Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Caller was no wacko.
There really was a gator in her kitchen.

Sandie Frosti of Oldsmar, Florida thought she was hallucinating. She saw something big, dark and green on her kitchen floor. She looked away. Then she looked back, and it was still there. Frosti went to her bedroom and dialed 911.

The operator asked whether she was sure it wasn't an iguana. Frosti had only seen the head, but that was enough. "I told them I was definitely sure."

It wasn't long Monday night before everyone else was sure, too - including sheriff's deputies and a trapper who came to her house to help capture an 8-foot-8 alligator, weighing about 230 pounds.

Catching the creature was no easy task. The trapper had to remove a sliding glass door to get the alligator out of the house. The reptile's claws left gouges in the linoleum floor.

Frosti's encounter began about 10:30 p.m. with loud noises. She had been out and returned about 9. She was working on the computer in her bedroom. "I thought that scratching sound was much too loud to be my cat," Frosti said. She went toward the kitchen, did her double-take, then made the call. She was told to wait in the bedroom, with the door closed, until deputies arrived.

It turns out Frosti had left open a sliding glass door between her living room and a screened porch. "I like the fresh air," she said. "It must have gotten in while I wasn't home."

The alligator, one of many inhabiting ponds around Frosti's home, busted through the porch screen, crossed about 10 feet to the open door and entered the house. The alligator traipsed across the living room carpet, through the dining room and into the kitchen.

"The police told me it may have been interested in my cat," Frosti said. The cat and alligator did not meet.

In the tussle with the trapper, the gator was cut by shards of a broken plate, adding to the mess in the kitchen. "There was blood splattered everywhere," Frosti said.

Neighbors living in the neighborhood are accustomed to seeing alligators with all the ponds nearby. (info from the Tampa Tribune)

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