07-21-18 Patricia Sargeant

Friday, February 21, 2014

Cute is in the eye of the beholder

Hi, I'm Pippa Jay, author of science fiction with a romantic soul. Let me introduce you to Yoshi. Smile, Yoshi!

Yoshi is a leopard gecko. She's nearly two years old and fully grown at 12 inches. She'll live for about 20 years, so she could theoretically outlive me. She eats live crickets and mealworms. Yep, I can sense most of you squirming already. What's wrong with having a hamster or cat, you may ask...

Don't get me wrong, I love furry creatures too. As a kid I had a rabbit, a guinea pig, several canaries and cats, two dogs and a pony. As a married couple we've had two cats, both rescues. One lived to the ripe old age of seventeen before passing away peacefully in our garden one sunny morning.

Our three newest girls - left to right Chiana, Kyru and Rush
But I adore the unusual. We have six bantam hens, not just pets but providers of fresh eggs - pets with special benefits. Yoshi really belongs to my eldest. But she's become the role model for the reptilian races in my stories, and I feel sorry for the bad rep reptiles have.

Yoshi doesn't purr or wag her tail. She has no way to express her pleasure, but she'll stay still and arch her back if stroked. She can bite if she's annoyed, but that's happened maybe twice since we got her, and both times with good reason. Her skin is bumpy on her back, but soft, almost silky on her underside. She has the most beautiful eyes - shades of green flecked with gold. Her mouth is fixed in what looks like a permanent smile. She requires little care, and is very docile. She only feels cold if she's been laying in the cool spot of her vivarium, and never feels slimy. Her feet have tiny, tiny claws that you can feel on your skin, but it doesn't hurt. I love to watch her stalk and pounce on her prey. Gruesome? No. Less cruel than a cat with a mouse, since she only hunts to eat. And when you write alien races like I do, she's fabulous inspiration for writing something non-human.

Will we get any more? No. Leopard geckos prefer to be solitary, and we already have three kids in the house. Lol. We've talked about buying stick insects for our two boys, but so far we haven't done so...



Sarah Raplee said...

Yoshi is a beautiful gecko! I love that she is a role model for you when you write reptilian species in your SF novels.

I have a special fondness for geckos because I grew up with them on a tropical island. I loved listening to our house geckos chirp at night. They were welcome visitors since they ate all the tropical insects that tried to invade the house!

I am so glad I don't have an aversion to reptiles and amphibians! They are lovely, fascinating creatures.

Paty Jager said...

I'm one of the few that likes reptiles. We have lizards that live in the rocks around where we live and our youngest son had a monitor lizard while growing up. He grew to be about three feet long. Our son was in a herpetology 4-H club.

They are one of the easiest pets to take care of I think. And Yoshi is very pretty!

B. A. Binns said...

Nice to have inspiration right there with you. Much love to Yoshi.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Pippa,
Interesting post. I have to say I am not a reptile lover, though.



Pippa Jay said...

Sarah and Paty - so glad I'm not the only reptile fan here! I can remember hunting for lizards in the garden as a kid, although I don't think the UK has as many as warmer climates.
Thanks for the comments! I'm sure Yoshi will appreciate the love in her own way. :)

Judith Ashley said...

Hi Pippa and Yoshi, I had a very bad snake experience in elementary school so, while I can be in the vicinity of one without a major hysterical meltdown, it is never my choice. Not sure I'd want an alligator or crocodile in my home or even in the yard. A gecko I probably could handle...and in the yard would be no problem.

Thanks for sharing more of your world with us, Pippa!

Diana McCollum said...

Love Yoshi, Pippa! So pretty. My daughter had a gecko growing up and his skin was like velvet. I don't remember what kind, but I do know he was from India. I really your chickens. I don't have any chickens right now but did for many years and really enjoyed watching their various antics!

Pippa Jay said...

Hi Judith,
eeep, sorry about your bad snake experience. I have to admit I don't mind snakes, but I wouldn't have one as a pet. I'd like more geckos though. Alligators and crocs - glad we don't have those, even in the wild!
Thanks Diana! Yeah, the chickens are very entertaining, and quite therapeutic. Watching them forage around the garden is relaxing.