Saturday, September 17, 2016

Saturday: not just for cats anymore

Rose-Buddy (nee Rosebud!)

My daughter was excited to adopt a fiddler crab from her fourth grade classroom last spring, and carefully choose a female with 2 small claws and named her "Rosebud".

A few weeks later Rosebud molted and behold: "she" was now sporting the giant single claw of a male! My daughter felt betrayed and hollered, "I HATE my new crab!" The rest of us were amused. Neither response was probably appropriate for 2016.

However, we have grown accustomed to the change, and love Rose-Buddy and his claw waving antics.


Amy Johnson said...

When I woke up this morning, I did not have plans to do the online crab research I just did after reading your post. Thanks for encouraging me to get smarter.

AJ Blythe said...

What a cute story. I hope your daughter has grown to love Rose-buddy too. I find crabs fascinating, so I imagine it would be easy to be distracted watching Rose-buddy. I didn't know you kept fiddler crabs as pets. As far as I know we only have hermit crabs as pets here in Oz.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

We did the whole crab thing years ago. They make great pets.
Kind of a life lesson there. Nothing is as it seems, not jobs, life, people or pets.

Kitty said...

When my daughter, Nurse G, had moved into her own place, she bought an iguana that was 5 feet long and named it Kalibanos (after the Raul Julia character in the 1982 movie TEMPEST). One day Kalibanos decided he wanted some exercise and jumped out a second floor window. Running through a neighborhood chasing after a large lizard looks like pretty much like the komodo dragon scene from the movie THE FRESHMAN.

Lisa Bodenheim said...


My first reaction, no caffeine, was ack, a creepy, crawly, spidery type thing. But then I veered off down the rabbit hole.

Fascinating facts: related to ghost crabs, found along brackish inter-tidal mud flats (this Midwestener is definitely out of her know-zone), vulnerable when newly molted, a circadian noise that mimics the tide's ebb and flow.

Ahh, that's why I've not seen one. The only seaside I've visited or lived is Scotland, Maine, and Washington: geographical range of fiddler crabs

DeadSpiderEye said...

Go buddy

CynthiaMc said...

Back home (Fairhope, Alabama) during the summer we have jubilees where the fish swim into shore and you can just scoop them up. It's the only place that happens (another reason why I miss it). The city used to have info about it on their web page and the Pier Cam. They may still. One night my brother and I collected a whole garbage can full of crabs. My dog, Skipper, tipped over the can and crabs took over the kitchen. It was something else trying to get them back in the can. Mom swept them up while they chased us. Good times!

I'm glad peanuts are on sale this weekend. The young generation of squirrels has been deemed fit to come to the feeder on their own. Right now there are seven of them who come together. They are so cute. The young doves are out today as well and the baby woodpecker is being taught to hunt bugs on the pine tree. He's hopping along behind Mama, complaining all the way. She's trying to introduce him to the feeder but he will have none of it. Fear is keeping him from a great buffet.

That's your episode of Life in Cynthia's Garden for today. Happy writing everyone!

Kate Higgins said...

Hermit crabs are available by the thousands on our beaches (WA near Seattle) and make for wonderful "show and tell" pets then back they go. We've had many pet crabbies (Hermits and not Hermit) and most lived however they are not as easy to sleep with as a cat as my daughter will attest to.

There are approx. 32 species of crab around here (Puget Sound). My favorite is the Dungeness Crab, really great with melted butter and a nice white wine. If you have a shell fish license they can be picked up at low tide but only the boy crabs. Females are off limits. You can tell a crabs sex by the shape of it's tail (unless like a hermit crab; it's tail is hidden in a shell). If you find a "dead" crab on the beach, lift it's shell from the back end, If there is not crab inside it's a molted shell left behind by the owner. You can keep those and after they dry they are really interesting conversation pieces. If the shell doesn't lift up don't keep them...they will smell and the conversations will be unprintable.

OK, enough Pacific Crab 101...I need coffee..

CynthiaMc said...

Forget City of Fairhope website. They've taken away everything that made it cool. It could be anywhere now. Pier Cam still exists (search Fairhope Pier Cam). Looks like it's rainy now but the most beautiful sunsets in the world happen at the end of that pier.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

That's hilarious. And what a great story. Does your daughter know Rosebud is a sled?

I learned something new about crabs.

This morning, during my pre-dawn walk with Frankie, I chased off a fox that looked as if it thought my pug would make a fine breakfast. The fox sneered at me and I stepped between it and my pup. I growled at the little beast and off it ran. Foxes are kind of scary in the dark.

nightsmusic said...

Some of you might remember that I have two Dobermans. Wonderful dogs, lovely pets.

