Friday, August 22, 2008

Goodbye Kelloggs

Yesterday I went into the computer room - which might, perhaps, more accurately be termed "the reptile room"- to Stephen's perennial complaint - and found that Kelloggs the Corn Snake had died in the night.

It can be hard to tell with reptiles. Just a few weeks ago I was totally convinced that Kelloggs was dead - he'd had septicaemia a while back, and had to have his tail amputated (yes, snakes do have tails!) and I prodded him, and he didn't move. But on that occasion he was just very soundly asleep.

This time it was much easier to tell, and I shan't go into details in case you never read my blog again. He was about nine years old, which isn't young, but not incredibly old for a corn snake. They did say the septicaemia might recur, and I think that's what had happened.

When Emily was small and said she wanted a snake, having held many snakes at the superb Silent World in Tenby, we said that she could have one if she found out everything about looking after them.

She read lots of books and decided that a corn snake (this link takes you to photos, so don't look if you don't like snakes) would be best as they are fairly easy to look after: they eat mice, which you can buy frozen from the pet shop, in different sizes, getting bigger as the snake grows. You thaw them out and then you have to wiggle them so that the snake thinks they're alive. Snakes really aren't that bright.

We bought Kelloggs, then the size of a pencil, from Paws for Thought which is an excellent pet shop where they have a lot of specialist knowledge.

As he grew, he moved from a tiny space the size of an ice-cream tub to the 4'6" vivarium where he lived as an adult snake. He was about 4'6" long. Snakes don't need a huge tank, because they really don't like to move about very much - they stay in the hot place till they get too hot, and then they move to the cold place until they cool down a bit, and sometimes they have a drink of water. That's about it really. In between they may think profound thoughts - - but probably not.

He was always very tame, probably because he'd been handled since he was so young and had never been hurt by a human being. And he was a surprisingly interesting pet.

When we got him, I remember saying that we'd still have Kelloggs when Emily left home - - and so it proved.

And now he's dead: he's going to be buried tomorrow and my mother's going to plant some forget-me-nots there. No more mice in the freezer. It's the end of an era.


Blogger Debby said...

Kellogs' life sounds surprising like mine in FL! I don't need my food wiggled for me though.

I'm sure he'll be missed.

11:53 pm  
Blogger rhymeswithplague said...

So sorry to hear about the death of Emily's pet snake, Kellogs, though I had never heard of her or him until this post (I'm a fairly new reader of MDAC and I'm assuming you have mentioned Emily and Kellogs previously).

Another first: I have never before seen, read, heard, or even dreamed of the phrase, "No more mice in the freezer." There's a first time for everything.

1:13 am  
Blogger Silverback said...

So when a snake dies, does rigor mortis set in and if so, could Kelloggs find a new role around the house?!

A snakeskin (and body) walking stick ? A sink/toilet plunger ? High ceiling cobweb remover ? Channel changer for when the remote packs in ? Back scratcher ?

Come on commenters. 101 uses for a dead snake. Lets hear them ?

(sorry for your loss, by the way)

1:45 am  
Blogger Daphne said...

Yes, Debby, he will indeed be missed. And, Bob - - you mean you don't have mice in the freezer in America? Goodness me.

1:45 am  
Blogger Daphne said...

And, Silverback, I think I posted my comment at the identical moment that you posted yours - is there some word for this out there in the blogosphere?

1:53 am  
Blogger Silverback said...

Several Daffy....considering the time we posted them.

Saddos comes to mind.

Go to bed !

2:10 am  
Blogger Jennytc said...

Sorry about Kellogs. One of my boys had a water snake which kept escaping and would always be found under my younger daughter's bed. Unfortunately, she was the only member of the family who hated snakes, so wasn't very impressed!

8:42 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Kelloggs. Not only dead, but reduced to a household implement. Shame on you, Silverback! I'm just glad you didn't get more creative with your uses for a posthumous snake!

PS. How do you wiggle a dead mouse so you don't lose fingers?

2:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Jay - Carefully

6:17 pm  
Blogger Debby said...

Use number 94 for a dead snake.

Dust bunny poker. He'd be long enough to reach all the way under the bed.

1:56 am  

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