Now it is Joshua’s turn. He will claim he’s lowest on the totem pole, under all the animals. Honestly it is just a matter of needing to get some photos from him to make the post more interesting. Afterall, who would believe me if I didn’t have a photo when I tell you he has 903 chess books? I know, crazy isn’t it?
At this point he is saying to himself; “but I got rid of four duplicates when I taught Sean”. Ok then, I lied. It’s only 899.
Joshua and I met my senior year of college. I was a biologist in Ohio, he was a historian in Nebraska. We met on ISCA BBS, which was a fore-runner of social networks that was used primarily by geeks. We met on-line when it was still weird so we were married several years before all of our family heard the real story. Basically we were chatting on-line to keep long distance phone charges to a minimum with our friends, which also is a thing of the past. I hated guys at the time because of a bad break up. Of course once you swear off men, that is when it happens. Joshua tried talking to me for a while, but I would only give one word answers. I didn’t want to be rude, but I was not interested. Then he asked about my research and the flood gates opened! As a spider researcher I didn’t get much call to chat about what I was learning. He even read my thesis, which was over 80 pages of web lengths and feeding regimes. I knew then he was something special. Later I found out he had to buy a biology dictionary to understand it. The sweetness of it still makes me want to kiss him.
Joshua is now a professional chess instructor. He teaches in area schools, runs tournaments, and has private students. He is obsessed with books. The 903 chess books are the tip of the iceberg. We have books stashed everywhere and his office is overflowing. He is slowly trying to find good homes for some of the less used ones, but it is hard for him to let go. Joshua is extremely tolerant of my idiosyncrasies and loves all the pets. Granted, I did have to get rid of my 6 foot iguana when we got engaged, so I know he has limits. Joshua has been the biggest blessing in my life and I love him so. The last 12 years together have been a roller coaster, but I know that I can face anything the future holds as long as he is by my side.
Here he is at 7 and then recently, oh so cute!
We also have a 20 gallon fresh water tropical fish tank. There has been much iteration over the years. The fish are the only animals we have that are not rescued. Currently we have guppies, neon tetras, and red cherry shrimp. I also enjoy creating a more natural environment with live plants.
George and Gracie were my first guppies. Their line was very prolific and I have given away literally thousands of guppies over the years. Now I only have males because it’s easier than keeping up with all the babies. It’s very hard to get clear pictures of fish, but I have a few.
Frank, Bess, Nancy, Jo, Buffy, Willow, Alvin, & Eleanor
- Zebra finches
- 2 Male and 6 Female
- DOB 2008-2009
- Likes- taking baths, millet seeds, and singing
- Dislikes- No nesting sites
Frank, Bess, Nancy, Jo, Buffy, Willow, Alvin, and Eleanor are the finches we currently have. Zander, Tara, Simon, Theodore, Brittaney and Jeanette were re-homed to a girl in Ohio who really wanted them. We started out with just Frank, Jo, Bess, and Nancy but then they had two clutches before I learned I could take out the nests so they would stop. One clutch had 3 boys and 3 girls so I named them after the chipmunks. The other clutch had one boy and three girls so I named them after Buffy characters. I was feeling a little over whelmed when my Sister’s babysitter’s daughter started to look for some small birds. I was happy to give her the cage and all just so they could have a good home. Our current group lives in a 6 foot long flight cage (two cages put together) so they get lots of exercise and has space to spread their little wings.
I was honestly shocked when I first started to look for finches that rescue groups wouldn’t even call me back once they knew I had cats. Obviously from the picture the cats do like to watch the birds flutter around. However, they quickly learned it was not ok to jump at the bars. When I was feeding them one time Frank decided to slip out under my hand. Andre had caught him so quickly I just screamed “Andre NO!” Amazingly, he listened! It was just like a cartoon, the cat spit out the bird in a small puff of feathers. I got Frank back into the cage. A little slobbered on, but no worse for wear. Not a single bite. Andre just wanted to play.
Barnum and Baily
- Mongolian Gerbil
- DOB 2007 Gotcha 2007
- Likes- Pumpkin seeds, making tunnels in bedding, chewing boxes
- Dislikes- Bright light
Barnum and Baily came all the way from Maryland. They were to be snake food so I drove a long way to give them a pampered life. At first they only had one wheel to share, but I quickly found that they would push each other out rather than take turns. While it was funny to watch I was too afraid they might get hurt, so they have two wheels. Barnum tends to use the one on the left and Baily likes to run on the right. They efficiently recycle any boxes from the kitchen and enjoy making little paths through the bedding. Hay and sticks are also appreciated. The boys are so cute playing together and sleeping together.
On Thanksgiving 2011 Baily got too fat for his climbing toy. Luckily I was reading next to their house when he got stuck, Pooh Bear style. They both know their names and will come when called, probably because they usually get a pumpkin seed. I’m thinking it is connected with the gain of chub, but they are happy.
Kate and Leopold
- Three-toed box turtle
- Male and Female
- DOB ~ 1980’s Gotcha 2009
- Likes- taking baths, bananas, and morning nookie
- Dislikes- chilly weather and going too fast
Kate and Leopold came from a reptile rescue group. I was only looking for one turtle because I read they are solitary animals. Their original mom had passed and they were neglected for a while before being turned into the rescue. They follow each other around and nookie almost every day. I couldn’t break up such a wonderful marriage. I don’t really know how old they are, but they were full-grown when purchased from a pet store at least 15 years before I got them. They are good eaters and love salad. Bath time is always fun, they like to run around the tub and play together. Andre tends to sit in their house trying to see who will blink first. Andre has also been known to steal their dog bone and leave a cat toy. I guess he’s trying to share.
Leo has more orange, as typical for males. Kate’s spots are only yellow and has brown eyes.
- Rabbit, Mini Rex
- Male, Neutered
- DOB 13-March-2011 Gotcha 05-September-2011
- Likes- running, using mom and dad as speed bumps, and teasing the cats
- Dislikes- slowing down for any reason and the fence keeping him in the room
Ghirardelli is as sweet as his name implies. I have learned that my going to a rabbit show is like an alcoholic going into a bar, no good can come of it. I was curious what a rabbit show was like, so I went with a friend. On our way out I noticed one breeder was selling rabbits for $40+ except for one. I thought it was curious that one bun was only $20 and remarked to my friend. The breeder said he had a DQ, so he was going to get “culled” if he didn’t sell at the show. He just wasn’t worth the feed to take him back to NY. OMG! She put him into my arms and I couldn’t let him get killed just because his coloring wasn’t what she wanted.
Becky had been depressed since the passing of Indy, so when I showed her Gary it was love at first sight. He’s a very kissy boy and grooms her frequently. He loves to run, run, run, all the time. Gary has encouraged Becky to become more active in exploring the room and getting into/onto/under everything. I love to pet his super soft fur as he uses me for a speed bump, even if he’s running over my head in the middle of the night.
Ghirardelli loves to tease the cats. He will rush up and nose-bonk, then run the other way. Andre joins in the game and they chase each other all over. Victoria is offended by being run over while she’s trying to nap and will not come in the bedroom anymore. She will sit on the other side of the gate and occasionally paw at him when he bonks her through the bars. He’s a daredevil at heart. Gary likes to escape, run upstairs, and tease Houdini. I can just hear him say “you smell like a rabbit, but look like a muppet. What should I do with you?”