Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The Prodigal Returns


I was lonely for a pet, and sad
when I looked at Mortimer's empty cage.
So last Saturday I went to the pet store
and bought a cute little hatchling ball python.
Isn't she cute- so small, and curled up compactly in my hand!
I fixed up the cage for her, and let her get acquainted with it,
then lifted her out and tried to get her acquainted with me.
We were well on our way to bonding- she was a nice little thing.
Then, late Saturday night, I went to put her back in her cage,
and this is what I found...


MORTIMER!
He looked up at me as if to say,
"Mom, how could you move someone else in!!"
So I popped the lid over him and locked it
(this picture was taken after that)
and turned on the heat lamp,
and put the little hatchling in my spare cage,
after rigging it up quick for comfort and security,
and then went and lifted Mortimer out to check for injury.
He seemed okay, but he was very cold and rigid.
So I ran a lukewarm bath and put him in it.
He did not like that at all. He slithered right out.
And so I held him close to me so that my body heat would warm him,
and so that he would get used to me again,
but in a minute or two he began to vomit.
(I've never seen a snake do that- Mortimer never did it before.)
I rinsed him off, patted him dry, put him in his cage, cleaned up with antibacterial spray and rags, and made sure his heat lamp and a humidifier were both working.
Then I left him alone all weekend long to recover.
Well, I tried to call a vet.
But no reptile vets were available in the animal ERs on a Sunday.
So I had to take him first thing Monday- through a nasty snow squall and horrible traffic, but we got there.
The vet said that Mortimer was a bit dehydrated and constipated and had been stressed by the adventure but seemed to be doing okay now, and in fact was pretty healthy for the most part.
But she had a surprise for me.
Mortimer is actually Lady Mortimer.
That sneaky snake!
He was a she, all this time.
It's hard to tell with snakes unless you're an expert (and have the tools and know how to safely probe).
I'm trying to think if I should change her name,
but meanwhile she's Lady Mortimer.
(Or Little Sister for affectionate short)

Oh, and I took the hatchling back to the pet store.
I am strictly a one-pet type of person.
I hope she finds a good home, though.

1 comment:

scraps said...

Wonder what kind of adventure, She had?