Well, my companion of a few years has left me, for good. Little Jimmy is dead. I’ve known it was coming–he stopped eating last week, and began to move slower and slower until he wouldn’t move from his place unless nudged–but that doesn’t make it any less sad. The males have a lifespan of five years, and the females have one of over thirty, but I got him when he was already fairly old.
He was a Chilean rose hair, which is a pretty name, I think, and pretty accurate as well. He was brown overall, but his hairs did have a pink tint to them. Chilean rose hairs are known for being either very tame or very moody, and Little Jimmy was somewhere in-between. Sometimes, he would walk right onto my hand, but other times he would run into a corner of his cage to get away. I can honestly say that never once did he ever try to attack me, never once did he go into his intimidating stance (which involves standing up and baring fangs, and is actually pretty intimidating) and never once did he bite me. I am yet to be bitten by a spider of any sort, but given how much I like to observe them, it’s bound to happen someday.
Reflecting on Little Jimmy makes me reflect on why I chose a spider as a pet in the first place. Firstly, I’m going to be honest, many tarantulas are very, very easy to take care of. So that was a factor. But I’ve always wanted a pet spider, because I’ve always been fascinated by them. They are very misunderstood, just like me. They are very quiet, just like me. They are also, believe it or not, very intelligent, just like me. For those who don’t believe the last statement, I challenge you to look it up, or just look back at my previous post on spiders. They are known to play dead, they modify their webs during rainstorms–hell, even the whole web thing is ingenious. How many other animals use a contraption that clever to obtain food? I’ll venture to say none.
So I’ve always identified with spiders. My ancestors on my mother’s side (I am very strongly part Cherokee, and could live on the reservation like my mother did at one time if I wanted to, though I do not intend to do so) believed in spirit animals, which are basically animals that represent people and their certain traits. My mother’s is a deer, for example. I have never been given mine (I don’t even know how that works) but I strongly believe mine is a spider. I’m not superstitious about it, or anything. I just think that the animal that inspires me and that I best identify with is the spider.
Well, here I go, about to head out with a shovel, to dig a (small) hole in the backyard. I don’t care if people think it’s ridiculous to bury a spider. It’s no more ridiculous than burying a dog or cat, in my opinion. But here I go, to bury Little Jimmy.