Friday, December 21, 2012

'Twas a Week Before Christmas....

... And all through house, not a creature was stirring ... Except for a crab.

Flounder the Third did it again! This feisty little thing loves to give me a scare and remind me how attached to these little guys I've become. Seriously, I never, in a million years, thought I'd become so attached to hermit crabs! But I am.

Sebastian came to live with us last February and he is so easy!   Clean, docile, friendly.  Then we got Flounder to keep Sebastian company.  The first Flounder.  He had something icky from the pet store and only lasted a few days.  Flounder 2 also had something wrong with him and didn't even last 48 hours!  Luckily, the petstore has a return policy on live animals that don't last more than 2 weeks.  Third time's a charm, right?  

Flounder the Third has been with us for awhile now.  He is feisty!  He is messy.  He is sneaky.  And he gets himself into trouble!  I have found him hanging from the lid of the crabitat... unable to get himself down.   A few months ago, I came out to find his shell stuck to the sticky side of Velcro holding the climbing wall on the top of the crabitat and he was not in it!!  I frantically tore the lid off the tank and started looking for him.  I found him huddled up against Sebastian for warmth.  The poor guy!  Naked hermit crabs look weird, by the way!  I ran to my computer and looked up a solution.   Apparently, I had 6 hours to get him to go back into a shell.  His life was at stake!! 

 I boiled the shells, set up an isolation chamber, gingerly picked him up and put him inside all while successfully convincing him NOT to pinch me.  This was the first time I had held him without him being able to hide in his shell.  He normally flashes an open claw telling us to put him down.  A few hours later he was back in a shell.  The little stinker tried on every shell before deciding his old shell was the way to go.

Now fast forward to a few days ago.  I looked in on the crabs and screamed... in my head, of course... don't want to terrify the kids!   They have had enough death in recent months.  I texted the hubs: FLOUNDER IS DEAD!!!  Outside of their coconut hut was an empty shell.  Across the crabitat was Flounder. Upside down.  White.  Slightly shriveled.  My heart was racing and I was filled with dread and confusion.  Why was I reacting this way for a crab?!?!  The crazy little guy had hopped out of his shell, bathed in his bathtub and his drinking water (as per his usual routine) and had eaten food before ... I don't know... deciding to take a nap?!  I have no idea what he was thinking!  I told the Hubs that he would have to take him out because I couldn't look at him.  I couldn't bear to reach in and pick him up and dispose of him.

About an hour later, I decided that I needed to check on Sebastian to see how he was doing.  Then I saw the slightest movement from Flounder!!  WHAT?!  I quickly grabbed the mister and sprayed him.  Yup!!  He definitely moved!!  At that wonderful moment, the Hubs' key entered the lock.  I shouted for him to come over so that he could help me rescue the crab!

I went into action.  Again, I was boiling shells and setting up an isolation chamber, while Hubs gingerly grabbed the guy with his man hands.  :)

Before closing him up in the chamber, I sprayed him down and he seemed to like it and began moving more and more.   WAY more than 6 hours later, he was in a shell and more active!!

He made it!!  He survived the day!!  And as a thank you, he sat in my hand and came out to say "hi." :) So I got this "glamour shot"... His first picture in my hand!




I felt bad for Sebastian so I took a picture of him too! :) He is always happy to be held. Such a sweet thing.




I can't imagine how I will react when something bad happens to Sebastian!! :/ What about Donner?! Nope... Not even gonna think about it.


Have you ever gotten super attached to an unconventional pet?!


Until next time,

~Monica

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