I went down to our postbox earlier this afternoon, to fetch the latest addition to the family: a Thorny stick insect.
Freya has been interested in having a pet for a few years, now. A stick insect was decided upon, after giving her a choice of pets that would fit our lives and livestyle: Mum is allergic to the fur of some animals, and we live in a flat near the centre of town. Dogs and cats were immediately out of the equation, and whilst a degu had a lot going for it, we still did not know if Jo’s allergy would allow it. So, a stick insect it was.
We encountered a further moral issue. Since most stick insect are parthenogetic, we had to track down species that required two to tango. Our qualm was that we did not feel comfortable with crushing or freezing any fertile eggs produced. Luckily, we found a place just a stick insects throw away that was able to find something that required a partner to reproduce. Unfortunatelt, we could not go and pick up our friend: it had to be sent by post.
We will not know which sex it is until it has grown a bit bigger, when the differences between the sexes will become apparent. For now, it is called Spiken.
When Spiken first saw the light of day since being unceremously placed in a plastic jar and shived into a postbox, it was most lethargic. When we furnished its net and plastic vivarium with oak twigs and a spraying of water, it seemed a little happier, seemingly drinking water like it was going out of fashion.
So now, a few hours after its arrival, Freya has already played hide and seek with it, and is very excited about finally having a pet.