When a bearded dragon thinks you are food

“Dogs never bite me. Just humans.”
― Marilyn Monroe

We have had heat lamp issues in our house recently. Both the snake and the lizard’s heat lamps blew. Now it has been fairly warm so we didn’t worry too much but only have one spare. The snake is more ‘fragile’ in relation to the cold and the lizard has a heat rock so the snake won.

This left us with one very nice, happy and warm snake but one slightly chilly lizard. He has been sitting on his heat rock fairly regularly and I have been being a lovely mother and regularly getting him out so he can have body warmth until we can go and buy another lamp.

This leads us to the issue we had yesterday. He generally loves sitting on my chest, a little like a broach (typical man) he just treats it like a shelf for him to sit on. This is a usual habit and easy for me as it leaves me hands free to do whatever else I like. Yesterday however, I was wearing a t-shirt with a shiny yellow batman symbol on it. I didn’t even think about this, but to him… My goodness… Blew his mind!

First he refused to sit on it and kept running either up onto my shoulder or down into my hands, then when he finally stopped and sat there. He was dead still. Unusual for him. Then puffed out his beard, at this point I was beginning to understand and then he attempted to eat the yellow design…. Hmm… Turns out my lizard thought that my breasts were edible…. Guess who went straight back into his enclosure.

Note to self. Do not wear that top while handling Daeny again!

Summary of our cats peculiarities

For this post I attempted to think of some of the odd things our cats get up to. However, upon reflection their list of strange and marvelous (or not so marvelous) behaviours was so long I simply could not narrow it down. So here it is… A list of some of the bizarre habits of our Siberian cats.

  1. Water Obsession
    Everything you read about Siberians warns you about their interest in water. You know the common belief that ALL cats dislike water…. Well that is as true as the belief that the world is flat! There are in fact a handful of breeds who dispel that notion. Siberians among them. Now what that means for a common Siberian owner is this:
    – Bertie, will only drink his water, if his front two paws are in his water bowl. Then when he finishes, shakes them off, spraying water all over the room.
    – If you have an emergency, such as flooding the Kitchen (don’t ask) you will have your cats in Heaven. Bertie walked along, splashing with every step, running up and down the room. Zelda lays down in it, dunking her head then rubbing up all along your legs…. Before deciding she is not nearly wet enough and rolling around in it again before repeating.
    – If your cats ever become unimpressed and ‘hit’ you, chances are those paws are sopping wet….

    Bertie's thoughts here... "OH MY GOD THERES WATER! AND MUM'S ON THE FLOOR! AND THERES TOWELS! YAY!!!!"
    Bertie’s thoughts                                                                                                                                                                                     “OH MY GOD THERE’S WATER! AND MUM’S ON THE FLOOR! AND THERE’S TOWELS! YAY!!!!”

     

  2. Bread fetish
    No one warned me about this… Our cats both have a massive bread fetish. We actually have to hide it. In the microwave is the best spot. Otherwise the little fiends will chew through the entire plastic wrappings and gnaw on the bread together… It can’t be good for them I swear!They also loooove the smell of beer. When the man has a beer they run straight over and just madly want to sniff it… No cats… You cannot drink the beer… Oh dear! Perhaps it is the smell of the yeast they adore, not just bread specifically.

    We forgot to put the bread away yesterday... Came home to this.
    We forgot to put the bread away yesterday… Came home to this.

     

  3. Comfort toy
    This one is hilarious. It began when we kept finding this simple pink ball in the cats water bowl. We continually dried it out and put it back into the lounge/cats play room. It continued going back in it for weeks. Eventually they appeared to learn, that made it all soggy and they lost it for a time, so it began appearing instead in their dry food bowl.Now comes the amusing point. Bertie tends to ignore his dry food. We tried to get him to eat it to no avail. Then I discovered a ridiculous habit… He quite literally uses the ball as a ‘comfort toy’. He will put the ball in the food bowl and only then will he eat his dry food. He drops it in an happy eats half a bowl.

