June 5, 2010

On Family

Some of you may recall that K got a couple of hermit crabs for her last birthday: Lily and Emma. Lily was the smaller, intrepid one, Emma mostly just sulked. And a few weeks later, Emma dropped dead out of her shell, which was kind of sad and icky.

Lily toughed it out alone for a couple of months, burying herself for longer and longer periods, no longer her usual cheerful self. K largely ignored her but I worried because hermit crabs are social creatures. Finally I badgered Ralf into ordering two new crabs, which K named Bruno and Manuel.

Don't ask, I have no idea where these names came from.

Manuel has a long, thin shell and we rarely see him. Bruno is the easiest to find because he's gigantic. In the beginning I feared he'd eaten Lily, although hermit crabs aren't supposed to be cannibals, but she re-appears from time to time.

Because Bruno is too big to hide and fairly active (he bangs on the glass with his big claw when he wants something) I have grown unexpectedly fond of him. Not quite love, more like active good will.

Which is why when I saw his shell-less body lying lifeless I nearly cried.

But wait! It wasn't his body, it was just his skin, which he'd somehow peeled off entirely, eye stalks and all. The rest of him had crawled back into his shell to grow new skin. Apparently they do this periodically.

Because we have a personal connection, I felt interested and proud instead of completely grossed out, a bit like when one's child blows it's nose properly for the first time.

You'll be happy to know he's doing quite well.

The crabs are not our only pets. We also have a cheesecake-eating cat and the neighbor's bunnies are bunking with us for a couple of weeks. And I discovered yesterday that both of my children possess an impressive fur collection, i.e., a pile of cast-off fur from our own and various neighbor's pets.

My aunt started the trend when we visited her last year. As a parting gift to the girls she presented them each with a small tuft of fur from her angora cat.

You should have Ralf's face. . . it was glorious. I took the proud lead in the strange family competition that day, mwa ha ha ha ha!!!

You can't buy memories like that.

So that's our little nuclear family: mama, papa, kids, crabs, cat, various visiting animals and a growing pile of fur that will one day destroy our vacuum cleaner.

27 comments:

  1. Oh, that's hilarious! We also have a collection of our dog's fur and my son's hair!

    Hope you and your crab will be happy! ;-)

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  2. Warm welcome to Bruno and Manuel! HPH-what do you feed hermit crabs? Is there such a thing as hermit crab kibble?

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  3. The names Bruno and Manuel are priceless..and your confessed connection with Bruno and appreciation for his cast off skin equally so.

    I feel it too as I envision his expression of desire by hanging from the glass with his oversized claw.

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  4. Hermit crabs are omnivors so they eat pretty much anything we do. Although they seem to really like meat and cucumbers.

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  5. I love the crab names. I sort of want some now.

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  6. My kids have always wanted hermit crabs. You're almost convincing me to get them some.

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  7. "Hermit crabs are social creatures"? I think you need to teach them to use the dictionary.

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  8. You have crabs? I think there is a treatment for that. ;-)

    Also, I need to check the vacuum bag for a cat.

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  9. Such creative names for those critters!

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  10. I'm going to start gifting my nail clippings. Why waste them?

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  11. Hilarious! I would have freaked at seeing it out of it's skin, at least until I realized what it was! I am intruiged, but not ready to own any myself!

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  12. LOL I had no idea those little things shed theeir skins. Shiver!

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  13. I entered this site by chance, but I found very interesting. A greeting to all the people who visit this page.

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  14. I had no idea hermit crabs did that.

    The hair gift from your aunt is so wonderfully wrong!

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  15. The names are hysterical! But the fur collecting thing? I have to admit, I'm glad Princess Nagger hasn't thought of that yet! ;)

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  17. A cheesecake eating cat? Well now, that just sounds like the perfect combo to me:)

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  18. Yes, there's a lot to be said for cats and cheesecake...

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  19. We're on Round 2 of hermit crabs: Cheeto, Pee Wee, and something random I don't remember. They are indeed rather shocking looking when they leave their shells.

    You clearly need hens too.

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  20. I adore hermit crabs -- so cool. We run a wild mustang sanctuary and it's home for a family of beaver, a fox family and many coons; inside the house with us live the cats. Come over for 'Wildlife Wednesday' and see some critter pics.

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  21. Hahaha..quite a funny post.From the post it seems that you have taken a lot of interest on crabs lately... i know it's for obvious reasons.A nice happy family with pets for company..is it or it's the other way round...

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  22. My son had a hermit crab too! They are cute. xoxo
    SC

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  23. lol, I love the name "Bruno" for a hermit crab... Sounds so tough.

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  24. Fond of a hermit crab...what we do for our children. We had a turtle, frogs, snakes....hmm come to think of it the dog chewed up the turtle and the snakes killed the frogs.

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  25. The only pets we currently have are four fish. I look forward to the time when they go to fishy heaven so I can stop cleaning their tank. I like the ideal of having pets, but I'm not really fond of the reality of caring and maintaining said pets.

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  26. Bruno sounds awesome. Banging on the glass! Love it. :)

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  27. Nice post,good to hear that you people love pets so much.This blog has indeed helped me getting more and more knowledge about these things...Happy Family, thanks for sharing with us...

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