This morning as I was getting ready for work, I did a double take while passing Sunshine’s enclosure. She hadn’t been eating properly, and was acting odd the last few months. As soon as I saw her, I knew she as dead. I was expecting it to happen, she was an old girl. You wouldn’t think a snake would have an emotional impact on a person’s life like other, more cuddly animals would, but she was a constant in my life for a long time. She will be missed.
I was trying to remember exactly when I picked her up. I had just gotten back from Japan and we had moved to a new city. I wanted a cool pet that I could nonchalantly mention in conversation. “That’s cool… I guess. I’ve got a snake” Thinking back to who I was then; it was a life time ago. Sunshine was the same. She just ate smaller mice back then.
For a good part of her life, Sunshine lived in a closet. In the space under hanging clothes where most people would keep shoes or boxes, I had a snake tank. A heating pad, lamp and she was set. When I went to college she came with me. We lived in a basement apartment and money was tight. It wasn’t so bad, because the house had mice and she got fresh from the mouse trap. We lived in a few other basements, her and I. We we on our second mortgage together.
I never really considered what it would be like without her. Best roommate I ever had; didn’t make any noise and never complained when I did. She was always calm and I never had any issues with her. I would never hesitate to let anyone handle her. I don’t even know how many people she served for the first time they ever held a snake. She had a funny temperament. She never moved quick, and would sneak around given the chance. She escaped a dozen times, always to be found in a sock drawer or behind some DVDs. She got into someone’s coat liner one time, I thought it was hilarious. She preferred live food, and made a big fuss when I switched to frozen food. She wouldn’t bother striking at thawed food; she would calmly take the mouse, and eat it slowly with attitude. As if to say “I’m much to dignified to eat this non-fresh garbage”
She wasn’t a special bread, or colorful morph. She was a perfectly normal snake, textbook corn snake. She was my perfectly normal corn snake. After more than 13 years together, she’s not with me anymore. I miss her a lot more than I though I would. I hope she enjoyed her time with me, getting fat on mice and laying under her heat lamp. She made my life better, just by being there.