February 21, 2009
Well, here we are with the tale of the last spider that has come into my life (so far). I don't have intentions on getting another but you never know what happens... sometimes things just happen for a reason, much like how this one and I were brought together.
During the time with Maude and Syd, on occasion, I used to enjoy visiting this *reputable* Reptile Emporium just outside of Toronto. A huge store/showroom full of creepy, crawly, scaly and slimy things! Snakes and spiders, lizards and salamanders, giant insects and they even had a Caiman tank (small aligators).
I would just go for the tarantulas though. Most visits I would find 20 to 30 tarantulas and of which there was probably 10 or so different species.
One Saturday afternoon, I popped in and to my surprise there were no more tarantulas. I walked about the place, looking at all the other critters, creeping myself out at the Giant Millipedes and Cockroaches until I made it back to the front. I asked the guy behind the counter what happened to all the tarantulas. He had told me that they had been selling them all off and not replacing them as the store felt there was a lack of want by people for arachnids.
I was saddened by this bit of news. I talked to him for a bit, told him about Maude and Syd, how I enjoyed coming here just to look at the various tarantulas they had. We small talked for a few more minutes and as I was on my way out the door, he called me back to the counter.
He told me they had one more tarantula hanging around at the back of the store. I asked him why it wasn't out on display. He said they gave up on trying to sell this one, it had hung around the store for so long with no interest, that they just put it in the back and was pretty much ignored except when they wanted to *play* with it. He went on this little spree about how they had been testing this spider. "For what?" I wondered as I am certain you are too. Basically they were seeing how tough this spider was... and they would do things like not feed it for very long periods of time, offer no water, chill it but not freeze as freezing would definitely kill it fast. They even put live rodents in that were it's size or bigger to see what would happen, who would win if they fought and so on.
I asked if I could see this tarantula that they had been torturing the last few months. Within me, I wanted to rip this guy a new one just by what he told me. I then was thinking that maybe this was some sort of sales pitch... and what a disgusting one it would be. When he brought out the tank, I knew he wasn't lying. Living in filth is the only way to describe this terrarium. Lots of cricket corpses, dried spider *poop* on the glass, lots and lots of webbing everywhere and a couple withered up mouse corpses. I was speechless!
I couldn't even see the tarantula at first, but I knew it was a Pink Toe by the funnel like web in the corner. It turns out I was mostly correct; it was a Pink Toe but a different variation of it... it was a "Geroldi Pink Toe". Apparently still from Mexico, only slightly larger and instead of being a true jet black body with hot pink toes, these have a blue/green backing which looks black when not under light.
So of course I was ready to rescue this spider. We made out a cash deal which was next to nothing and no taxes. I knew nothing more about this spider such as the age and sex. For all I knew, it was a male and 5 years old, and might live another month. I didn't care.
I remember how *thrilled* everybody was to learn that I now had 3 tarantulas in my bedroom with me.
I cleaned up the tank the best I could, making sure not to disturb it's web house. A nice new sandy bottom with moist moss to keep dampness within (great for molting times). It was close to 3 weeks before I saw this tarantula come out of it's home. It did a tour of the 15 gallon enclosure, leaving a web trail as it crawled across the glass. As soon as it went back to it's home, I made an offering of a meal and it snagged the cricket up into the web house fast. Over the next 4 days it ate a dozen crickets. I knew that this was a full grown adult tarantula but wasn't able to sex it.
I pondered a name for this tarantula. At one point the name "Hope" came to mind. A suiting one as I sure hoped it was going to be around with me for the next while. I then changed my mind and decided on "NO" which was an acronym for "Nameless One". This name sat better with me. It is a play on the whole thing... NO is it's name and for the longest time it was a nameless one. This name also gave me a reminder on why I had this spider with me, why it was special.
NO lived with me for another 6 years. I gave it a peaceful life, just let it live in peace and quiet, well fed, warm and undisturbed. NO even hung around long enough to see me buy my first home and come to live with me for another year. I hate referring to NO as an it... I'd like to think NO was a female, much as it seems most of my animals turn out to be. NO lived much longer than a male's life expectancy anyways.
NO now rests beneath the pine trees right behind the house.