So, yesterday Bert and I went to the pet shop to price up me getting a corn snake. I duly looked, read, and spent about an hour doing the deed and came up with the following
Terrarium kit (heating inclusive) – £89
Haven furniture for shedding – £13
Coconut dome for dry hiding – £3
HEAVY water bowl – £6.50
Aspen bedding – £10
Sphagnum moss (for shedding) – £7
Food (don’t ask unless you REALLY want to know) – £4 (for 3 months supply)
Feeding tongs – £8.50
For want of a better word, poo remover – £2
so, without the snake, just to set it up, would cost £143. I was rather impressed at that. Now, as you know I was just pricing it up and Bert could see how excited I was getting so unbeknownst to me, went and got the reptile expert to come over and speak to me. She asked to see the list I had made, asked about my budget etc, basically interviewed me and….. I passed! I was thoroughly impressed when she told me that they refuse to sell more snakes than they actually do sell due to prospective first time owners not knowing what they are letting themselves in for. Although they are pretty little things when they are the length of a 12″ ruler, they can live up to 20 years in captivity and have been known to hit 5′ in length regularly, sometimes even 6′ depending on the husbandry.
Little did I know, that Bert had already told her I was allowed one (he had phoned the housing board and we have verbal approval) so we got a trolley and popped all the stuff into it.
THEN the big moment came – time to pick a pet who hopefully will be with me for 20 years. Now, you don’t just waltz in and buy the terrarium, bits and bobs and snake in one go – you have to set the terrarium up and go back 48 hours later to get your chosen snake as the temperature is very important.
The lovely reptile expert (Steph) brought several corn snakes down for me to see – of course they are up high where I can’t see whilst sat in Lilith! I decided that I would like a female as they are more docile, and don’t become, how to put this delicately, aroused, unless put with a male snake. There were several different morphs of corn snake but one stood out head and shoulders above the rest. She is an albino lavender and I am going to go and pick her up tomorrow. When Steph brought her down to see me, she opened up the box and brought her out, as she had done with the previous ones, but this lady just had a look in her eye. She lifted her head up and slithered into Steph’s hands. When Steph brought her closer to me, she literally flung herself at me, so with a quick squirt of antibac hand gel, I was allowed to hold her. She held her head up high and looked me straight in the eye. Then she gracefully curved round my fingers and wrist, so delicately it was gorgeous to see. She took a little trip up my cardigan sleeve to see what was going on up there and Steph was just about to get her, when I said it was fine with me as long as it was fine with her, and she let us be for a while longer. She was really surprised at how at ease I was with her until I explained that my grandmother on my father’s side of the family used to have an 8′ boa constrictor as a pet and would regularly cook tea with it draped round her neck!
At this point I hadn’t realized but a few of the other staff had come over to see what was going on – apparently snakes don’t often pick their owners, but I had well and truly been singled out by this gorgeous lady. She has seduced me completely. So, after having a good ten minutes of time with her, I reluctantly put her back, but knowing I could pick her up tomorrow.
So, tomorrow, our house is welcoming its newest arrival. Miss Catherine Earnshaw. She is spirited, inquisitive and above all, different. Just like me! I will, however, be calling her Cathy!
It was very sad putting her back in her little box, but Bert and I bought her new home, furniture and food and it is set up ready, heating up on track, for her arrival tomorrow. I was VERY impressed that the pet store required us to set up Cathy’s home in advance, and we have to take a picture of the thermometer to show that it is at the required temperature before they will sell her to me, even though she is ‘reserved’ until tomorrow.
Today is feeding day at the pet store, so I won’t need to feed her until next Sunday, and it is going to push me to the brink of my self control not to mither her when I get her home, but I have read extensively, and all the sites on the internet say that a new juvenile corn snake should be left alone for its first week in its new home without handling. AAARRGGGHHH!! Going to sound like a 5 year old here but “I wanna play!”.
I will, however, point out that I am not going to – I do not want a distressed pet. I want a bright, happy Cathy who hopefully will live a very long and happy life with us.
So, until tomorrow afternoon whereby I will no doubt run out of superlatives, I shall sign off!