Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Prodigal Lizard Returns

Crazily trying to water the house plants on my day off, which as many of you know involves checking the 500ish plants one at a time to determine whether they require water, and then picking up those that do and taking them to the bathtub, where once the bathtub is full, I water the lot with the detachable showerhead, the plants drain, and then we move on to the next set. It's time-consuming and kind of sucks, but I have yet to find a system I like better for doing what I have to do.

So I had just finished a round, and was bending over the tub to get some out and take them back to the living room, when ANOLE! IN THE BATHTUB! I managed to get her into the living room, with some difficulty, and then she sprang (sprung? springed?) out of my grasp and led me on a tour of the carpet under couches and tables and plant racks for maybe twenty minutes. Much of the area in question needs to be vacuumed, it turns out.

In the end, I was victorious, so I gave her some fresh water and a drop of honey and order is restored in the household again.

Except now I think maybe I want to keep her, rather than taking her to the water treatment plant. I have little or no idea how to do this. (I also think I want to name her Rebecca Glasscock, which the two readers of mine who will get that joke will find it very funny indeed.) But so: is keeping a lizard something that's going to involve major changes to my life? Am I going to need to grow mealworms and stuff? I can google as well as the next guy, but I'd appreciate suggestions, references to good pages on anole care, whatever.

UPDATE: Due to public outcry, I have changed the name from Rebecca to Nina. I'm a little hesitant, still, to do so, because I'm unconvinced that getting a lizard named for you is always a compliment, and like the last thing I would want to do would be to insult Nina, who really was awesome. But if we all can understand that it's meant as a compliment, we'll go with it.

Now so long as I don't fuck it up and kill her, I suppose we're golden.


Paul Anater said...

Mr. Subjunctive, I live in an anole-rich part of Florida and having them around and underfoot is one of the things I love about living here. I get them in the house pretty regularly and several of them have set up housekeeping in a window box full of geraniums I have growing in my bedroom. (the window box is on a shelf attached to the sill inside.)

I know from finding dead and dried out ones under the sofa that they need to be kept watered, so I mist my geraniums pretty regularly. They like it and the anoles get watered at the same time. That mimics how they get water when they're living outdoors too. I've seen them lapping up dew and mister overspray on my orchids outside all the time.

The ones who live in my geraniums also need to be fed something. They eat the various spiders and ants that get in but there aren't enough of them to sustain them so I feed them mealworms which I buy at a pet store and keep in the fridge.

Eventually, they get used to me being around but I would never call them a pet. I do think it's cool though, having a bit 'o the wilds in my boudoir.

If you plan to keep Rebecca Glasscock (why would you name that noble lizard after that scheming hustler? Why not Nina? Nina was nice AND fierce) in a terrarium, she'll lounge around waiting for you to feed her mealworms and mist her. Other than that she won't require a whole lot. Don't let her get too hot, too cold or too dry and she'll be fine.

Jesska said...

Hello! I just stumbled on your blog! I am a fellow indoor gardener and I can certainly relate to your watering ordeals!
I think people forget about how much time it takes to water plants! I usually have to set time aside on the weekend specifically for watering.

Look forward to reading more about your plants!

mr_subjunctive said...


True, so true about Rebecca / Nina. (I liked Bebe rather a lot too, actually.) For whatever reason, when I first thought about naming her, I thought to myself, she looks like a Rebecca. Plus I figured it was more of an insult than a compliment to name a lizard after a drag performer. Though maybe lizards are so awesome that they're always a compliment. I'll consider this.


Nicely met. I bookmarked your blog.

Rosemary said... has good information about reptile care.

Anonymous said...

Name her Nina. C'mon loca!

Karen715 said...

Make that three readers. I enjoyed the hell out of RuPaul's Drag Race!

mr_subjunctive said...


That looks like more or less just what I needed. Thanks so much.


If everybody's sure that having a lizard named after you is a compliment, then okay. We'll go with Nina. I'll change the post to reflect this shortly.


It's weird -- after I posted the RuPaul-as-both-Obamas picture, I kinda forgot about the show existing. We don't get Logo on our basic cable, and I didn't realize that VH1 was airing it too until almost the last week (we started watching the week of the Absolut Drag Ball). But we'll catch the next one, if there is a next one.

Paul Anater said...

Thanks! My friend David in Gainesville, FL (biologist at U of FL) recommended you highly. I've been subscribing to your feed (boy that sounds strange) for a couple of weeks. I enjoy your perspective. Have great fun with Nina, loca. Oh that drag ball was a blast, wasn't it? All of those episodes are on Logo's website and there will be a season two. Woo-hoo!

RMR said...

I prefer Rebecca. It just has a better cadence––REBECCA GLASSCOCK! I will be saying that over and over for the rest of the night. Imagine the "HELLLLOOOO" voice from Seinfeld; that is the voice I use to say her name. Long live Rebecca Glassock in her newly found apartment jungle-home.

Karen715 said...

I don't get Logo either, and I only caught one ep on VH1. I watched the entire Drag Race series online at

Logo online allowed them to link to entire episodes. As a fan of Project Runway, I first started reading Tom and Lorenzo on their Project Rungay blog. In addition to running the videos, they also did hilarious recaps of each Drag Race episode. Both their blogs are amusing and fun.

Paul Anater said...

Karen: That's also how I found out about Drag Race int he first place. Tom and Lorenzo are hilarious. Their commentary on the episode where Charo put in an appearance is one of the funniest things I've read in ages. Sorry to hijack your comments Mr. Subjunctive, but it needed to be said.

our friend Ben said...

You should definitely keep Nina/Rebecca, Mr. S.! I love anoles and would like some for my greenhouse. As a child, I kept the Borgias---Cesare and Rodrigo---in a 10-gallon aquarium and raised mealworms for them in an oatmeal box in the fridge. (Worked like a charm.) Now you can apparently buy mealworms, which might be more appealing to you; I believe they like the live crickets pet stores sell, too. Mine occasionally escaped, which my lizard-loathing mother would never have tolerated had she known, so here's a little tip about that: Escaping makes them excited, so if you give them a few minutes, they'll turn green and are a lot easier to see/find (assuming they're not hiding in your houseplants!).

Anonymous said...

When I was young (read: elementary and middle school), we'd go down to visit our grandparents in Florida every spring break. And while I was at Disneyland, I was often more fascinated by trying to catch an anole than the rides. So I know you can keep them in the Midwest (I lived in Kansas). I mostly fed Sprite baby mealworms (the bigger ones seemed too big for his size), although for variety if I saw something else around, I'd pop it into his cage. You may need to roll the mealworms in a vitamin powder so she gets all her nutrients, especially if you aren't providing a balanced diet.

John de said...

Hey loca, glad you changed the name to Nina. Did you think you'd get this many Drag Race comments?! Haha

Aiyana said...

Public outcry? LOL