Here's me and a few feathered friends.
Why do they like me so much? Well, my earrings are apparently really tasty.
There's a new pet store in town and I thought I'd go have a look at what's there, ostensibly to buy a nicer condominium for my beloved stick-bugs, but really I was wondering if this store carried baby iguanas.
You see, I once inherited an iguana. An elderly one.
Sophie had had a rather sad life with three or four previous owners and had somehow survived a decade or so of neglect. I really wanted to rescue her and was determined to give her a good home until she passed away. But, as I suspected from the beginning, she was not a pet for the half-hearted nor the faint of heart.
Despite having regrown her tail at some point (you could see how it had grown back deformed), she stretched a healthy three and a half feet from snout tip to tail. My cats gave her a wide berth. When she started lumbering towards their food dish, you better believe they made way. She moved in a prehistoric gait that reminded me of a crocodile. Or possibly a dinosaur.
She required heat lamps and finely-chopped fresh fruits and vegetables. She needed daily swims in the bathtub (she was potty-trained to the tub but would often only perform if you massaged her tummy). Her mighty toenails required clipping. She need special vitamins. And she really would have preferred trees to climb in, but leaping from sofa to chair was the next best thing.
Also, although she never bit anyone, she would turn her head to one side to give you a glare, and let you glimpse the tiny but razor-sharp teeth in her open mouth to let you know she wasn't trying out for Most Cuddlesome Lizard in the world. I loved her, but she was a handful. I would never, ever walk into a pet shop and buy a baby iguana.
Once, a few years after Sophie's death at the venerable age of fourteen, I spied some tiny and adorable baby iguanas in a pet shop down-island. I approached a clerk and pretended I was interested in purchasing one. I wanted to see what would be said to a potential owner...
It boiled down to "Cute l'il fellas, aren't they!"
There was no mention of all the special needs this kind of pet needs.There was especially no mention of the strong possibility that a male iguana might grow up to be as long as your love-seat. It seemed really irresponsible to me. This is probably why so many iguanas either die young from health problems, or are abandoned when they attain the size of furniture.
I was glad to find no iguanas at this new pet store. Apparently my town now has some sort of bylaw concerning them. I'll have to find out the details about that. But I do know that if you really want such a pet there are many older ones that can be adopted from reptile rescue societies.
Now that I travel regularly there is no question of myself adopting another one though. It's one thing to ask your mother to make sure the cat's dish is full of kibble while I'm away for a month; quite another to give my giant lizard a bath with massage.