Back in September I foolishly allowed my husband to take our children to a reptile show without adult supervision. The result: four (yes, that says four) lizards. Two uromastyx and two crested geckos. [Side note: there seems to be some debate in the reptile world as to the correct plural form of uromastyx. Uromastyx or uromastyxes. My vote is for uromastyxii.] The crested geckos have fared well, but the uromastyx had to be separated after one removed several digits from the tail of the other. Needless to say, I wasn’t thrilled when the middle child and his father proposed to attend another reptile show. They talked me into it by reminding me we needed a new tank for the cannibalistic uromastyx and they were much cheaper at the reptile show than a pet store.
During the forty minute drive to the show, I repeatedly reminded my family that we were not, under any circumstances, going to bring home more reptiles. After spending fifty dollars to get all five of us into the show (yes, that is about what a tank would have cost at the pet store), we entered the sweltering heat of the packed auditorium. I know reptiles are cold-blooded, but wouldn’t it be better to lower the temperature to keep them subdued? About 75% of the show consisted of snakes. I don’t mind snakes (did I mention we also have two corn snakes?), but snakes large enough to constrict and eat me are a bit daunting in large quantities. After about ten minutes of working our way through the crowd, the worst happened. My daughter and I were separated from the boys. Accident? I think not. We continued to look for the tank we came for while I made futile attempts to reach them by phone.
After we purchased the needed tank, bedding, and a few other supplies, the boys finally reappeared. Holding three suspicious looking small plastic containers, each of which contained a giant millipede. At first I thought millipedes might not be so bad (consider my surroundings at this point). They’re smallish, they eat rotting fruit and vegetables, and they’re insects, so surely they don’t live that long. Wrong! When I looked them up, I discovered the average adult size is ten inches long, they live up to ten years, and they breed “quite readily” if you house males and females together. What are the chances we got three of the same sex?
It’s time to spill. What’s the strangest animal you’ve ever shared your home with?
P.S. I’ve also learned a female giant millipede will lay several hundred eggs that hatch after a three month incubation period. Giant millipede anyone? You know you want one. Feel free to call me in about three months. 1-800-STU-PIDO