Friday, April 26, 2013

Welcome to the Family

I've been fairly busy this past year. Between going to graduate school and working and attempting to still have a social life, my days have been pretty full. So what possessed me to get a pet, I have no idea. But I'm now the proud owner of a leopard gecko. And because I've managed to keep him alive for an entire month—even going through a shad, which can be fairly traumatic for a young gecko—I thought it was about time to introduce Harper to the world.

He's so tiny in this picture it's unreal. He's now almost two inches bigger.

Harper is fairly young (he hatched sometime in January, although I don't know the exact date) and feisty. He's only recently stopped biting me every time I put my hand in his terrarium, and despite the fact that leo geckos are not known for their climbing skills, he loves to scale to the top of his cave and hang on for dear life. Because of his temper and sporting skills, I named him after home-run phenom and Nationals left-fielder Bryce Harper. Or perhaps I named her after the literary legend Harper Lee. The truth is, I won't know if Harper is male or female for awhile, so s/he is kind of named after both.

He's warming himself on the nightlight to digest all the food he scarfs down.

The best part about having a leo gecko is that they're so easy to take care of. I spend about five minutes in the morning adjusting humidity levels, changing water and cleaning up waste, and about five minutes in the evening feeding and gut-loading food for the next evening, with an extra five minutes every Saturday on a deeper cleaning and a quick run to the pet store once a week for food. My roommates aren't exactly excited to have a constant supply of live mealworms in the refrigerator and chirping crickets on the shelf, but they've been good sports about it.

So Harper is becoming more adventurous and getting a nice fat tail. He eats half a dozen crickets and about ten mealworms every evening and now walks up and licks my fingers, although he's still not too keen about being picked up. We're progressing in baby steps. Maybe next month he won't glare at me when I change his moss after he sheds. Then again, we have between 15 and 20 years left together, so we still have time to become friends.

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