Zeus <Silence.>

<More silence.>

<A deft, but resounding, silence.>

<A little sneeze.>

<One eye opens and takes you in,
glistening brightly.>

I don't really want to talk to you. Really.
What the heck, man. Leave me alone.

<More silence.>

Well, I see I can't get away with this apathetic stance, so I'll let you in on a little secret. My name is Zeus, technically, but sometimes I'm addressed as "Zeuser," "Hey Zeus," "Lizard Baby," "Stinky," or "Shitstain." I prefer the former, but if the inflection is right I could be fooled into succumbing to any of these, even the last one. When the big scary humans first got me they thought I was male, KNEW I was not COMPLETELY commanding of respect, and so deemed me Zeus. (As opposed to Loki (Don't I have the smarts enough?) or the name of some other god who was more in control of himself.) Anyway. Since that time my name has wandered through countless amalgamations, and they now believe that I am female. (Although they aren't 100% sure, and I'm sure as heck not going to tell them.) I still, however, remain Zeus. Spinach

Spinach My life isn't too unpleasant. It's not the worst. It's likely not the best. But they try. At least I think they try. (The humans, that is.) I'm still wary, though, not entirely certain that these loud, towering beasts aren't going to eat me. Even when I'm sitting on a forearm, refusing to get off, I'll notice that huge face looking at me and get all defensive, like I don't even realize that the arm I'm sitting on is part of this freaky creature. (Why do I do that...?) As far as the humans understand things, I was born in December of 1995.

My ranch is a big ol' black wire cage with two large shelves for sitting. I prefer to bask on the tallest one, since I know for a fact that I'm king of the hill around here. Plus, that's where the light is, and I'd turn into a giddy pile of goo there gladly for the remainder of my days if the humans didn't come home and turn it off. On the other shelf is my Rasta-colored food dish. Generally I get a digestable-sized salad of some sort of green stuff (snow peas, snap peas, green beans), some sun-colored stuff (parsnips, varieties of squash), a little bit of dog food (The vet told the humans to give me this for a while until I got older, but I'm not so sure I should be eating it. The humans are undoubtedly confused by all the conflicting information regarding this subject, and would appreciate advice from experienced iguana keepers.), whatever fruit is in season (right now I'm getting dates), and some other mooshy sort of stuff I can't identify (rabbit pellets and iguana maintenance formula). If I'm good and eat all this up, then when the humans get home they come close to my cage and crinkle a bag that I KNOW is full of heaven -- spinach. I LOVE the stuff. Sometimes in my yearning I get too excited and try to eat it through the bag, but HEY -- I'm learning. Zeus in

Down on the bottom of my castle I have a bunch of wood chips to rearrange to my young heart's content. One of my favorite activities is to dig vigorously like a dog, which baffles the humans to no end. Sometimes I'll throw chips out of the cage at them, and then they get all puffed up and boisterous. This is where I take my dumps, which I haven't been doing lately, and it's making the humans all uptight. Could I be constipated? They always make a lot of hullaballoo after I've done my duty. Can I help it if I do a crap as big as a dog's? I've got a cardboard shoe box, but every time I try to get inside it I get too excited and tip it over -- darn!
My water bowl is down there too, but I don't like to drink very much, and I don't think I like baths either. One time the girl human tried to put me in her bathtub and I FREAKED! I mean, what's the good of that, man? Who wants to be stuck in a cold white thing with nothing to sit on, nothing to climb onto, and no way to get out?! (I swear I clawed and clawed at the side and got no place!) Now I get misted twice a day up on my basking area. All I have to do is sit there. I close my eyes and there it is -- the wonderful rain. I lift my head high up in the air... taste the water with my tongue... all in the caress of that wonderful heat. Heaven. Spinach

Zeus hangin' Now that I'm eating better, and getting a proper misting, I've been able to shed more like I'm supposed to, but I'm still not satisfied. The skin on my tail won't come off, and I'll be darned if I know what to do about it. Ditto with my spines. Ohhhh, my spines. <Sigh.> Should I tell you of my damages? I guess it couldn't hurt by this point. You know me more intimately than my own mother should, but anyway. I came from the pet store when the humans took over the care of me. Most of my spines were broken off (Though they seem to perhaps be growing back now!), and I have what I think is a burn on my left side, possibly from a heat rock; I don't know. My scales are white there, and they don't shed right. And there's a small tear in my dewlap. (Maybe another ig bit me? I can't remember....) But other than that I have clear eyes, no mouth rot, and good bone development. Pretty handsome if I do say so, myself. The humans say I'm pissy, and maybe they're right, but maybe I had a tough life before I came here. Leave me alone!

Geez, in all this self-spillage I've left out one of the most important things -- my hammock! My hammock is my safety blankie, dangling high as high can be. It's even higher than my basking shelf, and that's saying something. I sleep up there, and head on up to lounge around 8 or 9 pm. It's nice and soft, and since it's suspended in the air there's all the room in the world for my tail to hang out. In short, I like the hammock. The hammock likes me. Peace on earth, good will toward igs. Etc. Etc. You get the picture.

Since I have my own web page now, I'll include an assemblage of links to some of my favorite places, even though I can't understand why you'd want to spend time any place but HERE, learning about ME.

Henry Lizardlover -- http://www.herp.com/henry

Melissa Kaplan's giant green iguana care page -- http://www.sonic.net/~melissk/ig_care.html#care

Wong's green iguana heaven -- http://www.milagros.net/caiman

APRIL 10, 1997

I heard something a little disturbing the other day. It seems that the new apartment the humans have to move to won't let me come with them. What the heck, man? The landlord thinks I'm going to turn into a 7-foot monster that's going to bust out of its cage and attack the kid downstairs. Have you ever heard of anything so ludicrous? I tried to act my cutest, but it didn't help. The humans are upset, I'm upset, and no one's the wiser. So I'm looking for a good home. Currently the castle is in Boston, MA. If you or someone you know might want to take in a poor <sniff>, helpless <sniffle> green iguana, PLEASE E-MAIL ME!

MAY 1997

Well, the humans couldn't find anyone who wanted to love a green iguana (Why is that? Am I not cute enough?) so they put me in one of those awful cardboard boxes and threw me in the river! Hah! Just joking. They took me to a man in Rhode Island who works for the Rhode Island Herp Society (or something like that). He runs a reptile adoption agency, and has found good homes for hundreds of abandoned iguanas! Hopefully things will be kosher there, and I'll find some humans who will want to take care of little ol' me. I wonder if I'll miss my humans. I hope they keep my web page up, even though I won't be able to run things anymore. I hope wherever I end up, the world will know I'm king of the hill. Because, as a matter of fact, I am.

Click here to send me e-mail.

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