Luis A. Quibranza III
WHO says Valentine’s Day should only be limited to bubbly, cheesy, warm-blooded human pairs alone? Not that this story is promoting relationships that go beyond what is normal, please. (Disturbing news involving people, chickens and goats made the rounds a couple of weeks ago; but that’s best left out, considering that those things are way too whacked out.)
Love is a general feeling, and though no one’s telling someone to take his pet out for a date, this story features those who actually take the time to collect and spend some money to raise some not-so-mainstream creatures. How’s that for a counter-culture?
“Normal pets are not challenging,” says Rinnier Guliman. “I love them and consider them part of my life.”
That’s quite a claim coming from someone’s who’s already been stung by his Emperor Scorpion. “Well, good thing that its poison is only level one. (But) I am no longer afraid since I know now how to tame them properly. Sometimes my cousins and I even play with these pets.”
Rinnier basically raises scorpions, an iguana, a Sailfin lizard and tarantulas.
Even Sun.Star Weekend writer Fiona Escandor has her own story to tell as well. But she’s into the tamer options.
“Right now I only have one hamster. His name is Pi (she claims it wasn’t inspired by the book or movie but was named after a Japanese pop star). He was given to me by my friends after my old hamster died.”
She had her first hamster experience when she was 16, thinking these little creatures were really cute. But eventually she learned that the smell of a hamster’s pee, packed quite a mean punch.
“I wanted to place the cage inside my room. But I didn’t realize hamster pee was smelly so we had to take the cage out.”
Fiona takes care of “normal” pets as well, two dogs—who she says are very good friends of Pi. The threesome maintains a long-distance sort of relationship of sort though for obvious reasons. But for the record, the dogs haven’t really ambushed Pi yet.
Another guy, Monsoy Durano, says he’s in it for the thrill. “I can’t call it love, but I like keeping them.” By “them” he means his guinea pigs, tarantulas, birds and a hedgehog.
Even if he’s not too sure about loving these creatures, he sure takes real good care of them. Here’s a detailed look at how Monsoy feeds his exotic pets: “Guinea pigs, I feed them unlimited napier grass, a little bit of Integra 3000 and Vitamin C every morning. For the hedgehog, Iams cat food, chicken meat, egg white—crickets or superworms twice a week. For the big tarantulas, I feed them seven crickets or seven blatta lateralis (writer’s note: if you hate roaches, don’t Google that blatta thing) once a week. The tiny ones get two or three a week. For the birds, dawa seeds mixed with canary mix and sunflower seeds for treats. For the small birds like finches, tropical finch mix if available, or just dawa seeds mixed with canary seeds.”
Monsoy calls it a hobby and Fiona just can’t get enough of the cute little critter.
But perhaps a lot out there who are into raising exotic pets as well, could relate to Rinnier on this one.
“I am collecting exotic pets to experience extraordinary happiness.”
With or without Valentine’s Day coming around.