Saturday 13 November 2010

Changing The Guard

Friends on Twitter and Facebook will know that just over a month ago our leopard gecko Dooya suddenly died. I don't really want to go into details, suffice to say that the vets were as shocked as we were, and that they have absolutely no problems with our husbandry of geckos whatsoever.

I have to put that caveat in as it was implied by someone who should know better that we were in some way incompetent lizard owners. I also didn't bother writing about Dooya on here as some of the reactions I had on Facebook were of the "That sucks" variety (as though I was bemoaning a flat tyre on my car), and one particularly insensitive acquaintance used Dooya's death as a springboard for openly contemplating whether the carcasses of his own geckos were ready to be disinterred and mounted.

All of this was very painful. I know the vast majority of people in the world think that only dogs and cats are worthy of love, and the ensuing grief when they die, but Dooya was a very special gecko. She was our Beautiful Monster, and we were heartbroken. Irving Townsend put it well:
"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle; easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we would still live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan."
So with that in mind we are setting off around the fragile circle again. Exactly 50 days after Dooya's death (and it seems already like a lifetime without her), we are adopting a new gecko. He is fully healthy, in possession of all his eyeballs, and (impossible though it sounds) even bigger than Dooya was.

"Koona t'chuta Waxworm?"

Meet Jabba. He is over 90g and possibly a giant breed. His owner is moving abroad. We are travelling to the Grim Industrialised North next weekend to collect him, via my parents' house. I will for the first time be outnumbered by the boys in the house, and I half expect to come home and see him sitting on the couch with my husband watching daytime television and scratching his cloacal pores.

The ironing will never get done now.


  1. My goodness, that is a strapping gecko! Hope he gets settled in well.

    For some reason, he reminds me of this: He might be a bit heavy for a hat, though.

  2. Probably, but if he's anything like his recently departed adoptive sister, he'll be up on our shoulders doing a parrot impression! The hat is only the next logical step!

    I had forgotten about the gecko in Madagascar. I am looking forward to the chameleon character in Tangled when it comes out...

  3. *cough* I do feel a bit bad about that...

    I'm going back through the blog here, seeing as I'm not caught up. How wonderful that you have a new lizard! Jabba looks like a great gecko, and aptly named at that. I wish you the best of luck with your new pet!

  4. You should feel one hell of a lot worse than "a bit bad". It was a disgusting, insensitive and outright cruel thing to say, and if you can't bring yourself to apologise then I reject your good wishes.

  5. I certainly do apologize--it was a horribly insensitive thing to say. Please check your email for more...


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