Thursday, June 22, 2006

We be crabbin'

My sister bought us one a few weeks ago - well, it's been about a month at least. I thanked her tremendously (read: sarcasm) because, as I'm sure many of you know by now, I won't ignore the crab and give it half-assed care. I've researched them since then, finding out that, damnit, they require a lot of care. I thanked my sister again after I found out I have to bathe the crabs weekly, twice a week if I can manage it, let them air dry, give them stuff to climb on and hide in, there is special food they need to eat and to supplement their diet with fresh fruit, vegetables and occasionally pieces of fish and you can't only have 1 hermit crab because, ironically, they are social creatures. (This is another one of those times that I'm glad we have well water because there is no chlorine in it, thus I don't need to de-chlorinate or buy only bottled water for them to bathe/drink.)

A simple crabitat has now turned into 3 crabs in a 10-gallon tank, a neat and large "rock" cave to hide in, a barkish climbing wall the length of one side of the tank, a cool new double-dish "rock" with a cactus (fake of course) protruding from it and 4 shells total, 2 of them fancy. I need 2 more shells because each crab is supposed to have 2 shells to choose from at least, each of them being bigger than the ones they're in now.

The first one we had got sick (I think) because he left his shell, which I found out later was not a good thing. When they do that, I'm supposed to gently pick them up and help them back into their original shell or into a new one. Well, Frenchy died because I didn't know I was supposed to do that.

Let me be honest with you: I think hermit crabs are creepy. I've not ever desired to have hermit crabs as a pet but my sister got Peanut the kit/crab because it really is a good pet for him. However, he's only 6.5, soon-to-be 7. Who is the one caring for these crabs? Me. Who would love to pawn them off on someone else but knows it would now devastate Peanut who has grown very attached and was very upset when Frenchy died? Me. Who has spent the additional $75 or so to create the optimal habitat for them because I believe in treating every animal humanely regardless of how useless or likable they are? Me. Who bathes the crabs every week? Me. Who feeds them, changes their water, keeps the sponges wet, etc. everyday? Me.

I think you get the picture.

What does Peanut do with the crabs you ask? He gets to take them out occasionally to play with them. I won't do that so at least they get socialization with people so they won't pinch or remain cranky.

Persi (for Persistent) is very friendly but does not like getting bathed. We just got the other 2 last night so I'll see how much they like getting bathed this evening. They're nocturnal so I tend to wait 'til about 10pm or so to do it so as not to interrupt their sleeping schedule to much. I know when I put some salmon into Persi's food dish Friday, she went bonkers, lol. That tells me fish is definitely a good thing every once in a while. I bought some freeze-dried krill but so far that's not been a big hit. Maybe I need to wet them a little so they aren't quite so crunchy.

Anyway, I've been hermit crabbing lately and well, they don't have a 2-5 year lifespan like hamsters....they live forever and can get huge. My cat, Ms. Kitty, has already taken an interest in Persi as a play toy, which I won't allow her to do of course. But it is fun to watch the cat faces she makes when watching Persi crawl around.

*The title of this post is a reference to a song by Ice Cube called, "We be clubbin'."