• Pets

    Introducing Reese Slitherspoon

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    The secret to coming up with a good snake name, at least if you like snakes, is to sit down and make two lists of words.

    The first should be a list of things that snakes are and do: long, slinky, slither, hiss, etc. The second is a list that sounds like each of those words, rhyming words, homonyms, and so on, and see were those take you.

    Other things you can add to that second list are characters associated with snakes in your media of choice. Insert your favorite Harry Potter reference, and you have one, here. Don’t forget mythology. If there had been a classical Greek Naga name that I’d liked, that would been a heavy contender too. But my instructions were to come up with something pretty and fun, and horrible snake puns were specifically allowed.

    In this case, it was sort of a combination: slither to wither to withers to Witherspoon was the mental chain. My oldest daughter happens to like Reese Witherspoon as an actress, and we did just recently watch A Wrinkle In Time which has her is one of the significant characters.

    So, Reese Slitherspoon. I don’t claim to be the first one who thought of the name, and by the same logic, I don’t think I’m the first one who’s used it, but it really doesn’t matter. We like it, and young Reese doesn’t really care.

    She came to live with us at the same time that her older and much larger housemate Princess Buttercup did. (Don’t ask me why that it was so much easier, we settled on the first minutes after getting home.) Reese is much smaller, quieter, and younger, only about a year and a half old, a little more now. She is, we understand, a Bubblegum Snow corn snake. She was brought home not exactly as a gift my oldest daughter, who’s had a corn snake since she was nine, the previously mentioned Sonic (link post) but partly with the idea that once we got Reese up to a reasonable size in a year or two, there might be an attempt made to see if they were willing to produce a clutch of eggs. Compared to Sonic, she’s not quite as active in the tank, but is a little more aggressive when handled. We’re certainly not pulling her out of the enclosure every day, but slow, careful handling will at least teacher that we are a neutral stimulus that is sometimes associated with food. Reptiles work differently than mammals. Compared to the giant corn snake we’ve gotten used to, she’s rather tiny.

    But certainly a welcome addition to the Wall of Snake™.

    Welcome, Reese Slitherspoon.

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  • Pets

    This is Sonic

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    This is Sonic.

    You might have noticed that he’s a snake. He was the second reptile to come live with us, but he has not been the last. More on all those another time.

    Sonic came to live with us just after my oldest daughter’s ninth birthday – somehow, the ninth birthday has become when you get your first non-fish personal pet in our family. A teeny tiny noodle at the time, eight or nine months old, he was only managing a very small prey. He’s a little longer these days, but still not terribly big around.

    The tank is 4 feet long. He’s closing in on 5 1/2.

    He’s a Sunglow (or Sunkissed) corn snake, a colour morph, and he’s been very, very easy to take care of, probably spoiling us for future reptiles, in fact. If you’re not familiar with snakes, he, like most corn snakes in my experience, is fairly tolerant of handling. Interactive and well, not affectionate as reptiles aren’t really programmed that way, but he holds on and doesn’t try too hard to escape.

    At this point, he’s almost 9 1/2 years old, and normal for a corn snake in captivity and good health is adding up to about 20 or so. I understand the verified record is 32. He’s also what 5 1/2 feet long, which is a little bit longer than his average. We met the world record holding corn snake a few years ago at a science fiction convention, much thicker around than sonic, and also about a foot longer than he is now.

    Were not really worried about world records, though. He’s cute, fun, and interactive, and we’ve enjoyed having him around.

    Say hi to Sonic.

    Be well, everyone.

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