    I'm so cute and innocent, I need my very own comfort toy!
    I’m so cute and innocent, I need my very own comfort toy!
  4. Attacking the Buddha
    You know the age old cat swipe, knocking things off, investigating can it eat you… Etc. Well ours only do this either to us… See the next point. Or to one very special item. Now neither my husband nor I are Buddhists. However, on our honeymoon we were given a little gold Buddha and my husband absolutely loves it. It sits in pride of place in front of our TV in our living room.Literally, the only thing that our cats swipe off surfaces, is the Buddha. They sit there, eyeing it off. The hubby gets grumpy at them, tells them not to dare, and in a single swipe it is on the floor and I am in stitches laughing.This has extended so that they hide behind the TV and you just see a paw stretch out underneath the swipe it off the table.
    I think they severely disapprove of it’s location!
    IMG-20131026-WA0002 IMG-20131026-WA0003
  5. Hitting the humans
    One of our cats is quite timid. Zelda dislikes being held and gets scared quite quickly, however she will wind herself around your feet and ‘hit’ you when she wants attention. As an example, one day… A long time ago…. In a far away land (or more accurately my living room) the hubby was sleeping on the couch after night shift. Now he carelessly left one foot out of the blankets, clearly to torment the cat, or so she apparently thought. She sat next to his foot, watching it avidly for quite a period of time… Just watching… Then she batted, literally just touching it really gently…. He likely wouldn’t even feel it. She batted, once, twice, three times… paused… then THUMP. Wacked his foot with all her strength and he woke in a great big fright. Being the lovely supportive wife I am, I laughed hysterically!This is not an uncommon occurrence with her. If you cross your legs when you sit, that foot just dangling is simply too much for her and you will eventually get the soft, bat bat bat then THUMP!I should note here, that this is also the cat who generally has wet paws, so those bats and thump, are very wet and soggy… Simply delightful!

    Would I hit anyone? noooooooooooo.... I've got my innocent face on!
    Would I hit anyone? noooooooooooo…. I’ve got my innocent face on!
  6. Obsession with the dragon
    Now I would have thought the cats would be fascinated by the snake. Nah, it is entirely boring they tell me. She ignores them so they ignore her. Literally they utterly ignore the enclosure at all times. The lizard however, is the most exciting thing on earth!The hubby believes they think he is a small hairless cat that is stuck in a box. It certainly rings true… Especially since Daeny teases them. He scratches in his cage, knowing they will them come running, which they both do instantly; then he will run off and hide in his cage. They go mental running up and down the front, sitting on top of the glass lid and scratching to get in, and he eventually puts them out of their misery and runs back to the front and scratches at the glass too… This can go on for a loooooong time!
    IMAG0933 IMG-20131024-WA0004
  7. Chewing EVERYTHING
    Now, I am a long time dog owner. These being my first cats I have ever owned, so when looking up on the breed, when people said they are “the most dog-like of the cat breeds” I saw this as a real plus. Thinking in my little bubble of perfectness they would have the adoration of humans, affectionate natures, playfulness and comedic behaviours like a dog alongside the independence, toileting habits, non-destructive and clean behaviours of cats. Well you know those moments of life where you wake up and realise your little bubble was WAY off the mark! They are positively lovely, some of those points were there, but one dog behaviour I could definitely do without was most decidedly transferred… These cats chew…. EVERYTHING!You don’t believe me? Well their first full day with us, they ate an entire toy mouse… Including the bell inside it’s stomach! We assumed this was a once off and took away all the other toys that were similar. No…. Also mouse toys without the bell… All gone. Very quickly may I add! Also, boxes…. ANY TYPE OF BOXES….. torn to pieces, chewed all over. Their kitty litter bag, tore the whole outside layer off and chewed it all over the room. Their food bag, bear in mind, they didn’t eat the food, just chewed their way into the bag then gave up and moved on happily. One even tried chewing our lovely 60 inch TV last night! That went down well… NOT! Oh also, this is a favourite of the hubby (not), cables… particularly laptop ones, phone chargers, ones with the Velcro strips on them to roll them up. Finally, my favourite… each others fur…. really you ask? Yes… They literally chew on each others fur when play fighting, they don’t eat it, it just comes out in wads (they are triple coated so its just the fur that would shed anyway) but then ends up allllll over our floor in clumps.Also as a side note, as I am writing this, one is inside the cat tunnel and the other is outside, chewing on the material trying to eat the other cats paw as she claws it from inside… Oh dear!

Now this is just a beginning. There are a great many more. Characters our cats most certainly are!

Try and pick where one ends and the next one begins! Yes there are two cats in this picture.
Try and pick where one ends and the next one begins! Yes there are two cats in this picture.

The subtle aroma of snake vomit

“Guests, like fish, begin to smell after three days.” – Benjamin Franklin

The lovely smelly girl when she did NOT have a tummy ache!
The lovely smelly girl when she did NOT have a tummy ache!

I would like to tell you a story. Today I walked in the door after a long day at work and stopped, sniffed, and paused… With no further ado immediately went and checked on the snake.  To put it in perspective, many people, when they hear you have a pet snake ask about how they… to put it gently ‘pass their excrement’ and hilariously, even believe that maybe they did not do so. Well for anyone who has ever owned a snake knows, out of any animal I have ever encountered, they can produce the largest stinks known to man!

