Ordinarily I prefer pets with a greater emotional range than our latest, but I can’t pretend I don’t find her interesting. Travis, who is a self-taught but very knowledgeable amateur herpetologist, dashed my hopes for emotional communion with our new pet early on. Whoever is holding her is a warm tree. Everything else is: 1) Food, or 2) Something that thinks she’s food.
Still, she is an animal, and one very unlike me, and therefore of interest. I watched her eat last weekend, and was only mildly repulsed, so I’m sure next time will be even better. We bought her a box of “Arctic Mice” which, despite the cleverly innocuous label, are actually frozen, pink, hairless baby mice that might, under other circumstances, fall into the “so ugly they’re cute” category. Our new roommate gets one frozen pink thing per week, defrosted in a cup of warm water. There is some dispute as to whether she is visually impaired or just extremely stupid (even by snake standards), because we dangled the Arctic mouse next to her head for several minutes before she noticed it and, in a flash, dislocated her jaw and stuffed the head into her mouth like Henry VIII on a turkey leg.
She slowly swallowed the mouse until only the tail was left. She lay that way for awhile, the long pink tail hanging lewdly out of her bulging mouth. Once the tail disappeared, I expected her to lie around lazily for awhile, encumbered by the conspicuous lump in her middle. But nah, she had things to do, and resumed patrolling her tank, flicking her forked tongue to see if there might be anything else in the offing.
And then she took a nap in her water dish.