Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Oh My!

Guinea Pigs and Oscars and Pythons and Boas and Pyrenees and Iguanas and Ferrets and Owtcharkas and Crawdads Oh My!

I may be addicted to twitter, but someone in my house has a pet addiction. Over the years this unnamed person has adopted, fostered, raised, bred and in a few cases barely tolerated just about every kind of pet known to man. For the most part none of these pets were bought, they sort of came our way as people we knew moved away or had changes in their living situations. In one case it was literally saved from the boiling pot.

Several intrepid culinary adventurers got together and had two massive bags of live New Orleans crayfish delivered to our local airport. The gentlemen proceeded from the airport to the home of the lucky hosts where they then dumped the whole bag into the boiling water.

Except for one plucky fellow who held onto the mesh bag with all his might.

A certain young scamp pleaded for the life of the crustacean and that night introduced the mudbug to his new life in a small fish bowl.

By the next morning all the original inhabitants had fallen prey to the new predator in the bowl. We began regular trips to procure feeder fish for the ravenous creature until one day we came home to an empty bowl.

I need to stop here for a second. Don't get me wrong, I love my 100 lb South Russian Owtcharka pound puppy. Ferrets are still my absolute favorite pet. But after a while I find that I have things to do that keep me from sitting in front of a cage or a tank and watching a python stalk a feeder rat or a male Flame Tail cichlid dance for the female. You know, things like laundry and dishes and filing and lawn mowing and sweeping and vacuuming. Little things, really, they just have to be done over and over and over again.

The other thing I try to do to make the repetitive tasks go a little faster is catch up on phone calls. It's not an uncommon sight to see me with a phone headset on and a basket of laundry going up and down the stairs.

On this particular evening I brushed past the pet detectives and brought in the last load of groceries. As I did so I pulled on my phone headset to return a call. Then I made a quick stop in the bedroom to kick off my shoes, grab the dirty laundry, and finally a trip downstairs to empty out the dryer and get a fresh load going.

As I was pulling out the clean dry laundry I felt something tickling my toes. I looked down and saw what I thought was the biggest scorpion on earth trying to get a hold of my big toe. I screamed with all the breath in my lungs. I scrambled backwards and was only stopped by the doorframe. Above me I could hear my stalwart heroes thundering towards the stairs to see what was distressing me. As I drew in another deep breath to scream I realized that I recognized the wayward wanderer. With my next breath I bellowed "WHY IS THERE A CRAWFISH UNDER MY DRYER?!"

I could hear the footsteps on the stairs slow. I heard a chuckle and "So that's where he went"

I was not amused.

Let me say this again. With emphasis.

I. Was. Not. Amused.

In other news, apparently I terrified my friend and neighbor. In the middle of our phone conversation she heard me scream bloody murder and then the phone went dead. Just as she was debating whether she should call 911 directly or walk over to check on me I called back to explain the situation. Unlike me she was greatly amused. and relieved.

Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my blog. And if a small pet ever turns up missing from your house, check under your dryer, especially if it's cold blooded.

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