megan got home. He hopped onto the climbing ivy on one of our palm trees in the backyard, where there are plenty of insects!




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12 Responses to Carlos the Frog

  1. C.J. says:

    I guess I could talk about this forever, but will try not to. Another curious thing about
    our critters….we’ve lived in this beach townhouse for almost twenty -five years…… (and obviously we are VERY animal-oriented! )…. is that from the very beginning, the squirrels and feathered friends in particular seem to know when their “food truck” is near! What is weird about this is that hubby comes home at different times in the evening. His schedule is not set. He may come home at 4pm, or at 7pm, but whatever, the herds of squirrels and birds KNOW, and they start to arrive in the branches of our neighbor’s huge oak tree that hangs over our fence. Many of them now take peanuts out of hubby’s hand. I suffer from a severe fear of spiders……tiny or huge, doesn’t matter. I fear them, and FL is not a good place to have this phobia. Oddly, they seem to be drawn to me by my fear! We don’t like to kill them because they help control the prolific mosquito population, so if one is in the house, hubby will get a glass jar with a wide opening, scoot the insect into it, then release it outside. Snakes? Not a problem for me. But spiders? NNnnooooooo! Just as a final footnote on this subject, we have several ‘drawing spiders’ among the backyard zoo. They create some of the most beautiful designs with their webs! That’s apparently how they received their name.
    And yep, they are all fun and fascinating to watch!

  2. lauren raine says:

    sounds indeed like he was a totem for you!

  3. C.J. says:

    The curious thing about Thoth the Cat and Fred the Frog is that cats are natural predators. Yet he has never attempted to chase or harm in any manner the menagerie of wild species whose habitats he shares, even the dune mice. And, they have no fear of him or of Storm, our black Lab. He (Thoth) watches them with interest, swishes his tail, but that’s it. Hubby puts out bird food for the birds and peanuts for the squirrels morning and nite. Last week I was looking out the glass back door, Thoth was in his usual perch on the table out there, and one of the familiar squirrels hopped down from a branch to grab a peanut. This squirrel is incredibly FAT! Before he snagged his peanut, he turned around on the fence, sat up on his really broad bottom, and barked at Thoth.Not a menacing or warning bark. Just a typical squirrel bark. Thoth meowed but didn’t move, and Chubby the squirrel scampered back into the tree with his peanut. There MUST be some kind of communication that happens, because we HAVE seen Thoth cross the street, lower himself into the feline “creep and crawl” mode, sneaking up on a bird over there. Fascinating, these critters!

  4. C.J. says:

    I love Carlos! What a delightful story! As mentioned previously here on the blog, we have all species of critters living happily in our privacy-fenced cultivated ‘jungle’ backyard. Our cat and pup never make any effort to chase or hurt any of them, which is highly unusual. We even have a few garter snakes and dune mice. Last year we began to notice a large green frog in our garage at night. (Our cat prefers sleeping there for some reason.) Anyway, the frog was there every nite, nibbling on Thoth’s cat food. Thoth never bothered the frog, which we eventually name “Fred”, and we put a large pan with low edges for Fred because we often saw him drinking Thoth’s water, and a separate small plate of kitty food for Fred. Wasn’t too long before we walked out there one nite and Fred’s entire family had moved in, seven little frogs, jumping and swimming in the water. We figured Fred had waved tiny party flags and told his gang this was ‘the place’! Initially, hubby had tried to take Fred outside, but he kept coming in, so we just enjoyed him and his family. They are now grown and still call our garage home! Trish and Rob, don’t be surprised if Carlos returns! 🙂

    • Rob and Trish says:

      What a great story, CJ! I hope Carlos does drop by. The yard is filled with frog food of all sorts, so maybe he will.

  5. I can’t begin to imagine living with all those indoor creatures. It must keep the cats and dogs alert.

  6. DJan says:

    I hope Carlos brings you plenty of whatever you desire. I like frogs and this one is pretty determined to survive, it seems. 🙂