Friday, April 02, 2010

Food for Thot

I never should have bought a Reticulated python. He was just a little guy, or she was just a little gal when I saw her in the pet store. Thot was about 6 feet long a year later. 6 feet is about a 1/4 or 1/5 the length a Reticulated python can grow. Thot was the silly name I gave the snake so I could say , "here's food for Thot," when I brought a rat or a chicken or a young cow home for his/her dinner . Joke names for pets was a habit back then. I had a cat called When until she left out of purr, excuse me, pure embarrassment. She is probably lucky she left before the giant python moved in. One thing I learned after buying the snake is that Reticulated pythons do not make good pets. They are not generally as docile as other snakes such as the aptly named Children's Python. Occasionally Thot would strike at the glass in his habitat (cage has such negative connotations) when a person, preferably a toddler, would approach. Thot recently (just now) came to mind as I was thinking of projects that I've started without thought of the logistics required to actually finish them. I knew, intellectually, that this sweet little python had the potential, with proper care and feeding, to be a huge snake. My mind decided not to let that thought get in the way of buying Thot. (Confused? Thought you might be). Another example is a 1961 Ford F 250 pick up truck given to me for free. Free? How could I pass that up, even with a cracked engine block. That truck sat in the driveway of my mother's house for years. Another example is my kick ass Honda CB 400 Super Sport that is still behind Mom's house. It had a seised engine when Dan Benavidez gave it to me. I managed to take the engine apart (proof can be found in a box behind my Mom's house) but never managed to reassemble it. Glad I never disassembled the snake. Even so, the snake died while away at college. I was away at college, the snake stayed home to die. I felt horrible as I always do when a pet dies. Well, I did sort of intend to disassemble the snake. I buried my Thot (ouch) in the backyard hoping to find a beautifully intact skeleton later on. That never happened. Another unfinished project.


erin said...

i remember you once telling me that if you ever had an elephant you would name it Gerald. So that it would be Elephant Gerald...i still think of that sometimes and it makes me smile.

Lucas Sterling Dillinger said...

I have to say that just because you were foolish enough to buy a large snake without understanding the commitment involved, does not mean that reticulated pythons do not make good pets. They are admittedly more aggressive and nippy than other snakes but they are by no means beyond the abilities of an experienced snake keeper. A reticulated python is also a terrible choice for a first snake, in fact any big snake is a bad choice for a first snake. Don't give the animal a bad name just because you had a bad experience with it, it's idiotic generalizations like this that make all of our snakes look bad, regardless of size or species.

jonathan said...

Good point but did you have to say "idiotic generalizations" instead of just "generalizations?" I would have still gotten your point.

Mick- Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue said...

As a reptile rescuer and field herper of over 25 years, and someone who's first pet snakes were western diamondbacks...I would have to agree with the statement that a Retic is not a good pet. Not under ANY circumstance. They are far too large and dangerous for a hobbyist and for the community at large. They should be left to professionals.

We rescuers are often asked to shelter these snakes that are cast off by most people, after they have achieved a length of, oh, 12ft or so! If the person can't dump their pet on us, they usually turn them loose, or sell them dirt cheap to someone unsuspecting about their requirements.

The only thing I will say is "idiotic", is getting a pet on an impulse and failing to do proper research. THAT Jonathan is what gives snake hobbysist like yourself and snakes a bad name!

Do a better job of patrolling your own hobby and educating, rather than lashing out at people who give proper warnings about the dangers and pitfalls of taking such exotic animals on as common household pets.

jonathan said...

Am I a snake hobbyist? Does having a pet snake 20 years ago make one a snake hobbyist? Does smoking a cigarette once make one a smoker? But I think the point of my post was that I make silly decisions sometimes. Like publishing both of the above comments might prove to be.