Monday, May 8, 2017

A Snake Named Oryx

We have a beautiful snake named Oryx. He's older than Kevin, older than Arkhon, and older than Siff.

In fact, he is nearly as old as our marriage. He now five years old, and he was the first living thing that we purchased as a couple.

Right away we wanted a pet, but our first choice was out of the question. My grandparents owned the first apartment that we lived in, and we knew they would not be okay with us having a dog in our one-bedroom apartment. However, due to another tenant owning a snake, we thought that they would find that acceptable.

I grew up with tons of different kinds of reptiles around our house. My dad loves them, and I developed that love from him. I had a six foot iguana in my bedroom for a long time. Grig also loves snakes and reptiles, and it was important to both of us that our children wouldn't be afraid of snakes. So, we asked my grandparents if we could have one in the apartment, and they told us it would be acceptable. I don't think my grandma loved the idea, but Grig and I were excited. So, after our honeymoon, we ordered a snake.

We put a lot of thought into what kind of snake we wanted to buy, and what morph (coloring) it would have. We quickly decided on a corn snake, because they are low maintenance, non-aggressive, and they don't get very big.

It was important to us that our snake would never be able to eat our children.

Then, we struggled about which morph to get. At first, we were very interesting in a blood-red, because they are gorgeous, but it turned out that sometimes they are a little picky about their food. They originate from the Florida area, and because of that, they sometimes will only eat green anoles (a type of lizard). Mice are much cheaper than anoles, so we went with our second choice.

We bought a blizzard morph.

He is not an albino, though that is usually people's first guess. They actually breed them to be straight black, and then they breed the color out of them. Blizzard morphs will occasionally get yellow spots, but usually they are pure white.

However, when Oryx first arrived, he looked more like a little pink worm.

He was the perfect pet for a young couple in college. He only needed to be fed once a week and his cage needed to be cleaned about every six months. He didn't mind if we didn't play with him at all during finals.

It was awesome to watch him eat, and he was fun to hold. Though, one of the first times we skyped with Grig's parents and showed our new pet to them, he defecated all over Grig. It was pretty funny.

We named him after a type of antelope in Africa. There wasn't a really good reason behind it, we just thought it sounded cool.

Five years later, he is quite a bit bigger. I took some photos of him the other day that I wanted to show off. He's still a really easy, non-stressful pet. We order a big bag of frozen mice every couple of years, and that's it. Though every time we order, we have to get bigger mice.
He's become extremely beautiful too. Kevin loves holding him. I wouldn't say they're friends, since snakes aren't really affectionate, but he's never tried to bite our son, and we like that about him.

Oryx is kind of a dumb snake. One time, we were feeding him, and he accidentally bit himself instead of the mouse. He started thrashing violently, as though he thought the mouse was biting him, and when the dust settled, he was wrapped tightly around the mouse and the mouse's bum was sticking out of his coils.

He nosed it for a moment, looking for its head (since snakes usually eat mice head-first), and after he couldn't find it, he looked up at us, as though asking for help.
Here you can see a few yellow spots on his otherwise white scales
We laughed at him, and told him he was on his own. He ended up eating the mouse backwards.
 He's really becoming a handsome animal.

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