This means that some lived well past the age that anything should be alive, and others dies really horribly. I have a thousand stories about guinea pigs, birds, dogs, cats, fish and so on...
This post is reserved for snakes and rats... and a gerbil.
That poor gerbil.
Wally is a Western Hog-nose and he has lived WAY LONGER than they are supposed to live.
He looks like this:
Trent was a Burmese Python. He got to be about ten feet long, I think, before we realized that we couldn't really take care of him, lest he eat the other animals.
He was named for Trent Reznor of NIN and at one point bit my mom in the face.
Mom was fine.
I was terrified.
Lilith was a Ball Python and you can actually read about my special relationship with her here!
Mom has always been fearless when it comes to the snakes and actually takes them in to show her students.
One of them got stuck in a couch at one point. It was one of those fold out bed couches.
There was an adventure getting the snake out.
In any case, at some point, we started breeding rats to feed the snakes. I don't know if this was always on purpose, but either way, we wound up with too many.
This was partly caused by late bloomers.
See, we'd separate the male from the female, but every now and then there would be a male who's balls hadn't dropped yet, and we'd think it was a lady rat:
Until he was going around screwing his mom, sister and aunts.
Even before the breeding happened, I was getting accustomed to hating snakes based on the fact that I didn't like worms and I loved rodents. Rodents are fuzzy and cute and don't do this:
It became a common thing when friends were over or just because my sister assumed I'd want to watch this happen. Since I had trouble talking in a clear enough way to make a point, I'd just kinda suck it up and cry as I sat for the show.
I remember being extra confused because my sister took great joy in feeding the snake, but claimed to love the rats too.
She was such an animal lover that she was a member of animal rights groups and talked about throwing red paint on fur coats.
(Which would actually be really stupid because a well kept fur coat can last for generations, whereas someone who had one already would probably just buy another one if theirs was ruined, so those animal rights activists are actually murdering more creatures every time they do that. Just saying.)
Eventually, one of our snakes started to tire of rats. That was how I got my pet rat, named for the star of Willard.
See, my family put the rat in the tank with the snake, but the snake did nothing.
They drank the same water and just kinda hung out for a few days. The rat would even sleep on top of the snake.
So, the snake moved on to gerbils for a bit.
And once, my family fed the snake two gerbils at once.
The snake ate one while the other looked on in horror.
...and then it freaked out and ate half it's own tail off.
Well, the tactic worked, because the snake didn't want anything to do with that gerbil. I called him Frodo from then on out.
It gets worse.
My family had no sense of what torture really was, so they set up this gerbil to also be a pet, having been rejected as food...
And put the tank right next to the snake.
Before all that, we "briefly" had a Garter snake and a Grass snake.
...We don't talk about those much, as one was a little traumatic for my poor father.
There was tape involved. It was a learning experience.
I'm not a fan of snakes.