The Odd Pet thread, tell us all about your strange or exotic pets!!


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Nice Itchy!

Actually had an Egyptian praying mantis for a while as a pet, but alas, he has a bad molt and didn't make it, insects are tough sometimes as pets, but really worth the neat factor (and some are just lovely to behold).

I will be trying mantids again in the spring, but having them shipped in winter here in the NE of the US is not a good idea in general.


GM_Beernorg wrote:

Nice Itchy!

Actually had an Egyptian praying mantis for a while as a pet, but alas, he has a bad molt and didn't make it, insects are tough sometimes as pets, but really worth the neat factor (and some are just lovely to behold).

I will be trying mantids again in the spring, but having them shipped in winter here in the NE of the US is not a good idea in general.

You are probably not that far from where I live (relatively speaking). I'm in Central MA. If you want some free Hissers, send me a PM and we can work out over email a day/time/place to meet.

Weirdest thing I've seen yet in our Hisser population: We found on roach that looked odd. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be a hermaphrodite. There was a light line down the middle; the left side was female and the right side was male. They are sexually dimorphic, so it was quite apparent. Weird, but apparent.


I swear I have heard of that occurring before. I shall speak with the wife, maybe the kids at the day care can "host some Hissers."


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Seems my axolotl, Fleck, has now been around long enough to recognize me as his feeder human, and will swim to the center of his tank, where I normally drop his blood worms, and stare at me until I bring him more food. If I wait to long, he gives me axolotl eyes (sort of like puppy or kitten face) until I relent and bring him yums. And people think that only cats and dogs manipulate we humans.


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Well, I can't say that I can match some some people in terms of how odd or exotic of pets that I have had, but I had three that most people would never own.

The first was a rose-haired tarantula. I will warn you, those bristles on the spider's can cause a pretty itchy spot if they jab in you, so be warned if you get one of these tarantulas!

The second was a black emperor scorpion, which I initially got as a curiosity because I am a Scorpio. I got one that did not have the venom sac removed, so it still had it's powerful toxin. It was fascinating to see that thing hunt small mice.

The third, which I adored, was a savannah monitor lizard (I believe that is the correct term!) that my parents and I named Mikey. He was my buddy back during middle school and we used to walk him outside on a leash like a dog, feed him table scraps and such. R.I.P., my faithful lizard-hound.


Nice Divinitus, I have avoided getting "hair jabbed" by my tarantula Doubloon, but yeah, those hairs are no joke, and if they get in your throat or eyes...not good.

Never had a scorpion or a monitor lizard, though I have considered both, though monitors are pretty bloody expensive here in Western NY. Very tempted to get a scorpion though, as they are indeed super cool, and I freely admit, I do enjoy watching all of my pets hunt.


Good thing that you have avoided those tarantula hairs!

I will warn you, however, that it MAY be in your best interests to get a scorpion that has been devenomed. There was once, when its tank was being cleaned out, that it almost connected with that tail.

Monitor lizards are awesome. They don't require much upkeep, not anymore than a cat anyway. You can even train some of them to use a litter box.


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Divinitus wrote:

Good thing that you have avoided those tarantula hairs!

I will warn you, however, that it MAY be in your best interests to get a scorpion that has been devenomed. There was once, when its tank was being cleaned out, that it almost connected with that tail.

Monitor lizards are awesome. They don't require much upkeep, not anymore than a cat anyway. You can even train some of them to use a litter box.

We saw a dog-sized monitor lizard at the free zoo (Petco) a few years back. It was not for sale, they had brought in some folks to let people see some exotic pets and (believe it or not) discourage folks from buying pets they were not prepared to own.

They had a full grown red tailed boa, a full grown ball python, a small (3-4 foot long) American alligator and the monitor lizard on a leash. My son was excited to get to pet all these animals.

In another 5 or 6 years when my kids are older and I'm retired from my National Guard, I'll probably start pushing to get an emperor scorpion (with the venom sac intact). I'll do the required research first, of course, but I've wanted one since I was in high school.

As I said before, I may see if we can pick up a giant millipede in the meantime. I think large arthropods are a lot of fun. I also love that my kids view spiders and insects as creatures to "save from the house" rather than as things to squish.


Nice!


+1000 to Itchy for defending inverts rights! (I happen to love spiders, and save them from my fearful wifes vengeance often)


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Finally found a food mix that Panzer (central American wood turtle) actually likes, huzzah. And here I was worried that he was going to starve himself, guess all it took was a mix of wood turtle pellets, freeze dried meal worms, and fresh kale.

In other news, Fleck (my axolotl) has been eating blood worms like a champ, and has been officially termed "super cute" by the wife and all who see him (according to Erin, my wife, it is "her", but we will not know that for a while yet)


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Spiders are little, ridiculous things that look weird and love to murder insects. They and we should be best buddies. We certainly have similar views on the optimum insect population in our immediate environment. Plus, they look hilarious.