At work, it's either feast or famine for me. I'm either ridiculously busy for several hours or I have endless days with absolutely nothing to do. So, for my entertainment, I thought I'd get a Betta (Siamese Fighting Fish) and keep it on my desk in a one gallon jar with a filter, etc. The ones I've owned in the past were always pretty docile, gliding around in the tank, not pestering anything else in the tank. I also bought some very large Red Cherry Shrimp, over an inch each, that are a delight to watch, and a snail to keep the jar clean. Set everything up, cycled the tank, plopped the fish in, dumped in the shrimp and snail...everyone seemed happy, the shrimp were swimming gleefully around the jar...within two hours, the fish, who is now named Killer, ripped one of the very large shrimp to pieces and was hunting the others who were now all in hiding. Out comes the fish into a cup, out come the remaining four shrimp (I'd bought five to start, this is very important to know) and the snail, into a baggie, then Killer back in the jar. The shrimp and snail came home with me so now, I have a jar at home and one at work.

Two weeks or so pass and I decide Killer needs a bigger jar so I get him a two gallon. I bring in all of the stuff I'll need, take Killer and the plants out, take the jar to the sink to clean it and it's littered with shrimp carcasses! Evidently, one of the shrimp had eggs which she left behind and as they hatched and grew, Killer was feasting on them. I found one shrimp left alive and a snail which I didn't know I had. So those also came home and are in the jar here.

Killer now spends his days hanging by the glass, watching me. Like I'm his next meal.

Sorry, didn't mean to be so chatty this morning...

Janet Reid said...

"Killer now spends his days hanging by the glass, watching me. Like I'm his next meal."

and good morning to you too!

Terror in the comments section..not just for flash fiction anymore!

Colin Smith said...

Lovely story, Opie (I presume Opie isn't QOTKU--I don't recall our Shark mentioning she had offspring... open to correction there, of course)!

I can't say I'm a crab person (I know--dogs, crabs... what's wrong with me?), but I'm sure they make for entertaining pets. :) At least you can be sure I wouldn't eat one. ;)

Unknown said...

I'm a "cat person", but....
With 5 kids in the house, a little pet crab is about all I can manage on our counter. Over the years we've had Herbert and Cookie adopted from classrooms, and Herbert served as starting inspiration for a (human) character in my WIP.

The kids are so excited that RoseBuddy has become an "internet celebrity" today! It especially means a lot to our sweet daughter, who is challenged with epilepsy and various learning disabilities. Thanks for posting, Janet!

RoseBuddy still swings his claw around as he perches on his water dish. Tragically, he is signaling to the lady crabs that will never arrive. But we always wave back!

Craig F said...

They are cute until you wake up on a beach somewhere and are covered with a million of the little beasts.

On the other hand, fly fishing for Redfish (Red Drum) wouldn't be the same without them. Redfish stick their tails above water when they are digging crabs out. One of the best sight fishing targets there is.

Thanks everyone. I appreciate the condolences.

BJ Muntain said...

Aha! The fiddler belongs to El El Piper! Tell your daughter she has a very beautiful crab. Yes, boy crabs can be beautiful, too.

Crabs aren't the only pet that can hide its sex. Fluffy kittens can be very difficult to sex. My sister got a fluffy grey kitten she named Tabitha. She took Tabitha in to get spayed. The vet tech took the kitten in the back... then came back, asking, "Are you sure you want this kitten spayed?" Tabitha became Tab Hunter.

A Facebook friend found a hermit crab on her street. It had a jaunty Mickey Mouse-painted shell. She found out that someone was giving them away as Pokemon Go prizes. You can't give pets as prizes. They wind up on the street, selling their Mickey Mouse shells for food.

(The friend took the crab in, named it Buster Crabbe, and is delightedly watching him choose a new, more adult shell.)

I think Killer needs his own novel. I'm thinking of the hero, trapped and kept in a cage by the villain, watching the villain, planning his moves to escape... only to find he can't breathe the same air as the villain... Dammit!

Susan said...

It's craburday! Which is perfect since I'm feeling crabby after a rough night's sleep.

*cue groans*

Nice seeing the pets again! Thanks for sharing, El El Piper!

Craig F: Just caught up with the comments from the last few days. I'm sorry for your loss. I hope you find peace in this passing.

nightsmusic, I'm so torn between feeling bad for the shrimp and snails and laughing at your killer beta. They're beautiful but can be mean as anything. Watch your back ;)

BJ: My aunt and uncle had a cat like that. After something like ten years, Cleopatra became Cleopatrick.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Joseph S. said...

Fascinating. A Killer thread so to speak.

Nightsmusic – a jar? I know nothing about owning crabs. Does one keep crabs in a jar or is a tank the preferred home? Like a fish tank?

Kitty – How many guests never make a second visit to your home after seeing a FIVE-foot-long iguana?

CynthiaMc – I’ve intended to visit Fairhope almost since I moved to Alabama. Man – just checking out its Wikipedia entry, it trots out more than its fair(hope) share of notable people, include a whole string of athletes. And a few writers too. Singer Jimmy Buffett may be the most famous, but Fannie Flagg, Rick Bragg, and Abbi Glines do pretty well, too.

