Saturday, February 3, 2018

Visiting Rachael And The Critters That Live With Her

Hurt no living thing:
Ladybird, nor butterfly,
Nor moth with dusty wing.
~ Christina Georgina Rossetti

Only three animals remain from our donkey rescue days (from the ones Rachael rescued from the rescue ~ yes, it sounds weird, but some rescues are not all they are made out to be):

First: Since he was hibernating under Rachael's bed, I didn't get to see Gulliver, the California Desert tortoise. But here I am with Cleopatra, the Ball python, named after the Egyptian queen who, it was said, liked to wear them around her wrists. Smaller versions, I imagine. This Cleopatra has grown so much since I last saw her and would not fit a wrist.

Then: Sahara, the Albino Burmese python, who first was a pet snake in Beverly Hills, owned by a woman who, when Sahara became too large to handle, needed to get rid of her. 

She was nine feet when she arrived at the rescue. Now, some ten years later, she must be approaching twenty feet. See how massive she is. 

I met Rachael's Bengal cat, Kitty Zeus, for the first time. Isn't he absolutely gorgeous? Rachael's other cat, Artemis, born to a feral mother, I only caught a glimpse of before she joined Gulliver under the bed. My neighbor, Joyce, has two feral kittens also and they are just as shy.

I think this South American Red-tailed boa is truly beautiful. And I don't think you need to like snakes, as I do, to find her so. Her name is Nightingale and, since it's winter, she is in the twilight zone, not complete hibernation, but so cold to the touch. All the snakes were, and it felt strange to touch them. 

Tenzing, the Gopher snake, was the most awake of the four snakes, squirming and wiggling, but still so cold. I find reptiles absolutely fascinating. 

When we worked at the rescue, Rachael took in two Bearded Dragons, Adelaide and our beloved Sydney. Adelaide died several years ago, but Sydney lived to a very, very old age. And both Rachael and I were so in love with him. Native to Australia, Bearded Dragon lizards are named after the black "beard" they display when scared or angry. The guy pictured above is named Lord Soper and he looks a little annoyed when I'm holding him. 

I had completely forgotten who Lord Soper was, but Rachael reminded me, and then I remembered listening to him at Speakers' Corner in Hyde Park several times. I'm sure he was one of the people who influenced my life, my political views, such as the need for your country to care for those who cannot care for themselves, and so much more.  

Remembering names is one of my old age issues, together with an inability to open cans, a need to grab on to something to get up from various places, and so on.......

I miss my cats and feel in my heart that cats are my true love. Samson Says: Mommy! Faith Says: !@#$%!!!!! I Say: OK, I love you the most, the best, you know that, you guys.

Bad as working at the rescue ended up being, you will find good things in most places: I met Rachael there. She's such a bright and kind person in my life and means the world to me. Of course, I met donkeys there and I fell hard for these, so often maligned, animals. I also discovered the music of Willie Nelson. And then there was Sydney, the Bearded Dragon - who'd think one could love an old scaly critter so much?

On a final note, you may have noticed that Rachael names her critters after notable persons, Greek gods, goddesses, and so on. Rachael is an animal educator, who has taught both kids and adults what it means to bring an animal into your life. So when a kid asks, "who was  Tenzing," Rachael can continue the teaching along that thread. Same with me, when I asked who's Lord Soper, she reminded me, and London of my youth came back in all its fog, grime, and glory. 


  1. Hi Inger ... just got back from a ride along the coast in not too bad weather .. but cold rain on us now. Lovely to see you ... but having just heard about a python killing his 'master' in the UK ... in his bedroom - I'm even less enamoured of them now!

    Rachael is great and I'm so glad she's around and in your life and you can get together quite often - I can see the draw to the rescue centre ... love the lizard and all of them - the snakes have incredible colouring.

    While cats v dogs .. I'd hate to discuss, I might be out of favour!! But Samson and Faith have been wonderful stalwarts for you ... love the name Lord Soper, but he was irrascible ... cheers Hilary

  2. One of Rachael's coworkers helps her with the python. Rachael can no longer handle her alone. So, from what I understand, there's always the two of them there. Which makes me feel better too.

  3. Zeus, you are the love of today's post, for me, sorry to all the other animals and snakes, but maybe next time I will see Artemis and Gulliver. Pythons, too scary for me, sorry Rachael, I would not even get in the front door before falling into a scared little screaming mess!!! But you love them all, look after them so well, and I see a set of drums there? Maybe they all get a musical treat ever so often. Inger you are so brave, and for you this would be a fantastic visit.I am so glad Samson and Faith stayed home.XXX

  4. Rachael is amazing. I would stick with Faith and Samson. Period.

  5. Thank heavens for people like you to take care of these creatures. I quite like reptiles. I have no desire to have one for a 'pet' I do enjoy watching them in their habitats.

  6. Creatures like these snakes are amazing, it's kind of scary to see how large they can grow, it takes special people like Rachael to take in and care for them when they have been abandoned and abused my hat is off to her for the unselfish work that she does and also to you for being right there and helping where you can.

  7. That python is HUGE. Florida everglades is suffering now as people have dumped their "pet" pythons in the wild there and they are taking over. Bless Rachael for taking in the unwanted and caring for them.

  8. Wow wonderful pictures. The python is huge and amazing!!

  9. I find snakes interesting, but I usually just touch and don't handle them. They provide necessary rodent patrol in our barn. You are brave, Inger!

  10. I was glad to read that Rachel always has someone else there when handling the really big snakes. I love lizards so I loved seeing the bearded dragon! Rachel really has quite a collection of beautiful animals. It must be such fun to visit her.

    I love dogs myself. I'm with Faith and Samson :)

  11. Dear Inger, I so enjoyed this posting, despite the fact that I have a totally irrational fear of snakes! Meeting Rachel through you is wonderful and I am so glad she and you are such good friends. The smile on your face is a treasure. Peace.

  12. Well, I am not a big snake fan and I have my feet up off the floor. I am so happy you are doing so many fun things with your friend and all is well. Take care. HUGS B I changed my blog address.

  13. Dear Inger, it is so good to see you smiling. I have been absent from the blogosphere for a looooong time and today I felt the need to check on my favorite persons in blogland. Take care. Sandra

  14. I admire your love for all creatures great and small... but try as I may I cannot find any love in my heart for spiders or snakes.. I did however love your pictures and smiles! Gracie says: Sorry Samson!! I should have been over yesterday to wish happy valentines day to my valentine!! (so she is doing it now.. lol) Give Faith and Samson hugs for us. Rachael is amazing.... glad you shared your visit.

  15. Dear Inger, I enjoyed this post and the photos are great!
    Rachel is really a kind person and I am glad you both are good friends!
    I am not fan of snakes, I fear snakes so much!
    The snakes you are holding are they poisonous?

    Wishing you and to lovely Samson and Faith a very nice weekend!
    Lots of Hugs!


Thanks for leaving a comment.. ~~ Inger


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