Wild Kingdom

image courtesy of photobucket.com

As you may know, our family includes among its members a very old Abyssinian cat named Rudy T. Rocket

Rudy the cat

(Named after the Houston Rockets coach Rudy Tomjanovich the first year they won the World Championship, which was also the year the cat was born. Consequently, this was also the year where Game 7 of the NBA Championship was interrupted so that we could all watch Al Cowlings drive O. J. Simpson around in a white Bronco on a Los Angeles freeway for several minutes after which coverage of the game was resumed as Bob Costas apologized for showing GAME 7 OF THE NBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP instead of riveting coverage of an SUV driving 30 mph on a freeway. I recently told a friend I didn’t like Bob Costas. He replied he had never heard of anyone who didn’t like Bob Costas and wanted to know why. Yeah. That’s why, but HOLY COW, I totally digress…)

Where was I?

Oh, yeah. We also have a 3 year old miniature dachshund named Buddy Love.

Buddy Love the Dog sporting some pancake batter.

There was a brief period involving a fish tank, but other than that, we’ve stuck to the traditional pet scenario. Frankly, I’m not terribly interested in caring for an animal you can’t cuddle. Not that I’m much of a pet cuddler, but it’s important to me that this option is available.

That all changed Monday. We had some friends over for the 4th of July. The kids were playing in their rooms when my daughter announced to me that they had captured a baby lizard and were currently googling what supplies were needed to create a suitable habitat in order to keep one as a pet. I was mentally preparing my heartfelt speech about how wild animals should remain in the wild and that the best place for the (disgusting) baby gecko was in the garden, when I heard those four words a mother never wants to hear from her child:

“Dad said I could.”


The following is a short video of the latest edition to our household. (Did I mention that, while I don’t mind the chameleon-like anole lizards common to this area, I despise geckos with the blazing heat of a thousand white hot suns?)

So, it seems we have a new pet. However, when feeding time came around, my daughter chose to feed said pet a salad topping, which, I’m pretty sure doesn’t contain any crickets. But I could be wrong about that:

"Not intended for lizards."

On the upside, I’m pretty sure the temporary lizard terrarium will be just that–temporary–because we’re just not lizard people. (Oh, calm down. I didn’t let her feed the lizard slivered almonds, and by “I didn’t let her” I mean my husband didn’t let her. Because who’s to say geckos don’t like almonds?)

What’s the weirdest pest you’ve ever had?

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18 Responses to “Wild Kingdom”

  1. Jason July 4, 2011 at 11:42 pm #

    There’s this sister-in-law…

    • katdish July 4, 2011 at 11:47 pm #


      I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what you meant by your comment. Then I noticed there’s a typo in the last sentence of the post. That should be “pet” not “pest”. But I like your comment so much I’m going to leave the typo.

      • Jenny July 5, 2011 at 4:27 pm #

        Oh my gosh – hysterical!

  2. Louise July 5, 2011 at 7:37 am #

    I once offered to pet-sit a friend’s gecko. When my daughter and I arrived at the house, I read their note and almost fainted. Crickets? Live? I’m supposed to feed it LIVE CRICKETS?

    After 30 minutes, several long distance calls to my friends and several escaped crickets, my daughter rolling on the floor laughing, we got the critter fed.

    And had to repeat said excruciating task for two weeks.

    Never. Ever. Again!

    Good luck on the new pet. May it return to the wild soon! 🙂

  3. Annie K July 5, 2011 at 8:35 am #

    The last lizard I saw like that was Saturday when I was out walking on the bike trail near the river. Poor thing had that tired, run down look. His tail was still twitching. Eww.

  4. Annie McMahon July 5, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    We had ten salamanders not so long ago. My husband and the kids found them in our backyard while doing some yard work. We had to feed them live fruit flies. I wasn’t involved in any of this, hubby is the salamander expert in our family. But they all died. They were kind of cute, but I prefer pets we can actually… pet.

