Friday, July 27, 2007
I Want a Gecko!
Why is it that every time I go to the pet store, I’m drawn to the reptile section? Geckos, snakes and the like always draw my attention…followed by a sigh of disgust from my wife. Naturally, when I suggest to her that I want a gecko, her first reaction is “no way.”
“Why not? “
“Because you’re too much of a klutz and those live crickets you have to feed them will end up all over the house. Crickets aren’t good for dogs, you know.”
So that reality check brings me back to earth with the thought that crickets are hard to catch if they get loose. But what is it about those reptiles? A reptile is defined as any of a class (Reptilia) of air-breathing vertebrates that include the alligators and crocodiles, lizards, snakes, turtles, and extinct related forms. In includes pythons, toads, iguanas, tortoises and more – you know, all those animals you see on the Animal Planet specials.
There are, however, many reasons to own a gecko, according to lizard fans. They can be an ideal pet that takes up little space, has simple food requirements, comes in designer colors and patterns and can withstand the life dealt out by even the most absent-minded of keepers. They are harmless creatures and become very tame as adults, taking food from your fingers.
Another fascinating thing about geckos is that before giving them crickets, it is important to "power feed" the insects for 24-48 hours prior to giving them to your pet. This is done simply by using a one-gallon plastic milk jug that is filled with chicken and a piece of potato or carrot. The idea is to fill the insect with nutritious food itself so that your pet can then fill itself with a balanced diet. If you merely feed them insects that aren’t fed well, then your lizard will suffer from poor health.
Now if I could just figure out how not to be such a klutz, maybe I can convince my wife that adding a lizard to our growing home of pets is not such a bad idea. That whole feeding the crickets before giving them to the lizard thing might not go over too well. She already tolerates the tropical fish food in the freezer and the ready made snails for the fish I had in the fridge…so I might be pushing my luck a bit!