Since the Blogchex entry is gone (along with Blogchex; boy, was that a fiasco), I find myself inclined to make another post about how I am The Great Anole Savior of Kaimuki for my grandmother.
Earlier this evening we had discussed the large gecko that inhabits her bedroom, pooping on her bed when no one is looking from the ceiling light fixture. I had attempted to catch it a few months ago, but it had run away with those freaky-fast legs. Yeah, moving geckos do freak me out a little bit. Mostly because once in 2nd grade I accidentally stepped on one & its eyeballs popped out of its sockets, & it was still alive & then I had to mercy kill it.
But I digress.
My grandmother was on her way to the bathroom tonight when she found herself blocked by the very same gecko we had been talking about. She called for me with some urgency (she had multiple reasons now) to bring the can of Raid.
Uh, I am not going to shoot a gecko with Raid. That’s just cruel. They don’t have eyelids, for chrissakes.
I fetched a clear plastic take out container from my grandmother’s stash in the kitchen (OCHD) & approached the gecko. It had stood (sat? crouched? you can’t tell, actually) there, patiently watching us, for over a minute; I had been sure it would have made its move by the time I got back with the plastic container, but instead it waited, unblinkingly, for me to return. To capture & take it outside was simple. On the way out I noticed it was rather emaciated; it had probably been starving to death in the house. This was probably its plan. It knew who I was.
The lizard rescuer.
Now, I know that there are some of you who imagine that I carry a special place in my heart for reptiles & spiders & other cold-blooded creatures out of a sense of cross species kinship, & maybe you’re right. I just think lizards are cool. Well, when they’re not moving too fast. And the truth is, cold-blooded creatures have reason & rhyme just like warm-blooded creatures once you get to know us. I mean, them.
I had a lily tank on the porch that the local anoles seemed to like to go swimming in on a regular basis. But it was like swimming out at China Walls (Portlock): easy to jump in, hard to climb out of. Actually, my lily tank didn’t have a rope tied to a bar embedded in the reef so it was a little harder. On several occasions I came outside to feed my prize Bene Gesserit guppies & found a lost swimmer in the lily tank. It happened so often that I began taking my camera out with me.
I’ve been bitten by anoles, although none that I ever rescued. When I was a little kid & I’d chase & catch them, sometimes those old school emerald green ones (now endangered, by the way – the brown ones keep eating their babies) would get me. Once one clamped its jaws on the skin between my thumb & my forefinger — that was pretty sore. I still hung it upside down from my hand to show my mom. Anyway, what I’m saying is I don’t think anole bites are something to worry about. And besides, they don’t bite you when you’re saving their ass, apparently.
Anoles also don’t stink. Cockroaches stink. Snakes stink. Chihuahuas stink. Anoles, & even geckos, as far as I can tell are pretty hygienic dudes, & my sense of smell is pretty good. I’m fairly certain I would be more terrified of handling something stinky (my excuse for not going to the gym) than handling something that would bite me. Historically I’ve gotten bitten way more often (Like, 100 times) than I’ve had to soak my hand in something to get the smell off (Like, twice. And one of those times was from touching something at the gym.).
After pulling a lizard out of the water, it’s easy to think that it’s refusing to vacate your hand simply because it thinks you are the most beautiful thing it’s ever seen in its life. Well, maybe it does think that. But actually, the reason why a cold-blooded creature that has been doing the water survival frontal float for the last hour or so seems a little sluggish is because it’s COLD. It’s like ICE. It doesn’t feel like running just yet. This is how I feel sometimes when I first wake up.
Some of these poor swimmers can only move their eyes for several minutes. So I just let them sit on my hand, in the sun, for a few minutes, & I try not to snicker.
I ended up rescuing so many lizards that my mom suggested they were getting reckless with the skinny dipping because they knew they would get fished out. This wasn’t true for everyone; I did find a rather large skeleton at the bottom of the tank one day when I was doing a 100% water change. Must have been one of those days when I was out all day. Every time I was outside staring at my fishies, there was always a lizard or 2 hanging out somewhere staring at me. You’d think they’d have figured out my schedule. I guess not.
These days I don’t have any uncovered fish tanks, although I have rescued one anole from the dog’s water bucket by our avocado tree. I don’t actually check the bucket that often, so I hope they aren’t going to make it a regular thing. I’m thinking of maybe attaching a little rope to the side of the handle just to be safe.