My BF and I have always had discussions over getting a pet. Growing up with dogs, I am a dog lover and we have had many a debate as to why we couldn’t get a dog. Knowing I was fighting an uphill battle, I decided to change my tactics. I had to think of a pet that wouldn’t need to be toilet trained, wouldn’t ruin or eat the furniture, wouldn’t scratch up all the hard wood floors, and one that wouldn’t make any noise or give off a not so friendly odor. Not such an easy order to fill. This blog is about us and bringing home Karma, our new pet chameleon.
I decided I wanted a lizard pet after our family took a holiday to Aruba. Their were lizards everywhere walking around of all colors and sizes. I was a little taken aback at first by them until I saw all the children actually feeding the lizards with flower petals. Before you knew it, there I was with my two nephews feeding the lizards too. Fear instantly gone. Of course, I have specific tastes, as do we all, and I knew that what I wanted was a pet lizard but not just any old lizard, oh no, I had to get a pet that fit me, fit us and so we got Karma, the chameleon.
I know how couples who have pets instead of babies can go a bit crazy and acting like their pets are, indeed, babies of the family – but they are. Karma is no exception. Immediately I could see traits in Karma that were identical to both of us. Chameleons do not like to be handled by people and guess what, neither do I. Chameleons can change color depending on their mood or for camouflage reasons and it just so happens that I can change my mind or colors quicker than anyone. Not to mention that I like to make fashion statements and what doesn’t scream fashionable more than the sexy, changing colors of a chameleons scales?
Karma takes after by BF too, kind of looks like him in a way. Not in a mean sense, I think Karma is so adorable. What I mean is that my BF is tall and lean and Karma resembles him in that way. Meaning I can see both their rib cages. Since bringing karma home there is another odd thing I have noticed about the two men in my life; they both tend to jump when I try to touch them. So, needless to say, we have become that couple. We have now joined the millions of couples that have no human children but have kids all the same.
Karma helped me overcome some squeamish fears like handling worms. I never liked worms and hated fishing for that reason but now my maternal instincts have kicked in. Now I find myself, three or four times a day, digging out some meal worms, gently cleaning off all the dirt in my hands before feeding our little baby. When we purchased Karma, he was about three months old but we set his birthday for June 22, the day he came home. So being just under four months, he can only eat properly sized insects, so crickets are out of the question now. Unless, of course, your pet supplier offers different sizes of crickets, you have to wait until the chameleon gets a bit bigger before feeding him those. So I know that in the very near future I am going to come face to face with another fear…crickets. Never liked crickets or grasshoppers even but the day is coming where I am going to have to feed him those nasty things.
Even crazier is that I think I am going to start breeding crickets to make sure my baby has food whenever he needs it. (I am a bit of a prepper but that’s another story.) Funny thing we joke about here is the fact that I must have “pet” insects I have to care for just to ensure Karma’s survival. Odd concept yes, but necessary.
When we finally brought Karma home and took him out of the little plastic container (one I had to kindly remind the pet store clerk to punch air holes in-like hello!) he leapt onto my hand, so relieved from getting out of that tiny box. It was so cute because I had to put him inside one of our plants in the living room while I got his cage together and as soon as I was close enough to it, Karma just sprung from my palm into the plant and scurried for cover.
He already shed his skin and boy did it happen fast. Within two hours he was peeling and then completely shed. He gets rid of the shedding by rubbing himself over branches and he was obviously so consumed over getting off that “skin” he didn’t care about anything else going on. He just looked at me as if to ask, “What’s happening to me?” Poor thing, but he managed. He didn’t have much trouble because I mist his cage about seven times a day, so his skin stays moist, easier for shedding.
He is just the most adorable thing to watch move and he has the power to put a smile on my face no matter what my mood. We had a big laugh yesterday when I put some worms in Karma’s bowl and put it in the cage. When I came back to remove the bowl, well, it seems chameleons can be potty trained. There he was on a branch, above the empty food bowl going to the bathroom. I laughed so hard it was the cutest thing. I actually thanked him and wished he could be trained to do that daily to save me from going in the cage every day trying to locate these little droppings.
Bringing Karma home was truly a happy moment for us and I am so excited to share future tales of our new baby (yeah-I said it!) as he grows into adulthood. All life is precious and every creature fascinating but like all parents…no chameleon can hold a candle to our Karma.
By Derik L. Bradshaw