“The sign came about when a friend moved my shoes to sweep the porch. When she saw Jabba, she dumped the animal out into a flower bed. Undeterred, the next morning, Jabba was back one of my shoes, so I put up the sign.”
Sita said the toad was big, much bigger than any of the other toads she has ever seen in the area, so she named it Jabba the Toad.
“Many evenings, I would sit on the steps of the porch and work with Mr. Kitty, the recovering feral cat who lives outdoors, letting him acclimate to me, eventually allowing me to brush and touch him. Jabba, on the other hand, would let me get very close, but I never tried to touch it.”
Some evenings, Jabba would be sitting inches away from Mr. Kitty but Sita could not get a picture of the two of them because Mr. Kitty would always run away.
“Most mornings, Jabba would be in my shoe. She preferred the left shoe but sometimes slept in the right one,” Sita explained. “Sometimes she would disappear for a few days and I would think she was gone. Then one morning, she would be back in one of my shoes.”
One evening, when Sita took the dogs out for their last pee before bed, Jabba was on the back porch. It got so used to its new home and its housemates, the toad was not concerned about the dogs at all, even when two of them went over to check her out.
“Once in a while at night, I would find Jabba in the backyard by the large earth pond. I told it to be careful because there was no shortage of snakes and other predators (raccoons, fox, coyotes, bobcats, feral hogs, and owls).”
One early October evening, Sita was going to put out food for the deer and saw Jabba hopping down the driveway. “I followed but stayed way back, it went all the way to the woods adjoining the fenced area where we feed the deer.”
Sita thought she would not see Jabba again but the toad returned in March. Just like before, Sita found it in her shoe.
“This past summer progressed in a very similar manner,” Sita explained. There was, however, one notable exception. Jabba disappeared in July. “I sadly concluded it had lived its life span and quite possibly had become part of the food chain.”
Two weeks ago, Sita was repotting plants and found Jabba on the surface of one of the pots. This time, it was much darker in color and moved very slowly. “I left it alone and put the pot back where it had been,” Sita said. “The next day, Jabba was gone. It is most unusual for a toad to start hibernating in July. Here in East Texas, July, August, and early September have daily highs near or above 100 degrees Fahrenheit.”
“I read up toads and suspect she is a Gulf Coast Toad, which is supposed to live 1-2 years in the wild. Jabba was fully grown when I first met her which would indicate she was maybe a year old then. She spent two summers mostly on the front porch, so that makes her possibly three years old,” Sita explained. “I never asked her age.”
Out of all the people Jabba could’ve met, Sita was probably the one who could (and did) take the best care of it. The woman has 10 cats (nine are indoor and have their own room), and three large dogs who mostly hang out indoors too. She has done animal rescue for most of her life.
“The only cat Jabba met was Mr. Kitty, the recovering feral who hangs out on the front porch. They seem to get along well.Jabba has met the dogs and after the first meeting when two of the dogs walked over to check her out, they ignored each other.”
People are really enjoying the unusual friendship