July 29, 2010

One man's pest is another man's pet.

A few weeks ago, an exterminator came to our door in a deluded attempt to hawk his services.  As he pointed to the spider webs dotting our house's foundation, I gently broke the news to him.  I gestured toward the "errant" webs and replied,  "Those guys are just doing their jobs. Also, we have tarantulas.  In cages.  As pets."  The guy smiled, then quickly cut his losses and ran.  I did not even bother to tell the poor sap that I routinely nudge spiders out of my kitchen sink, lest they drown.

Sofia, our Common Pink Toe tarantula (avicularia avicularia)

While it may seem that we come across our pets capriciously, nothing could be further than the truth. I had met Sofia at the pet store and knew that I wanted that particular T because she was so laid back and just plain cool.  I call her Cheech because her species is usually very skittish, but she is very laid back and calm.

Madison, our Antilles Pink Toe tarantula (avicularia versicolor)

Madison?  Not so much.  Every time I open her cage, she darts to the top, as if we have been making her pound out license plates in her enclosure.  I am not afraid of either T biting me, actually for the avicularia set, bite reports are rare.  However, they are effing fast and they are climbers.  I am more afraid of them getting lost, then falling prey to a cat or a dog.

Innernets, meet Edward.  The new kid in town.

Yes, we added fins to the mix.  Just because.

Lucy, our West Highland Terrier. Purebred "scrappy".
Having a dog is totally a Tale of Two Cities.  Dogs are a pain in the ass, y'all.  A squillion times more work than a cat and infinitesimally more work than a tarantula.  But a dog's devotion?  When you are sick on the couch crying from the pain of a concussion, that dog will be right there in your face because she is so worried about you.  She will be your child's best playmate. She will go places with you, happily. SHE WILL EAT YOUR EXPENSIVE CHEESE. 

Pearson, our pretty boy.

Harry, our burly stray who appeared like magic one day.  Our tough kitty is oddly sweet and the friendliest of the bunch.  

Vanessa, the shyest of our kitties, but the one that Team Chaos loves the most.  They had to EARN her trust and it is a privilege to pet this kitty most of all.

A month ago,  I brewed up a vat of sea monkeys.  Since I have that innate ability to suck all of the enjoyment out of any activity in my attempts to impart knowledge, it also provided a nice little lesson plan for Team Chaos on the topic of cryptobiosis (one of my children will be a Trivia Nerd, I am true and steady on my course.)

Homo Simian
Comes pre-equipped with opposable thumbs, inquisitive personality and an incredible ability to evolve.  Prehensile tail option no longer available. 

You might think we are done with pets.  You might be wrong. 

Arun's savings account for a crested gecko.

The only issue is that lizards are akin to mice in India and Daddy is not taking kindly to the thought of a lizard in the house. Me?  I am okay with it.  I have been researching the topic of lizards for over a year now and know that we can handle a crested gecko.  Also, I suspect the poo of the gecko will be something to behold.  And yes, that was my first thought in the matter.  What sort of scat will this entail?  What is the method for its removal?  What is the level and quality of aroma?  You see, gentle reader, the secret of satisfactory animal husbandry is the ability to handle a wide variety of shit.

Trust me, everyone poops.


Monkey McWearingChaps said...

Have to say I'm with X on the geckos, dude. It used to creep me out when I'd be taking a shower and they'd skitter across the wall.

Or even worse, the time one dropped into the curry pot at my aunt's house after a misstep.


Mamma Sarah said...

You certainly have a variety of creatures in your home... wow! :-) Your T's are beautiful, but I know pictures are as close as I will get. ;-) Danny was just talking about getting Alex a mouse... um yeah... not so cool. I'm happy with our kitties and kids... :-)

Meagan Francis said...

Here's the thing about geckos: they live FOREVER. Like 20-25 years forever. I like them, kinda, but I'm not sure I can commit to a creature that won't love me back for that long!

rozanne said...

I can't get on board with the tarantulas (sorry!), but I love all your other pets (esp. the kitties). And that photo of Arun and Harry lying on the floor in the exact same position is fabulous.

P.S. It appears that there is web material in one of the tarantula cages. For some reason, I never thought of them as web spinners.

P.P.S. Sea monkeys really don't live up to the hype. I remember saving money for them (much as Arun is saving money for the gecko) and being sooooooo let down by the fact that they bore no resemblance to the ad in the back of the comic book.