Meet Fionn MacCool

Well, our weekend started with a tornado (it has been confirmed now) and ended with a new member of the family. Pretty eventful, I’d say.

Elise has wanted a chameleon for a very long time, and Rodney finally caved and went to the pet store to get one. While he was there, he spoke with a fellow who loves lizards like I love gardening. The chap told him that he should definitely not buy a chameleon for a young child because they loathe being handled and that’s all children want to do with lizards. Some of them quite freak out if you touch them to clean their habitat.

One alternative was an iguana, which makes an odd pet in Florida because they rank just below pythons as an invasive species here. They run around like enormous, dumb squirrels, up trees and along power lines.

He recommended getting the kind of lizard he has, which is a bearded dragon. They love to be handled, and you can walk around for hours with one on your shoulder. Or they will sit and watch television with you.

So Elise now has a bearded dragon. This is our third pet, after our 16-year-old cat named Lexington and our Jack Russell terrier, Sherlock. We have a very full house.

Elise named her lizard Fionn MacCool, because she wanted him to have a “fierce” name. It cracked me up that this is what she came up with. And she goes around referring to him by his full name, not abbreviating it to Fionn. Our days are now filled with such absurdities as, “Mom, come watch Fionn MacCool eat a cricket.”

I’ve been kind of impressed by how intelligent Fionn is. He has a great personality for a reptile. He was never scared of being picked up; in fact, he’s a very curious little creature. He wasn’t even scared of the cat or dog (and he probably should have been scared of the cat, at least). If you speak to him, he will crane his neck to listen and look you in the eyes. And he really loves it if you sing to him.

Apparently these things get to be about the size of a house cat. So that should be interesting.

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