A quote By John Waters that I found in an anthology. My hubby makes fun of my obsessions. Not that he doesn't have them too, he just sticks to the same ones. You know, guns, paintball, knives, gaming, and motorcycles (the only one I don't let him indulge in), the usual boy forms of entertainment. He's basically had them all since oh, puberty, maybe even since school age. My obsessions tend to come and not really go but fall by the wayside. Kinda. I have relapses of all of them when it suits me. He finds this odd, I see it more as a Jack of all trades type thing. Animals tend to play a background to the obsessions starting with parrots (yes those big, loud, messy, expensive birds) way back in high school. Fourtunately this was when I was a teenager and lived in San Diego. There's a flock of parrots, yes a flock, that lives wild down there. When those parrots were done being domesticated they flew off out the door and joined the flock. They were not the most domesticated of avains to begin with. Next was the chinchilla. The hubby was dating me then too so he was well acquainted with Sketcher, the first of all the chins I owned. He lived in my room. Sans cage, free wheeling in my bedroom. Don't ask, it involves a bad size wire that he ripped his back leg off with so no more cage for him. Ah the sacrifices we make for the pets in our lives.
Chinchillas are long lived and I think he lasted maybe 8 years? Through my first marriage (which may have lasted 4 years?) and the 2 bird dogs and 2 cats that I collected while married to the putz. I've never been into cats but we somehow ended up with 2, they left with the ex as did 1 dog. I was then left with the Labrador. Yes, I survived living with a lab, a reactive one at that. I've always been stuck with the animals that no one else could handle and I'm ok with that, they give enough love that they're worth it (yes, I'm talking about my present spaz Jayne here). After I moved back to San Diego from MD I left that lab with a loopy ex-boyfriend, soul mates that they were. Both a little far left of center. I had also acquired more chinchillas with that boyfriend, he kept most of them and even the ones that were born the morning I left him. I took Smidge and 2 of his sons. Both sons died within a few years (mutation colored chins don't tend to last long). Smidge is still with in in the most insanely large cage you just don't even know. A side affect of the obsession thing. When we moved to this house I was tired of all the crappy cages I had either bought or built and wanted something impressive. Researched it for like 2 months before buying this ferret cage that is essentially a modified parrot cage. Stupid expensive but it rocks. He's old so he doesn't use it nearly as much as a young chin would but he's happy so I don't care. I suspect he won't be with us too much longer, I bought him when I was in college and I graduated in 1999. He's more than 10 so it won't be long before he's gone. We have a local chinchilla rescue and rather than trying to sell the behemoth of a cage on Craigs List I'm going to donate it to the rescue. I figure I got what I wanted out of it so it paid off, might as well let some homeless rodents enjoy themselves in it when we are done.
Present animal obsession count: 3 dogs, 1 chinchilla, 1 snake. Present animal count that is a direct result of my obsession: 2. The hubby might debate me on that but it's accurate. The chinchilla is mine from before present hubby days and Corbin, I wanted a frenchie something awful. Roxy was our first dog together and that was because the hubby wanted a dog and I was totally on board. But it wasn't me that initiated that one, that was all him, Jayne was him too, I wanted a 2nd dog yes but Jayne, the hubby wanted a brindle boxer. He would not have been my first choice, we knew what he was (reactive) from the first moment he came to our door. It was a good thing we took him though, he'd be dead by now with just about anyone else. The snake is the kid's deal, I'm cool with it but I made sure the hubby knew that he's responsible for it's care though. I take care of her on occasion but if he's home and she poos I tell him about it. I keep track of her food though and make sure we have the frozen mice on feeding days and I'm also now getting her a monster cage since she's so dang active that the 20 long shes in now is just not all that entertaining for her.
Yes, I said entreating. Sarah the snake is one dang active snake, you wouldn't believe how much she moves about. Total acrobat. So I've located a new tank for her, 70 gallon, on Craigs List, that I'm having my minion at work build up for her into a lovely vivarium. And here I move into the newest obsession, vivariums. You remember that Vietnamese mossy frog that I babysat for the minion when we borrowed the day gecko for the kid's presentation? I've decided that I need one for my birthday (28th) and of course need a vivarium to put it in. Over the last month I've researched the breeders of mossy frogs and what type of vivarium they need. Joined forums, sent emails, made phone calls, the usual research I do when getting into something new. Yes, an obsession. But if you want to get into a new animal species I think it's wise to know what you're getting into. Call me obsessive.....
So as of right now I have a total of 4 terrariums, that's including the one Sarah is presently living in which only kinda counts because like I said, I'm not responsible for that particular acquisition. I have a 18x18x24 that I am having the minion build up for the mossy frog that I intend on acquiring. The mossy frogs are currently in tadpole form with a breeder in Ohio and I have 2 on hold. The 70 gallon I got for Sarah needs to be picked up this next week and eventually that will be modified by the minion for Sarah's climbing entertainment. I also got a 12x12x18 and I think I'm going to put poison dart frogs into that one. No, the captive ones are not poisonous so don't worry about that. They are also not something one handles often, they are very very small and delicate. Not really the novice frog owner material but I am not your average moron so we'll see how well I'm able to do. They eat fruit flies (the flightless variety) and sometimes Isopods (pill bugs), woodlice, and spring tails. You have to actually culture all of their food (ie, raise/grow it yourself) and dust it with vitamins before feeding. And they only eat live, moving food. Sound like fun? OK I suppose only to a geeky scientist like myself and a bunch of crazy dorky herp people but I know for a fact that the kid is going to find it wildly entertaining, don't you think? And lets face it, this is like the ultimate for an OCD obsession ridden geek. The husband may go off the deep end but thankfully after so many decades he's totally used to it. He was there when I bought my first chinchilla, nothing really surprises him anymore.
PS, I'd include more pictures and links but this is my first foray into posting from the iPad. It's not all that easy since I'm not used to the lack of a mouse and right click/highlight is totally beyond me. I can copy paste but it's kinda sporadic. The autofill is infuriating and inconsistent but that's true in the iPhone too so I'm used to that. If there are any glaring typos I'm sorry, it'll drive me nuts but eventually I'll get the hang of it!