What to do about a lizard rescue?

I can’t seem to pass up an animal in trouble without stopping, scooping and bringing it home.  Dogs, cats, rabbits.  I even rescued a chicken two years ago that, and I promise this is true, was trying to cross a busy road.  I called him Fritz.  (Shout out to Kasia’s Ark who do amazing work and work only on donations.)  The only rule to my rescues is that the animal has to be in danger, lest I get overcrowded with every homeless but happy animal out there.  Also, I know my limit, and I’m there, so anything rescued has to be patched up and either returned to the wild or get adopted by someone else.

As you know, yesterday it was freezing.  I was walking to Rouse’s on Baronne when I almost stepped on what looked like a shriveled up, dead lizard.  I stopped to look, and just touched it with my shoe.  It barely moved it’s head.  It was alive, but the thing was perhaps freezing to death.  I knelt down to pick him up expecting him to dart off.  But he didn’t move.  Knowing nothing about lizards, I put him in a nearby tree for cover so at least he wouldn’t be stepped on. He didn’t move, and appeared to not be able to hold on too well.  Nonetheless, I had soup to make, so off shopping I went.

When I was done, I went to check on him.  He was still there, not moving, and all brown and shriveled looking.  A strong wind would have blown him off the branch and back onto the sidewalk to be trampled.  Nothing else to do but scoop him up, put him in my purse and off to the gym we went.

I was done with my 2014-01-06_19-42-36_47clients for the day, thank goodness.  I know how afraid some people are of lizards.  I remember my mother freaking out when, as a youngster, I would catch them and have them bite my ear lobes so I could have lizard earrings.  Cuz that’s how I rolled.

Anyhow, he started to green up and come alive a little at the gym,  That’s when I noticed the strange wound or perhaps even cancer on his back.  Maybe that’s why he was dying.  I don’t know.

When it was time to leave work, back in my purse he went.  I was worried about a lack of  resources at the gym.

Remember the cats at home?  Yeah, they eat lizards.  So I closed him off in the spare room where all my plants are parked for the freeze.  I figured there have to be critters in there that he can snack on.  I mean, something eats my plants.  I left a dish of water for him and even cut up tiny bites of fruit.  He’s doing well, but still can’t climb very well because he doesn’t seem to have much sticky in his feet.

So now what?  I certainly intend to release him when it warms up, but where?  My cats are mighty hunters, and this guy wouldn’t stand a chance, especially since he’s still accepting me touching him (which I’m really not doing much anymore).  If I release him back downtown and there’s another (likely) freeze, won’t he just die anyway?

If you know anything about lizards, I would appreciate your advice.

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