Tuesday, February 23, 2010
For the Love of Newts
I’ve always looked upon my friends with mammalian pets with a little jealousy. My nonhuman best friend is a newt. While my friends give their puppies hugs and run their kitten’s bellies, I chip blocks of frozen bloodworms with dull knives. When my friends whisper secrets to their rabbits or guinea pigs, I scrub algae off a rock. When a child gets their first hamster, it’s cooed ever and poked and prodded. When someone gets their first newt, it’s met by screams of “get it away from me!” Not to mention that newts carry salmonella and excrete neurotoxins. But you should be fine if you wash your hands and stuff.
But sometimes, when I catch a glimpse of scratches left by a cat who did not want to be bathed, or the hair left by an overeager dog, I smile to myself and silently praise the docile amphibian. My newt may not do cool tricks, but he's not going to eat my favourite earphones or pee on my rug. He might not come running to the door when I come home, but he's not going to bite or scratch me either. Best of all, he's not going to cause any allergies, which is more than I can say for cats.
But I still feel absurd when I whisper secrets to him. You just can't tell your secrets to an amphibian.
(So I should have been writing university applications, but, I got sidetracked into this.)