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Did I mention the wasps yet?
I was going through a poor phase and living in a trailer. This was also when I decided to try that Zen thing where you do not kill anything. Anyway one day I went to the fridge and there was this enormous black wasp sitting on the handle. I waited patiently and she flew onto my top to check me out then bounced off the window and came back to the fridge. Of course I decided to rescue her. So I put my hand out and let her crawl onto me. Then I carried her outside and placed her on the side of my porch. She was SO excited, she danced around a bit then flew away. Later in the season I began to notice a LOT of black wasps around my porch. But oddly enough they seemed to be friendly... At least to me. They would happily land on me to check me out whenever I came or went, but they never stung me even once. They did sting the neighbors dog... But he shouldn't have been allowed onto my yard anyway (his owner was mean). And I had to let people in the back door. Just in case.


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Spiders are cute... Most of the time. There was that one time an industrious spider decided to catch me. I was running late for work and bolted out my door straight into an enormous spider web. And there I was in shock with a fist sized spider sitting on my shoulder and I was covered from head to knee in her huge web. That is when the animal part of my brain began to panic. I ran in circles in my yard screaming.

Having caught me the poor spider wasn't sure what to do with me. Eventually she decided the crazy human wasn't worth the effort and hopped away. Leaving me to pick webbing off my hair and clothes.


Good tale Aranna. Our orb weaver spiders around our house are excellent insect control, except they insist on doing their controlling on the stairs that lead to our back deck. Thus, every time I want to walk up those stairs, I have to either ruin their webs, or hop over the rail. I appreciate their hard work, but could they try to build their webs somewhere that is not a high traffic area, just sayin'. :)


Actually going to try and take pictures of all of my odd pets, and post them to the thread. My wife's digital camera unfortunately eats batteries like some folk eat crispy cream donuts, so I need some lithium batteries before I can take decent pics however. But coming soon, visual evidence of just how weird some of my pets are!


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GM_Beernorg wrote:
My wife's digital camera unfortunately eats batteries like some folk eat crispy cream donuts

When I got to Clemson, the first two people I met, bizarrely, were also from upstate New York. They, also, had never heard of Krispy Kreme, so we all decided to try them. One of my new companions took the first bite, his eyes rolled back in his head, and he said, "Whoa! Oh, my God! When I'm old and I don't care how fat I get, I'mma eat a hundred a these a day!"


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He is not the only person to have said that, oddly, it happens often.


Seems, our cats have decided that Panzar, my Central American wood turtle's basking lamp is their basking lamp, and promptly caused the bulb to break. Little buggers did not even have the decency to pay for the replacement, not to mention, Panzar needs that warmth to live, while they (the cats) just enjoy it, go figure.


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Rotten cats! (I'm sure they're actually very sweet. I miss being able to have a cat, but my dogs would hurt it).


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Our dog finds the first snowfall of the year... arousing, which is fine, whatever, except he likes to sit in our picture window and... express that arousal. I only hope the Google car drives by next time. :-)


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captain yesterday wrote:
Our dog finds the first snowfall of the year... arousing

I had a terrier mutt as a kid that found EVERYTHING arousing. If he couldn't bone the little female beagle next door, he'd do the big male shepherd across the street. One time he tried to mate with a bicycle wheel -- while the bike was in motion. I have no idea why he would even think to do that, but it did not end well.


I had jokes, but then I realized "moving bicycle wheel" implications, I suspect that poor pooch has suffered enough, ouch...

I can only think of Cleveland from Family Guy "When's it gonna be my turn, oww, oww, oww, oww..."


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Right now all we have are seven indoor cats and an outdoor cat, a dog that is owned by one of the cats, two tree frogs, and some fish. I maintain the cats and dog while my wife deals with the rest. we did have four rats, but they died last year.


Nice collection Sharoth! We had rats years ago, the wife and I, they were girl rats, and I must say they were the sweetest things. They used to lick us and groom our hair, and loved to steal sips of Guinness from me, all while perched on the edge of the glass (yep, impressive a balancing act as it sounds)

Mind if I ask what species of tree frogs and fish?


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~shrugs~ Damned if I know. They are my wife's pets. I just get the food and hand it to her. The cats and the dog are enough for me.

As for the rats, yea they were sweet. Or should I say that three of them were sweet. The last one was never quite sure if we were food. She always did a test nibble on my finger. Never broke the skin.


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I have had offers to take snakes and lizards, but since I am lazy...


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I have thought about getting some hermit crabs, but I worry that the cats would think of them as play toys.


Valid worry, because, yes, yes the cats will, if they can get at them.