El El Piper - Thanks for submitting that. And say hey to your kids. Maybe they should have pizza day to celebrate

CynthiaMc said...

Craig-so sorry about your friend. And thanks for the fishing tip.

Joseph - if you go to Fairhope you may never leave. It's a lot bigger than it used to be but it still has that laid-back feel. Jimmy Buffett went to high school with my brother. Mike Connors from Mannix used to stay at the Grand Hotel and ride his bike through town. Fannie Flagg is a regular. It's a great place.

The crab, killer beta and iguana stories have kept me laughing all day.

Colin Smith said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin Smith said...

A number of years ago (a number bigger than 20, and that's as far as I'll go), our neighbours (this was in England) had a fluffy black and white cat they named Mindy (as in "Mork and Mindy"--yup, that number is way bigger than 20). I don't recall Mindy interacting with our cats much, but she used to sit on the flat roof of our garage, looking down at my brother and me as we played in the back yard (or "garden" as we would call it).

Then one day, Mindy was hit by a car. She was never the same after that, especially since the vet informed our neighbour that Mindy was, in fact, male. For some reason (probably because they had had the cat so long) our neighbours decided not to change his name. So whenever we would see the cat, we would put on a deep voice when addressing him: "Hello, MINDY!"

Mindy didn't suffer any broken bones, but the accident did dull his wits a bit. Probably just as well, otherwise the social stigma might have been too much.

What is the male version of "Mindy" anyway? Mindo? Mindus?

Joseph S. said...


I tried to find the male version of Mindy. - Couldn't find one.

I did find that Mindy is a variant of Melinda and is derived from the Greek word "Mel." So I looked up Mel and Melvin, but both have Irish derivations, not Greek.

My conclusion: The male version of Mindy is Mork.

One humorous finding. The popularity of the name Mindy for baby girls spiked greatly while Mork & Mindy was on television. That means a lot of women named Mindy are probably in their late 30s.

nightsmusic said...

@Joseph Snoe,

When I say 'jar', I mean a big, two gallon Anchor Hocking cookie jar type thing with a lid since Betta's are jumpers and snails are escape artists. Looks like this, but two gallons:

Anchor Hocking Jar

Anonymous said...

Holy Spider Legs, Batman! Are you trying to KILL ME?! I glanced at my RSS feed earlier and saw the legs in the pic and was all, "RUN AWAY! RUN AWAY!" It has taken me hours to work up the courage to look again. Yes, I am a complete wimp when it comes to spiders.

Reminds me of the time Bill Cameron posted a pic on twitter and said it was a cute little [some word other than spider]. I didn't know that word, so of course I clicked on it. Still haven't quite forgiven him.

El El, I'm delighted for your daughter that her lovely charming NOT-A-SPIDER pet has taken center stage today.

Craig, I'm sorry for your loss. Wishing you many fond memories once the grief fades.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Hey I sell giant Anchor Hocking jars just like the link.
Just thought I'd add to the conversation.

nightsmusic said...

Well, Hell's Belles, 2ns! If I'd known that, I'd have bought them from you! They're a great size, I have submersible filters in them, they're clear, clean and round so the snails don't get stuck in the corners...

Anonymous said...

Shelob. Pretty sure that was the word. But I refuse to google it to verify, because I KNOW there'll be a pic.

BJ Muntain said...

kdjames: According to Wikipedia: "Shelob is a fictional giant spider from J. R. R. Tolkien's Middle-earth legendarium."

Anonymous said...

And given Tolkien's imagination, no doubt it's MUCH WORSE than any real giant spider. *shudder*

BJ Muntain said...

Aren't you glad I googled it for you, then, so you didn't have to? :)

Anonymous said...

YES. Thank you, BJ!

CynthiaMc said...

A friend of mine made the spider costumes for a local production of The Hobbit. Picture people inside spider costumes. They were huge-but not as huge as the fire-breathing dragon, which he also made.

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Ditto AJ.
Let us know you're ok.

Janet Reid said...

Thank you2Ns and AJ,
I'm well. I'm home in Brooklyn.
That location is about six blocks from the old FPLM office, a spot
I know well, having walked past it most days on my trek to and from the L-train.

nightsmusic said...

So glad you're okay, Janet!! I had no idea until this morning. Hoping anyone else who visits here that lives in NYC is okay too. I understand they found a second device four blocks away. Thank heavens it didn't go off too!

Carolynnwith2Ns said...

Whew...thanks for letting us know.

E.M. Goldsmith said...

Glad our queen is safe. Praying for New Yorkers.

AJ Blythe said...

Glad you're okay, Miss Janet. Thanks for checking in.

I know there are others here that live in NY. Thinking of you all.

I *think* it is Sunday morning in NY now (I am very time-zone challenged). Praying nothing else is found so all NYers can travel to work confident in their safety tomorrow.