So, two weeks ago we had a cat and a betta fish.
Last week we ended up with a new baby lizard, which I totally love, and a baby garter snake (not so much).
I've been so worried about and attached to the lizard that I have literally checked on him (her, whatever) every hour, just like a newborn. Austin caught the lizard right as we were leaving Bear Lake, ironically hunting for his missing lizard ring that got lost in the sand. It was starting to get dark and not only did he find the ring (miraculously), but the baby lizard too, which he has been asking for all summer. I told him if he kept his room clean for 3 months, I'd let him have one, pretty much knowing that he couldn't keep up his end of the bargain. Since he found one, so it was free, and it was almost his birthday, I decided to let him keep the lizard. I had no idea what all is involved with those things. Heat lamps, calcium powder, crickets, mealworms, etc., etc. Oh yes, I am also now the proud owner of a mealworm farm. Lovely.
Anyway, the snake was one the kids caught two days later at their cousin's house in Tremonton. The snake has stayed outside so far and that's the way it has to be. I keep telling the kids that pretty soon the snake needs to go home to his mom. Baby snakes might be somewhat cute, but bigger snakes are not cute at all.
So, this week, a homing pigeon decided that our garage should be its new home. I spent hours sitting very still in our garage trying to get close enough to try and read the code on the yellow band on the bird's leg (do birds have "legs"?), and e-mailed and called many people trying to locate the owner. I have it tracked down to the local pigeon club and have talked to two of the members, but so far they haven't figured out who it belongs to either. Supposedly there is a list, but the guy in charge just can't get around to looking at the list. He said he'd come pick up the bird, but that hasn't happened yet either.
The bird is now used to us and lets us get very close. One of the first nights Ally rode a scooter around in our garage and every time she would go around close to the bird (who was doing his "business" all over the four wheeler) would make a funny sound at her, kind of like a little baby laughing. It was pretty funny.
We are starting to grow fond of the little guy, except for the problem with the mess that he has left in the garage, that hasn't been so pleasant. I'm sure we will be hosing things down for months to come. I think I'll start feeding him in the back yard, as soon as I can figure out how to keep the neighborhood cats away. Strangely enough, our cat - who goes into fits every time she sees a bird, seems unaffected by the new addition to our zoo. I went to great lengths to keep our cat and the bird separated, and one day when I realized they were both in the garage I ran in, afraid I'd see a bloody mess of feathers on the floor and they were just fine together. Weird.
So yes, that's the story. I'm beginning to feel a little like Dr. Doolittle. Plus, I know way more about lizards and homing pigeons that I ever thought I'd care to. The snake is pretty much on his own.
Edited to add: We are now also in possession of a skunk. He lives under our shed. I think that's going to end up being a bigger problem than the snake!