We did have a male rat, Percival, who was a mean cuss, used to bite the wife and I down to the bone, had to surrender him eventually, as he could not be handled what so ever. Plus, male rats and mice stink badly, girls, not really at all. I feel like there is some sort of lesson hidden in there, :).


Todays fun fact about strange pets: Those who wish to keep jellyfish have to use aquariums without corners, as those can confuse and injure the delicate creatures.


Todays experiment, will Panzar the Central American Wood turtle eat night crawlers. They are basically turtle steak, so I hope he does...


Todays news, seems my desert gobies have acclimated well to their new home, as like many Americans, they feel entitled to stuffing themselves full of food. The male in particular seems to delight in eating nearly his entire body weight in blood worms when I feed him. The beer gut he gets after eating that much is oddly hilarious, though I feel like there is a deeper meaning in my fish's gluttony. I think he is saying, "go get me a double cheeseburger wavy looking monkey slave!"


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I've been enjoying the battles that go on in my Hisser tank. The males fight for territory by hissing and charging each other. It' hilarious!
It's also fun to watch the larger roaches trying to shake off a smaller roach that is clinging to their back. They shake their abdomen back and forth rapidly, while the little one does his/her best impression of a rodeo cowboy!


Roach rodeo, guaranteed to be a huge hit, coming soon to an venue near you!


Actually Itchy, dunno exactly how small juvanile hissing cockroaches are, but my tarantula has started refusing to eat crickets of the standard large size (think she has become to used to the same prey item over time), I would happily pay you some gp + cover shipping for some of the "overflow" young/small hissers to try as feeder insects (just don't tell the kids).

Plus I can work on that thing I have with roaches giving me the skeeves, I know it is irrational of me to let them freak me out, but they just do, maybe exposure therapy plus possibly starting a colony would cure me of me of that.


GM_Beernorg wrote:

Actually Itchy, dunno exactly how small juvanile hissing cockroaches are, but my tarantula has started refusing to eat crickets of the standard large size (think she has become to used to the same prey item over time), I would happily pay you some gp + cover shipping for some of the "overflow" young/small hissers to try as feeder insects (just don't tell the kids).

Plus I can work on that thing I have with roaches giving me the skeeves, I know it is irrational of me to let them freak me out, but they just do, maybe exposure therapy plus possibly starting a colony would cure me of me of that.

Not a problem, we have LOTS of overflow population. Also, the kids will be happy knowing that they are going off to feed another animal! Nature is what it is. :)

What size are you looking for. Babies are about .25" long, most of the young ones I'll be able to easily catch will be around .5" - .75".

First thing we need to check out is the legality of mailing them from MA to NY. Some states have really funny rules about that and won't allow Hissers to cross into their borders via USPS (FL for one).

The other thing that I need to look into is a shipping container. I need to find a supplier who sells medical device Styrofoam coolers and their shipping boxes in small quantities.

Send me an PM to keep this on my radar and I'll start looking around online tonight.


Will do, I think I may actually have a styrofoam live shipping box left over from some fish I had shipped from Florida. Ahhh yes, NY, you and your crazy laws about live creatures that are not allowed, I shall check that as well.


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GM_Beernorg wrote:
Roach rodeo, guaranteed to be a huge hit, coming soon to an venue near you!

When I was a freshman in college we'd catch cockroaches in the dorm, paint numbers on their backs with liquid paper, then race them.


That is very M*A*S*H of you, did you have housefly jockeys?


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GM_Beernorg wrote:
That is very M*A*S*H of you, did you have housefly jockeys?

LOL No, but that would've been great! And the races may have been inspired my M*A*S*H, I can't remember.


My digital camera quickly drains battery charge as well. I try not to keep any cells in it when not in use.

That segue in, I'm just starting to keep a colony. I'm naming it Ben.

Dark Archive

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Random pet/animal memories;

My grandmother helped raise big cats for an animal park in the next state over. They'd get them shipped up from breeders in Texas, generally too small to fend for themselves, and having a huge park with hundreds of animals, couldn't really give the kittens the 24/7 attention they needed, and ended up losing over half of them. Grandma freaked at that, and took the next batch (baby lions) home, and gave them that 24/7 attention. 100% lived. Next it was tigers. It was surreal to go visit grandma and see in the big wood box next for firewood next to the wood stove, a mewling pair of baby tigers or whatever, and get assigned the 'chore' of bottle feeding them every hour or so.

