No, today I'm not talking about the five ladies with different types of punishment and/or direct spanking authority that I routinely write about. In fact, I usually refer to them as "My Honeys". When I say "My Girls" I am usually referring to my four pets.
The other day I was downstairs to feed them and my youngest, 'Rosie' was in such a nice pose that I just HAD to take a shot:
Rosie, an Amelanistic Corn Snake, looking elegant in her terrarium.
And speaking of feeding, I did get a nice shot of my Pueblan Milk Snake, 'Urpi eating':
Urpi is swallowing her dinner: a nice thawed-out, previously frozen "fuzzy" mouse.
Different snakes eat all sorts of things, but the ones I keep are mouse-eaters. I merely order frozen mice in various sizes and thaw them out prior to feeding which I do about once a week. I do watch them during the week and see if they seem eager for another meal, but usually they only get that way in the warmest months.
The next two shots I have are not of my actual 'girls' but rather images I got from Google of snakes that are their distant cousins, and very closely resemble them. The reason I'm including them is to accurately present my serpentine quartet as they actually are. The next up is the snake I've had the longest, my Mexican 'Mex Mex' Kingsnake, 'Quetzalli':
An Internet photo of a certain type of Kingsnake from 'South of the Border'.
The last image was so close to the color and typical posture of my largest 'girl' that I had to look twice to realize that no one had snuck into my basement to take the shot. Like 'Rosie', she is an Amelanistic Corn Snake......except she is a full-grown adult and Rosie is still a pre-adult. So here is a shot that very closely....almost exactly.....resembles my biggest girl, 'Fiona':
Obviously Fiona has a twin somewhere!
When I was a kid I really wanted a pet snake, but despite allowing me to keep a veritable menagerie, my parents drew the line at snakes. Similarly, my ex felt the same way, so when I was divorced and had my own place, one of the first things I did was go out and get myself a pet snake. She was a Pueblan Milk Snake very much like Urpi above.
It was then that I learned about the frightening ability of just about any snake to escape. My first snake, who I called 'Malina', got out and I went through the process of trying to get her back. (When a snake escapes.....which they do.....the best way to get them back is to put a lamp and water bowl in a central area and ......wait and observe.) I was not hopeful.....but I did get her back and then secured the terrarium more thoroughly.
After Malina, Rosa and I attended a Pet Convention and bought two more: Quetzalli and an absolutely BEAUTIFUL California Garter Snake, who I named 'Ophion'. Here is what a California Garter looks like:
Unfortunately, tragedy struck with Ophion when a large earthworm he had for dinner, killed him from the inside. After his death, I researched the issue and learned too late that it is a 'best practice' to cut up a large earthworm rather than serve it whole. Garters are not mice-eaters and require live, moving food like fish or worms, frogs, etc. After Ophion, I vowed: no matter how pretty...no more garter snakes! Getting live food in winter is just too inconvenient and expensive.
Later, while, I have had other escapes and successful re-captures, Malina got out once more, and I never got her back. I think it was because this particular escape occurred during the Summer and rather than seek out my lamp, I think she just figured her way outside.
At one point, I managed to get a replacement Corn Snake, in a variety called "Creamsicle". I called her, 'Glynnis'. She was.....well special. Man, I loved that snake. She had such a personality (and they all do) and never ceased to amuse me. At one point, she began to lose weight no matter how much she ate....and she never lost her appetite or stopped eating, but despite that her body began to wither from the tail up. And, one sad day......though I did see it coming, she died. It really bugged me for a while. But it was after her death that I got Rosie. So I have always tried to keep a total of four.
An Internet photo of a "Creamsicle" Corn Snake.....like my beloved Glynnis.
With Glynnis, I discussed personality. Furry animal pet-people probably think only dogs or cats have personalities, but ALL animals do.....even my fish in my pond have them to a degree. Of my current gang, I would describe each as this: Fiona, my biggest, is usually mellow. I have only seen her 'feisty' on rare occasion. She just likes to curl up around your hand and hang. Quetzalli is similar, usually mellow/occasionally feisty. My son likes Quetzalli the best.
Urpi is my "nervous Nellie". She's like a skittish beauty in fancy attire after too much coffee. Holding her is a challenge and every little motion or sudden noise causes her to jerk and turn like a scared kid in a creepy house at night. Lastly, Rosie, who I got to replace Glynnis.....is similar TO Glynnis. She's a bit of a glutton and despite being the youngest, eats like a little piggy. LOL Any motion outside of her terrarium triggers her immediate attention like a dinner bell attracts a hungry gourmand. She is still young, but it is possible she could grow up to be as impish as Glynnis used to be.
So, if you never owned a snake and think they're scary or disgusting, I hope this convinces you that they aren't. They're not slimy. In fact they feel like a steering wheel. They rarely bite, and if they do it's usually a case of an instinctive reaction to mistaken identity where some finger movement makes them think a mouse is on the menu. In the rare instance where they have nipped my hand as a result of reaching into their cage, it's always more of a nip than a hard bite. Once they realize it's you, though? You can pick them up and they never try to bite once held. If they were vicious or aggressive they could be biting the entire time.
I don't like noise, or pets that demand attention. I don't want hair on my chairs or piss on my rugs. I don't want unpleasant odors floating around either. And in those regards, snakes are the ideal pets for me. They shed in one skin in their own tanks. Their poop doesn't smell strongly. I give them attention on my terms and enjoy them as I choose to, whether it's holding them or just admiring their color or graceful movements as they slowly cruise around their terrariums.
And the main thing for me is that with snakes, safely in terrariums, guests in my home don't need to deal with what I often have to especially with dog owners.....though not all. I have always felt that out of all pet owners, dog owners are the only ones who feel so strongly about their pets that they expect the rest of the world to love them as much as they do. I can't begin to count the number of times a dog has run up to me, jumped on me, or barked at me, or stuck their noses in my crotch.....only to have their owner say, "Oh it's OK, he's very friendly." Well folks, I'm friendly too. Would you like my nose up your wife's crotch? I have even been bitten by dogs whose owners told me, "Oh he doesn't bite." YO! THE FUCKER JUST BIT ME! I am not imagining it! I will say that a trained dog with a responsible owner is an entirely different story.....but man are they rare in my experience. I can only imagine how they would feel if I just brought out one of my girls and laid it across their lap utterly unconcerned for whether they liked snakes or didn't.