  5. Shaun July 5, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    You Might recall this, but I had q pet monkey when I lived n Japan. I mentioned this casually during pre service prayer and I saw our minister’s eyes pop open and I could tell he was almost catatonic. Later he told me it was an instant video montage of me and my childhood monkey companion and his imagined adventures.

    I don’t mention things like that before Church prayer time anymore. Unless I feel like it.

  6. Simply Darlene July 5, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    An emu, a pigmy goat, and an obnoxious bottle-fed llama all escaped our ranchola when I was a kid. After walking 1/2 mile (uphill) home from the bus stop, my little sister and I saw the three amigos running up the road together…deep into the woods. We jumped on the 4-wheeler and rounded up escapees cause we knew somehow, someone would blame it on us.

    That’s just a story, but here’s my list…

    Weirdest past pets: emus, Japanese deer, pigmy goats (esp. the boys… they tried to do things to your ankles

    Weirdest current pets: 3-legged barn cat who thinks she’s a mtn lion; lab/blood hound dog who’s hind-end runs faster than his front (he routinely does mid-air summersaults when running at a full tilt); 3 Curly Horses (hair like a poodle, hypo-allergenic)

    Maybe I am weird and they are all normal?


  7. jasonS July 5, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    My kids would have all sorts of crazy pets if we let them. And my wife is a softy with the pets so I have to be the one to say ‘no’ usually. Good luck with your lizard, Kat! 🙂

  8. Maureen July 5, 2011 at 12:51 pm #

    A few people know our pet stories. As kids, we (my two brothers and four sisters) had baby alligators, sheep, horses, dogs of all variety, horses and ponies, a jackass, ducks. . . at one point all of the above at once and probably a few more I’ve forgotten. My mother, who was adamant about “no snakes”, currently has a pet pig, “Hamlet”, a potbelly that’s developed quite a taste for ice cream. He lives IN her house. My son had a tarantula that recently died.

  9. Jeff July 5, 2011 at 3:33 pm #

    I liked the video. Just think of how great it will be when the gecko learns to play “Jenga.”

  10. Robin Arnold July 5, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Strangest pet – a kitten who ate my coleus and ran up the curtains, jumped to the sofa and out the window, never to be seen again.

    I miss geckos. I hated them when we first moved to Texas and sought advice for how to rid our apartment of them. People thought I was strange for asking. Seems they eat things you really don’t want in your house. I kinda miss having one under the sink and in the laundry room. There’s a plethora of stink bugs in Virginia, and these creepy centipede like long leggedy fast moving monster bugs I could use some help with.

    Why does Buddy Love have pancake batter on his head?

  11. Larissa July 5, 2011 at 5:00 pm #

    lol 😀 my father told me I could keep a kitten I had found in our yard and so the kitten stayed with us for almost 15 years!!! cheers dady!!!

  12. Helen July 5, 2011 at 10:43 pm #

    Currently, BunBun lives in our front yard, and we’ve had an imaginary cat named Schmedly since we’ve been married. (I’m allergic to REAL cats…)

  13. Michael July 5, 2011 at 10:45 pm #

    Weirdest pest…I used to have this kid who worked for me at McDonald’s.

  14. K.M. Weiland July 6, 2011 at 11:18 am #

    I had a spider (named Spidey) with whom I was on good terms until he decided to come down from his web in the corner of my ceiling so I could squish him. :p

    On another note, don’t you just love how old cats look? They’re just so grizzly and cuddly all at the same time.

  15. Hazel Moon July 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm #

    When I was in High school, during Easter break, I took the garter snake home from Biology class, along with its case. Mother did not approve of me keeping it. I recently wrote about our house pet lizard. We did not keep him either, once we caught him and put him outside.

  16. Jonathan B July 14, 2011 at 1:46 pm #

    We get anoles in the house frequently, and occasionally a young black snake. But all of the above go right out the door when found and captured (attempting to guide a snake out from under a bookcase with a yard stick at 2am without harming it and then trap it once it emerges is not the most fun way to spend time you’d usually be sleeping). We have skinks in the yard but I don’t recall one getting in the house.

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