As a result of that wonky part of my teenage years, I've been bitten by an adult black panther, jumped on by a mountain lion (who was less tame than I thought, since boneheaded me entered the wrong enclosure...), and had a boisterous playful 25 lb. lion kit hanging by his teeth from my nipple, him having bitten me there when I leaned over to pet him. (That left a mark!) Still, much fun was had, including wrestling/playing with a fully grown jaguar that 'hated men' (raised by women, and only male interaction was with the veterinarian who gave him shots and stuff, of whom he was not a fan...), but considered me an exception and would eat out of my hand. My teenaged 'stupid things I did that could have gotten me killed' stories are less likely to involve cars or drinking than most. :)

Grandma also, in addition to the usual farm animals, had a llama, some miniature horses, and, my favorite, some pot-bellied pigs (which she named, in her usual random manner, after Soviet premiers. My favorite was Krushev.). They were hugely fun. You'd spray them with the hose on a hot day and they'd run around squealing like you were murdering them (always circling back to stay in range). If you stopped, they'd run up to you and grunt, like 'Why'd you stop? Do it again!' until you sprayed them again.

In college, there was a rat, for Learning/Behaviorism class, which my lab partner and I would sneak out and carry around in our sweatshirts (against all the rules). Her name was Wolfgang, and she accidentally figured out that pressing the bar delivers food supernaturally fast, and developed the apparently unique habit of pressing the bar a half dozen times before running over to eat up the half dozen pellets. (Every other rat, at best, would push the bar once, and run over to eat the one pellet, and then, for the smarter ones, run over and push the bar again.) A pair of students whose rat was less of a savant ended up stealing our rat one day to better their own results, and my lab partner and I couldn't figure out why 'Wolfgang' was so skittish and wouldn't come play with us, until the professor checked a number under her tail (which we didn't know about) and said, 'That's because this isn't your rat...' We got our rat back, and some other students might have been kicked from the class... Yikes.

Since then, it's mostly been dogs, although there was a few years where emperor scorpions and tarantulas and whatever were a thing. I was less of a fan than the roommate, since I grew up with the dangerous notion that pets were to be handled and petted and stuff (which was bad enough with big cats, let alone venomous arachnids...). Pets I can't pet or play with just don't connect / feel real to me. Obviously, I'm not a fish guy. :)


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I have had lots of unusual pets as a kid, although not exactly exotic. When I was little, we found a racoon baby on a neighbors driveway, that had attracted the attention of the local pack of dogs that would roam the neighborhood. (This was back in the 80's in suburbia, and dogs and kids would just roam around). We bottle fed the racoon, and named him Bandit (not real original). Eventually, after a year or so he rejoined the wild, and ended up having a family that lived in the neighbors garage.

Right now I have three great rats. The first was abandoned on the door step of my friends workplace, and thankfully, he just scooped up this random rat and adopted her. We got her a few weeks later, and named her Brynhild. She was bitey and vicious, but calmed down slowly, and would just hang out in the back of the cage. Almost exactly a year after adopting her, she suddenly started coming out of the cage and building nests. She became athletic, social, and really seemed content. Unfortunately, she developed large tumors, that we wanted to have removed before she got too old for surgery. Last Friday, we took Brynhild to the vet to have the tumors removed. The surgery went very well, but overnight she chewed open her stitches. The next morning, she was stitched up again. Two days later, she reopened it. My vet sent me in to a specialist, who did some special stuff to sew her up in a way that she is less likely to chew open, and put her on a medicine that is used to prevent self-mutilation. Despite three operations in less then a week, she has been a total sweetheart, and did not bite anyone, despite pain, uncomfortable body wraps and all kinds of misery. Only a day or two after the third operation, she seems back to normal. Things are looking really good, and I'm sure she won't need anymore operations. I feel really lucky to have gotten to know her, and I'm continually amazed by how smart, social, and resilient rats are!


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Awesome story Fergie, I really miss our rats, Bria and Maggie, there also sweethearts, and had a taste for my Guinness (they would perch on the edge of my beer glass and drink, quite impressive a feat actually.)

Newest addition to my collection of odd pets as of this weekend.

three Gladicea rainbows, a neon blue stiphodon gobie, and two red claw crabs.


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Well, she got into her stitches again.

On the plus side, she got the cutest little outfit after getting patched up.
Warning: Probably the most heartbreaking/warming rat photo ever!


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Fergie wrote:

Well, she got into her stitches again.

On the plus side, she got the cutest little outfit after getting patched up.
Warning: Probably the most heartbreaking/warming rat photo ever!

awwww.

Don't they make cone collars for rats? You know, the ones they put on dogs to stop them from chewing holes in their hide when they get fleas.

Coney Dog


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They do make cones for rats and other small animals, though depending on the area, they may be hard to find.

Also, AWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!! RAT SWEATER! I miss our rats, such loyal and clever creatures. Plus, ours liked the same beers I do, LOL.


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Years ago, I tried to take my ferret, Inga, for a walk. I carefully put the ferret harness on her, and tightened it in all the right spots, and made sure there were no twists or snags or slack. Then I tugged on the leash. Inga jumped into the air, convulsed in about ten directions at once, and landed on the floor, totally free of the harness. I gave up.


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Having owned many ferrets, the simple truth is, nothing can hold a ferret.

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