Monday, January 16, 2006

Houdini Reborn

I swear, Houdini came back in the form of an Iguana. As you might have guessed already, Ziggy made another grand escape. *sigh*

I guess this time it was my own fault, I let my guard down. Lately, he has been very good whenever I let him out of his cage. He spends a few hours basking in the window then happily retreats to my computer to spend the rest of the evening enjoying the heat of my monitor. He even stopped showing interest in my closet or the other half of my room. During my winter break, I've even let him out while I wasn't home since I'm only gone for four hours (I keep my door closed and there is no gap where it reaches the floor). He had been behaving so remarkably well. He successfully lured me into letting my guard down with a false sense of security. The first few days, he acted like he always did and my guard went down even further.

Friday was my wake up call that I'm not dealing with your average reptile. After I came home I spent twenty minutes downstairs greeting my puppy and other furry friends. When I finally got around to going upstairs to get ready to go jogging I had an ominous sign half way up. There on the tile was a small, watery, black offering. I don't know about other reptiles, but iguana's have very unique droppings. Translation: not good.

I indulged in denial for a few minutes imagining perhaps that one of the dogs had an intestinal problem or there was a bird loose but I've been cleaning up after Ziggy for so long I couldn't pretend for very long. I zoomed up the stairs and felt a moment of relief and consternation when I noticed that my door was still firmly closed. Perhaps a rogue lizard infiltrated my home?
None-the-less, I went into my room. I instantly knew something was horribly wrong when I noticed that my computer area was in perfect order.
Normally, Ziggy annihalates everything in a three foot radius in his attempt to scamper up to the moniter. His sunning spot was empty and my bed was bare. I even checked my closet even though the door had been closed. I turned around and to my horror, I noticed that my display of asian wares had been knocked over and trampled. They happened to be sitting on three large plasic storage boxes covered with a pretty fabric (make shift furniture is the hallmark of the college student).
They also happened to be stacked near an opening in the wall. A strange quirk of designing had the constuctors leaving a small square opening in the wall. I had so many knicknacks taking up space there that I had totally forgotten about it.

Ziggy hadn't.

In a panic I fled from my room and looked around wildly at all the tall places in the area. The droppings on the stairs left me with a bad premonition. I had opened the backdoor twenty minutes ago, that could have given him plenty of time to escape into the great outdoors or been made a snack by my giant labrador retriever. Again indulging in denial that he hadn't gone downstairs yet, I ran into the next room and miraculously found him at the far end stretched out to his full length staring at me challengingly.
I took up that challenge with the experience of three years of lizard wrangling. I didn't even play our usual game of sneaking up on him. I bolted, he bolted but he had nowhere to go. I scooped him up and didn't even bother with the curtesy hold I usually do. To minimize stress, I normally hold him so that my fingers don't go around him so he doesn't feel trapped. It increases the number of wounds he inflicts but it also makes transportation easier on both of us. This time I caged him efficiently and even used my other hand to hold his hand quarters. Iguanas are notorious thrashers and even as a three year old he can wriggle at a seventh grade level. I could barely hold him long enough to make it back to my room. I dumped him on my bed then went to work lizard proofing my room. I pulled away the storage boxes, covered the secret exit and closed all doors.

Suprisingly enough, he seemed far calmer about this whole event compared to the last time. He didn't glare at me or sulk on my bed or anthing. He just promptly climbed up my computer (I beat him to the punch by moving everything in the area. He had destroyed enough that day) and went to sleep.

I'm starting to realize that while I have Houdini as a lizard, I also have one that isn't too street smart. He's excellent at finding freedom but seems to have no idea what to do with it. Twice now he could have disappeared into the cosmos but instead he remained in areas easy enough to capture.

So, being raised in a single room all his life has made him incapable of living on his own and he knows it!! He's hopelessly dependant on me. Yes!
That may sound a little cruel but that is one iguana who has it made. I spend more on him than I do on myself and I sport so many gashes on my hands and wrists that the mental hospital staff I intern for are giving me worried looks. He gets the best mixes of his favorite foods, special vitamin spray, special mulch to help with his shedding, and a brand new aquarium that cost a hundred dollars (that's a lot for a college student working part time!). So, it makes me happy that he's stuck with me. Because, despite it all, I still love that evil little lizard.

However, I'm now going to go burn all of my iguana care books. They all said (including the pet store people!) how docile and low maintainance iguanas are. The many battle scars I have beg to differ.

Oh well, here's to you Ziggy. May you one day learn to like me.

P.S.- I have some great Christmas lizard pics that I'm going to post as soon as the scanner stops being evil. I actually got the film developed before summer so now the only thing standing in my way are computers bent on world domination. You'll love them! My Ziggy is quite a model.


Blogger Happy Villain said...

Oooh, I can't wait for the pictures!

And reptiles are cold blooded. I think he does this for his own amusement. He doesn't really want to go anywhere -- he just likes to see you freak out. Sometimes requiring you to strip to your undies and dive in your pool.

HEY, maybe he's behind the tear in your dress! Maybe he's just a pervert!

8:01 PM  
Blogger Library Psychosis said...

Well....he does spend a lot of time in my closet....

Oh well, it's better than the pervert squirell that camps outside of the bathroom window.

10:11 AM  

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