Sunday, May 29, 2011

Got Tagged

I don't know how long I've had this snake, probably 18 years now. Wow, I didn't realize it has been that long, yeah, I got her in the very early nineties. She bit me once before when she was very young, it was not a big deal. She's bigger now. And she can be a bit ornery at times. I know that and I usually take it into account. I had a rat thawing Friday and forgot about it.

I was off work that night so I had been out with James most of the day and around 5pm I couldn't stay awake another minute. I woke up 2 or 3am and remembered the rat, so I went to feed it to her. I had the cage light on but the room light off so it was dark except in the cage. She was laying in the corner not moving a muscle, seemingly asleep. I opened the door and put the rat on the ground in front of her nose. She didn't move.

I noticed she needed some water so I started refilling her bowl - I always wait until she's eating before messing around in her cage, but it's not usually 3 in the morning. Boom! I felt the prick of the teeth like needles, she let go as I instinctively pulled my hand out but not before her front half was out of the cage. She got her head around some wood I had stacked in the corner and I grabbed her rear half to keep her from getting away. She was having none of it. The wood was flying everywhere, blood gushing from my arm, the cage light went flying but luckily remained lit. I got her head out so she turned to bite me some more - I was having none of that. I couldn't find the snake hook, I couldn't see much of anything beyond the two of us. I see blood-stained wood strewn everywhere, blood coming from my arm like water and a big snake that looks like it wants to kill me. I started laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation but got it together, grabbed her behind the head, put her back in the cage and shut the door. We looked at each other through the glass - she hissing with mouth open wanting to go another round. No thanks. I left her to her rat.

I washed my arm and wrapped it with a towel to stop the bleeding. Irma came out to the kitchen to get a drink, saw the towel and asked what happened. "I got bit by a snake." She says, "Really, was it big?" "As big as Bleak", I answered. "Where was it?" she asks. "In the garage." Now I'm thinking this conversation is as bizarre as what just happened. She's not the least bit freaked out or surprised that I got bit by a large snake at 3 in the morning. "It was Bleak," I told her. "I went out to feed her."

By this time it had stopped bleeding, so I put some antibiotic ointment on it. It didn't look too bad, but was very swollen. I took the pictures Saturday night and they don't look bad, it actually looks worse in person. It's the bruise that doesn't really show in the picture. I've never been bruised by a snake bite, she really hit hard.

The moral of the story is don't let your guard down. Just because everything looks calm does not mean that all hell cannot break loose in a split second.

5/30: I should have said what kind of snake it is. It's a Red Tailed Boa, commonly known as a Boa Constrictor. I don't know how long she is, I'd guess about 8 feet but heavy bodied and muscular.

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