On this day however, it was a new stink, one I had not yet encountered. Snake vomit… We fed our lovely on Saturday, everything was going well then Monday night there is a lovely very stinky lump in her cage. Happily she appears to be fine, if a little grumpy. Clearly has a bit of a belly ache. So after every pet owners first response, checking she was OK and getting some expert advice. I then considered what to do about the mess. I am home alone, with a likely quite irritable python in a smelly cage… Now whilst I will happily handle her alone on a normal day, handling a 1.4 meter long snake with a stomach ache doesn’t rate high on my list of things I would like to do this evening.

So, I am resolved to open the house wiiiiide up, with some lovely scented candles burning awaiting my husband’s arrival after work when the two of us can clear out the stinky box.

Cheers to the next five hours of sitting in a house gifted with the gentle aromas of frangipani scented candles…. and snake vomit…

Sigh! We pet owners must be slightly nuts!

Human versus lizard

“I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.”
― Winston Churchill

Well Winston, I don’t know about pigs but that can certainly be said for reptiles! Now as seasoned reptile owners, onto our third addition now, we consider ourselves to be experts on the subject. Well as much experts on reptiles as our reptiles consider that they are on us anyway! We have taken to naming our reptiles after royalty. Mainly due to their innate belief that they rule the world. Us included. We may supply their food. We may pick them up and hold them. They most certainly tolerate us and our bizarre antics with them but you get the distinct feeling that they always are looking at you as if ‘this is the food bringer…. The house cleaner and a giver of warmth…. Yes on this occasion I shall tolerate [enter whatever we are trying to get them to do at the time!]’

Our lizard, Daeny, named after the Karlessi, Daenerys Targaryn from GOT, the most epic fantasy monarch ever, is quite a character. The other day we went on an adventure. I thought, being the lovely owner that I was, I would take her outside to have a play on the grass in the sunlight. He however, was not 100% keen on that idea.

First, getting him out of the enclosure… He went entirely black, beard puffed out and mouth wide open trying to eat any finger unwise enough to make it’s way too closely in that vicinity! With some strategically placed carrot (being shoved in the wide open mouth every time he went to eat my finger) I managed to pick him up. Suddenly, he remembered that I was a bringer of warmth and smoothed himself out flat in my warm hand. OK human 1, lizard 0.

Next we go outside, as I go to gently place him on the grass I get a very distinct disapproval. As if he would like to move from the warm, breathing thing to the cold green stuff. After several attempts, multiple scratches on my hands and arms, I gave in and laid on the grass with him laying on me, for him to rest in the sunlight. Human 1, Lizard 1.

Well turns out a adolescent lizard is in fact a worthy adversary to a 20 something educated woman. Well, we will battle another day Daeny! I will one day take home the title!

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Meet the crew

So after much procrastination I am finally starting my own blog. My husband and I have a bizarre mixture of crazy animals and have always done so. Between the two of us across our lifetimes we have had a great many dogs, cats, sheep, horses, chickens, ducks, a cockatoo, a tawny frog mouth, snakes and a bearded dragon. At the present time we have four members in our little crew and we get up to some bizarre situations! So I present below… BB’s crazy menagerie!

Meet Daeny (AKA – Daenerys)

The Bearded Dragon

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We first got Daenerys about a year ago. Being a bearded dragon we called our new addition ‘Daenerys.’ From Game of Thrones…. Because she is a dragon… Get it?… hehe. This blog will undoubtedly have lots of Game of Thrones references. Might need to get used to it!

For those of you who don’t know much about bearded dragons, or ‘Beardie’s’ as they are affectionately termed, you can’t tell their gender until they grow closer to maturity. However, after about a month of awkwardly saying “it,” “they” and “them” we decided that we had a 50/50 chance so would just guess and label it a ‘she’. In a story for another day we recently discovered our error, she is in fact a he. Good thing the nickname “Daeny” works for both genders!

Meet Lizzy (AKA – Elisabeth)

The Olive Python

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We have a pattern to name our snakes after royalty. It seems to suit them and the attitude of their belief that they are the complete center of their world. Lizzy is a lovely snake, bought from a baby at a small 30cms long and now 15 months later measures in at 1 meter 39cms in length!

Meet Bertie and Zelda

Siberian Forest Cats

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Bertie and Zelda are our newest acquisitions, 10 month old siblings and full of life and hilarious habits. Bertie is a true lover of attention and people, a massive acrobat and full of beans. Zelda is less keen on people and cuddles but we can rarely take a step without her under our feet and she is fast, as in Speedy Gonzales fast! They are cats that enjoy water, chewing, eating their toys (actually eating the entire toys that is) and having what my other half refers to as a “mad” where they chase each other around the house a billion miles an hour. They keep us well and truly entertained!

So that is all for my first blog post. Please feel free to leave comments as I am just starting out. Enjoy!