Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Have I Mentioned Recently that my Husband is a Saint?

Because he is.  The man is a complete saint.

I was on Facebook one day, and through a variety of connections I learned of a 20-year-old diamond/ carpet python mix in need of a home.

I asked Brent.  He said yes.

We now have a 5-to-6-foot-long geriatric diamond/ carpet python residing in our dining room...

... you know, as one does.

Meet Beatrice:

She's a lovely girl, and in incredibly good shape especially considering her advanced age according to DocRock, our herp vet.  She's also got an excellent feeding response, so here's hoping she does well for the remainder of her years :)

Friday, August 21, 2015


Well, both Bella and Sarah have finally shuffled off their mortal coils, so we are now ratless.  I don't see us changing that at any time in the future, to be frank.  The rats were lots of fun and I'm really glad we had them, make no mistake!  But for such easy creatures to keep, they certainly are time consuming.  The rat-poo shoveling alone took more hours out of my life over this past 2.5 years... oish.

I will say that if I ever lose my mind and end up with more rats (because I am a slow, slow learner), one thing I will do is regardless of which genders the rats are is get them fixed -- spayed for girls, neutered for boys.  We lost Oops faster than I thought we would, but watching Bella and Sarah navigating their mammary tumors was difficult.  When female rats are spayed at a young enough age, the incidence of mammary tumors is drastically reduced.  I don't think I could in good conscience have pet rats again without committing to a spay/ neuter program.

In other news, Sam the Sulcata is doing quite well and even has his own Facebook page, because I am a complete and utter dork.  Here is a comparison picture of Hatchling Sam vs. 1-month-old Sam:

 Next, Sam performing the primal Yawp!

Sam, in a vain attempt to hide beneath a spring of flat-leaf parsley:

And finally, my latest-and-greatest favorite picture, Sam sulking because his salad has zero romaine lettuce:

The little guy has really grown since we first brought him home, and has more than doubled in weight.  He's now more than 100 grams and shows zero signs of stopping.  I've already drawn up the footprint and plans for a much, much larger indoor home for him (2 feet x 6+ feet) that should serve until he's large enough to live outside full-time; we're starting construction on that beast as soon as we get the boys settled in for the school year.

So, no more rats, but we are definitely enjoying an abundance of tortoise!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Hah! This will take care of it...

The Sarah Rat and Bella are still trucking around, even with their ever-growing tumors.  But at 30 months they're not long for this world, so our season of pet-death will continue until the last rat shuffles off its mortal coil.

However!  I have solved a future iteration of this problem with our latest addition to the zoo.  Meet Sam:

Sam is a hatchling Sulcata tortoise, and he is darling.   Actually, "he" could very well be a "she" because it's difficult to sex tortoises accurately at this young an age, but for now we're just going to default to the masculine pronoun... in part because almost every other critter in my house is male so why should my luck change now?  That said, if Sam becomes Samantha, my Bewitched-obsessed self will not be overly distressed.

In spite of his current petite flower status, Sam will eventually grow to be over 100 lbs., with a shell length of up to 32 inches.  For now, though, he's completely dwarfed by his salad:

So much cuteness, I die!

Regarding how this fixes the pet death situation?  Well in this case, barring any health issues, Sam should outlive both Brent and me.  He has a life expectancy of over 70 years -- some sources say over 100 years -- so I think it's safe to say he's going to outlive us both.  We'll have to make provisions for him in our will; the Gum Zombie has volunteered to take him on once we're gone.  That said, the child is twelve so if things change we'll make alternate arrangements for this little fellow.

Who won't be very little at all by that point.

It's nice to have one pet I probably won't have to say goodbye to :)

Friday, May 1, 2015

Another One Bites the Dust

RIP, Oopsie Bear - 4/27/2015.

Sorry for the spate of utterly non-snake related posts, thus rendering the title of this blog beyond inaccurate as it is most definitely not all about the herps.  On the plus side, though, this means all the snakes are doing well.

Sarah and Slither, the Kenyan sand boas, are eating and growing as they should.  Actually they're a little chunky.  But still very cute.

Lucy and Scales, our cinnamon ball pythons, continue to thrive.  Scales is on an eating run right now, as opposed to his eating strike of about a year ago.  He's much smaller than he would be had he not gone through that.  I may start feeding him more often to see if that puts a little more size on him, although he doesn't actually need it.  Lucy is luxuriating in her greater size, and is a delight.

Leonard is utterly, gorgeously Leonard.  My favorite thing to do is get him out of his enclosure and let him sit around my shoulders.  It's a bit difficult to do since the dogs are quite interested in him, and at everyone's current sizes I'm afraid my precious snake would be in more danger from my dogs than the reverse.  That won't always hold true, but for now I'm really working to make sure my sweet scaly boy is safe from his furry, yappy housemates.

And Sheldon remains Evil, which is not coincidentally his former name.  Actually he's not awful, and some days he's fine with coming out of his enclosure.  Other days I think he's wishing for hands just so he could flip me off...

We're down to just two rats:  Bella, and the Sarah Rat.  They're right at 28 months old, and both have mammary tumors.  I've talked with my vet about options, surgery vs. palliative care, and at this point we're at the latter option.  If they were just a year old or even a healthy eighteen months old I probably would opt to have the tumors removed, but at this age it is major surgery with no guarantee they'd even survive it, or that they would survive the recovery.  They're just two very old ladies, getting ricketier as the days pass, bless their little hearts.  So I'm watching their tumors and their movement carefully, and should the need arise we will take them to the vet for one final trip.

I'll be sad when all our little rats have died, but in a way it will be a relief.  I've had enough pet death in the past six months, thank you very much.  I don't want to have to bury anything else I love for a few more years.

Monday, April 6, 2015

So long, farewell...

I last posted in October of 2014, and figured it was all good to go.  In all fairness, it should have been.

Sadly, my Emily got sick mid-November of 2014 and after a week's hospitalization, we had to make the very difficult (yet agonizingly easy) call to have her put down.  She had an extremely aggressive cancer and in spite of our efforts, there was nothing we could do.

I miss her.  She went from this, at only 8 years old,

to this:
And finally, to this:
I'm heartbroken.  But when we brought her home, both our boys (Daniel and Bob) stood guard over her statue for hours.  They miss her, as do we all.


Once we thought we were safe, Nicole (rat, age 25 months) had a stroke.

We thought she was on her way out, but she kept going.

so I took her to the vet and all seemed promising!

But $58.00 and two days later she left us.  Drat.


I wasn't planning on getting another animal, but my mother was looking for a puppy two years after her beloved chihuahua Dora passed away.  She wanted me to come with her to look at a possibility with her.  I did.  The puppy wasn't for her.  But...

She was for us.  Her name is Lily :)  Lily is a chiweenie (God help us, I know -- I can't believe we have a chiweenie either) and she is darling.


So here we are, now 2 cats and 3 dogs rather than the reverse. We're doing pretty well, all things considered.  Of course, our three remaining rats aren't going to make it too much longer.  Bella has a mammary tumor along with a likely case of liver cancer; Oops is getting scary-thin for no apparent  reason, and The Sarah Rat is staring into space without any impetus so... yeah, it's bad on the rodent end.

But they're our babies.  We'll do the best we can.  Prayers welcome, y'all.  The scaly critters are blooming, so on the plus side there is that :)

Take care.