A Scaly New Friend

It is no secret that I’ve wanted a snake my whole life. I have been talking about reptiles since childhood, begging my parents for a scaly buddy since I could talk. The answer was always no. (Honestly, more than fair, since we were/are a household of tender-hearted vegetarians.)

I’ve been scrimping and saving for a snake since I moved out of my parents’ home at age 18. I did multiple years of research, I combed through snake-owning Facebook groups and subreddits for hours. I looked at all the ways one could — intentionally or unintentionally — abuse or mistreat their snake. It seemed like surprise financial situations kept getting in my way, however. Unexpected medical bills, vet emergencies for both my cat and my dog within a few months of each other. COVID rendering me unemployed. Moving twice in a year. It adds up!

A few weekends ago, my fiancee and I decided to get out of the house by visiting a local pet store. We promised each other that we wouldn’t come home with an animal (five cats, a dog, and four people in one tiny house is enough!!). “We’re just going to get Theodore a dog toy. Maybe we can buy a hide and a water dish for the snake when we eventually get it,” I said.

My fiancee agreed. We’d planned to get the set-up for the snake little by little, over a period of months (or even a year), so we would be prepared. Set-up first; snake last.

Well … then we met Ganymede. They (too young to tell their sex) are an albino California kingsnake. Just a few months old! They came with a cage, substate, one hide, a water dish, and a heat lamp. It was too good to be true!! We snapped up our expensive new baby, and it has been a joy.

I named them Ganymede for Zeus’s favorite cupbearer, a beautiful youth the god stole from the mortal realm. They are incredibly well-tempered and open to handling. We truly love our new buddy, and cannot wait to give them the best life ever!

(This is a picture of the albino morph from Google Images, unfortunately, not my own phone. The little bugger is too quick for a good photo!)

Albino California Kingsnake Photograph by David Kenny

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