Friday, January 25, 2008

exotica stuff

I think it's safe to say that I am an animal lover. I have tried, on various occasions, to introduce new and different types of animals to my children. As I've pictured many MANY times in the past, my ugly dog;

and let's not forget Bosco,Nala, poor Nala. She weighs maybe 6 pounds when wet; the girls like to bathe her. She has extra toes - AHA, that must be where the extra weight comes in!
We have even had iguanas. Yes, we have. (or had, rather) A very beautiful, dinosaur-like creature. Not as easy to keep as one might imagine. Our iguanas were sweet and kind, and enjoyed being held. I even had leashes for them and would walk them in the yard on days that it was relatively warm out.
Because they cannot regulate their temperature on their own, they needed us to "help" them with that procedure. If it was too hot outside and we were walking them; oh, they were very slow walkers, not like a dog, more a crawler. They would pant when they'd over-heat, so into the cooling cage they'd go, where it was properly shaded. They were quite spoiled. They had an indoor tank, which was a very large display case; and an outdoor cage. A guinea pig cage.
I would keep them in the tent outdoors; partially shaded, and partially in the sun when it was nice outside, as the sun was a wonderful way for them to absorb vitamins and nutrients and heat. Their colors would turn from a drab grayish brown, to a vibrant green and blue, depending on which reptile you were looking at. Zeek was our male, and Zelda our female - a rather large and striking beauty she was.
On one particular day, I had the girls in the pool, the Z's in their tank and sunning - and it was hot outside. I put some water at the bottom of their tank, shaded it, and hit the pool with the kids.
After about an hour, I decided to go check on the Z's, but on this particular morning, it was too late. The sun had moved, and I hadn't moved quick enough to check on them. they didn't have adequate enough shade. The water they did have, had evaporated, or they simply drank, either way, not enough to cool their hot bodies. It was devastating. Their lifeless bodies were so hot! I ran them to the bathtub, trying desperately to revive them, gently blowing air into their little iguana nose and mouths. I was absolutely horrified and heartbroken at the same time. I realized that not only had I just killed my reptiles, but I baked them alive. And I was always so careful with them.
I had them shaded, and watered. They even had grass in the cage. It simply wasn't enough. Maybe some animals simply are meant to be left in their own environment. No matter how beautiful they are.
How did I acquire them, you may wonder. I had rescued them from other owners who could no longer take care of a reptile. They were under the impression that an iguana would only grow "so long." Iguanas never stop growing. Interesting, isn't it? You can contain their growth, in their environment. But you cannot stop nature. What God intended, will continue.
I have still often wondered about rescuing another iguana. I still see them when I go to certain pet chains; and I wonder why they sell them. Do they have concerns about the certain individual iguana that is leaving? Really. What happens to it when it no longer becomes small, and starts to swing it's tail and bite, because it's being ignored.
Some are able to be handled right away, and some are not. One that I had, I was told was not able to be handled. But this was after I reached into the cage, picked her up and put her on my shoulder. She set her head under my hair and blew her nose, like they do, in little puffs. Nodded a few times and closed her eyes. I would never suggest this to anybody, and had he told me before I reached her, that she was unapproachable, I never would have put her to my face. But she was a true gem. A real lady.
Yesterday, Cinderisa and I had to get - hmmm, how should I put this? lunch - for the other reptiles that abide in our current abode. And what to my wandering eyes should appear, but two of the most gorgeous iguanas I've seen in years! No joke.
Philip says he's taking these guys with him when he gets back from his next leave; I can't say I'm not going to miss snakes. While I was in the store, I also saw really really REALLY big snakes. And they creeped me out in the worst way. I don't like the carnivore thing; it's the whole, being on the other side, you know the, being dinner side.
I went into Chrissy's room to look in the main tank, as we have two feeder-tanks. Nicholas said the rat was in it, and the girls insisted it was gone. Pancakes had eaten hers in one feeder tank, and Marisa had left the other in the main tank for Hyrup to take. Well, he didn't, the rat was hiding. Waiting for ME!
I go to the cage, look in, and sure enough, there is the almost cute little pink-eyed rat(dinner), climbing his little hands up on one of the trees, just looking at me, me looking at him, so cute; when suddenly Pancakes strikes and the rat screams, but I hear a shriek even louder than the rat, but it's me, I realize, and I'm now running and hitting my head. "EEEW EEEWW NOO NO NO NO NO!!!" I bellow as I run down the stairs. Nicholas laughing behind me, hysterically.
It's really not funny, because inside, I'm crying for this poor little rat. I hate this whole circle-of-life thing. I understand it, but I can't take part. You know, other than taking the kids to purchase the meal ticket. I don't watch, or stay on the same floor to hear it. UGH.
I must have freaked out Pancakes, because miraculously, the rat got away. (yeah, little rat!) I had a little informant, remember. He thought I'd actually allow him to keep it as a pet - AS IF! He even named it. Oh, no. No way. That is where I draw the line.
Iguanas are herbivores. They love mashed bananas! Oh, and the little clover from the garden, oh, how Zelda devoured them. I wonder if Frankie will enjoy an iguana for Valentines Day.
I used to have a faux ficus in my livingroom that the iguanas hung out in, and everytime my Dad would visit, he'd ask if they were in it before he'd sit down. The tree was next to the couch. (It was a very small house). This house has lot's of windows, with Western and Southern exposure, perfect for such a creature. Hmmmm. just wondering.
Ok, maybe not. but they were so beautiful. so, what have you had in the crazy, mixed-up animal world? Oh, can you believe it, Jamie, the two goldfish are STILL ALIVE!? no kidding.
on a plus, I slept lastnight. yahooooooo. but, woke with a killer of well, the blog name says it all, right.
hoping you're pain-free


Windyridge said...

Hi, I live in upstate NY and have quite diverse group of animals. My oldest son gets ocular migraines a few times a year. The first one scared me half to death because his eyesight narrowed to a pin. I found your blog via Jeff's comments. Stop by and say hi and meet the critters.

Angela Solomon: mom2girlsgirlsgirls: said...

Hello again! I'm glad you're sleeping, but bummer with the migraine.

Well...our cyber-sisterhood just found it's boundaries! I've drawn the line at having amphibians or reptiles in our house, though my oldest drags every conveivable creature home and keeps it in our "building project."

I LOVE dogs, though. I miss my (now-deceased) dog of fifteen years and am currently considering replacing him.

Angela in Kansas

Bobblehead said...

We have a "zoo" as well. Four dogs inculding my wife's princess Chihuahua, my elder daughter"s Pug, my younger daughter's Siberian Husky (the bad boy of the family!), and my Big Black Dumb Dog, a black Labrador with a huge heart and a small brain. Three cats including a mop of a black male that attacks air, toes, dust bunnies, etc. Four birds including the sweet to me but beware of your fingers "Chompers" the conure. Throw in some fish, probably a few fleas, and you have the Bobblehead's home.

Part of the problem with my attacks has nbeen not being able to spend time with the big dogs as much. Add a winter that is cold to the bone, a wheelchair, and it has been rough. But their love is there and the healing abilities of having them close has been amazing. Better than any drug.

deborah said...

WOW - that IS a total zoo. but my uncle and his wife, both vets, have you beat. they've got like 4 dogs, I think Rots, and somewhere around 25 cats; mostly feline leuk positive. I believe upwards of 6 different types of birds. They used to run a wild life preservation, complete with skunks and coons several different species of birds of prey. very cool place to hang out as a kid. I learned how to ride a horse there; and run on a horse - by spooking him - accidentaly.