Allow me to introduce you to the latest addition to our household ...
This is Tardis who is a baby Ultramel Anery Corn Snake. She has blue irises, ruby pupils, and various shades of grey scales; as she gets older she may develop yellow on the jaw-line and neck area.
Now I'm saying "she" at this point but for all we know, Tardis could be a "he" however Amanda says it's too early to tell and the owner of the pet store where we found Tardis wasn't sure either. Our guess is that Tardis is about two to three weeks old and he/she's very lovable and friendly.
For those of you who are Doctor Who fans, I'm sure you already know that TARDIS is a time machine - the acronym stands for "Time and Relative Dimensions in Space". Amanda has recently become a big fan of the show herself and thought it would make a cool name for a snake though I'm hoping that our Tardis doesn't do any time traveling of her own as she's already given me one major scare already and I'm not sure I'm ready for another.
Shortly after we got home with Solaris' replacement (and I do really wish that she'd show back up somewhere as I can't stand the thought of her freezing to death in the house), Amanda placed Tardis in the habitat in her room and made doubly sure that the lid was firmly attached. We had even bought a second set of clamps just to insure there wouldn't be another great escape. Considering that Tardis is less than a foot long and very petite I'm pretty sure she's not strong enough to pry the lid up but Amanda also took extra precautions by placing several large books on top of the lid, too.
About half an hour later Amanda went upstairs to check on her but couldn't find her anywhere. What?!? I went upstairs and checked through the substrate myself while I pulled out rocks and logs and the water bowl but sure enough - Tardis was not in the habitat. Are you freakin' kidding me?!?
I could not for the life of me figure out where she might have gone and Amanda was beside herself she was so upset. We both looked all over the room and I went through the habitat again taking out everything that was in there. No Tardis. All I could think is that Solaris had somehow reappeared, whispered the joys of the free life into Tardis' little snaky ears (do snakes have ears?) and helped her make good her escape leaving behind an empty habitat and a tearful teenager.
While Amanda sat in her room to try to pull herself together after the loss of yet another pet that she had quickly become attached to, I came back downstairs just not quite believing that the little snake that we had spent all afternoon visiting various pet stores to find had somehow escaped. It just didn't make sense!
A few minutes later I heard Amanda cry out "There you are!" and wondered if Tardis had somehow crawled out of an area we hadn't looked in. Turns out that she had crawled up into the very top of the hollow log and was sleeping in spite of the fact that both Amanda and I had picked up the log and looked into it. Amanda had looked one more time just in case and, because of her coloring, she wasn't easy to see so both of us completely missed her being there.
That's what Amanda thinks happened. I'm beginning to think that Tardis really did do a little bit of time traveling and for a short period of time escaped the confines of her habitat and journeyed through time and space to another place and dimension. At this point I'm beginning to think that perhaps Amanda should have named her Louisa instead!
Either way, I'm glad Tardis turned back up and I do hope she'll stick around this time as I honestly don't think that either I or Amanda can go through this again. If it does happen, you can bet your bottom dollar her next pet is going to be a Pet Rock and that's it!