heart attack (long story, sorry, I do that)

Echoezra

Established Member
Okay I may have calmed down enough to tell you guys about this now. Although I'm ashamed at my stupidity, and feel terrible.
So The long pre-story part of the story is this:
I have two chameleons. They are in 100 gallon flexariums. Right before I got them I was setting up their cages & suddenly realized that both flexariums would not fit on the dresser I had planned to put them on, because the wall is slanted and cuts into the height at that end of the dresser. So I rigged up this double-stacked arrangement with the cages lengthwise, while I figured out other arrangements. So far it's been okay, they really like the 4 ft width. But the watering/drainage battle is awkward. I'm waiting on an order of flextrays,which should help no matter where I put them. I bought shelves to put one on the other side of the room, but it's a little too long to put the way I wanted it, and the other way blocks my closet, and the other spot is kind of far away from any plugs. sigh. It's hard to mess around in there too much because my husband works midnights, and the days he doesn't work, I work. That's why it's taken so long.
So I've been rearranging my daughter's room thinking I can put one of them in there. She's excited. That's been a bigger rearrangement. Should be finished this weekend (extra days off)
Anyways, the point is that Zaphod's cage is stacked on top of Zelig's cage. And I'm shrimpy. So I have to get on a ladder to spray and feed and clean, etc.
So far I've been just wiping out bins but there was a lot of water accumulated (I spray him a lot anyways, but I've been spraying him like crazy the last few days cause he's been shedding) so I unzipped the whole cage (not easy to do because there is a huge dog bed that takes up the whole empty space of our bedroom floor so I can only set up the high stepladder on the left side of the cage. Usually I unzip the top as far to the right as I can reach, and then just reach my arm in and spray or clean or whatever. This time, I had to fully unzip so I could get to the bottom to remove the big bin. This involved precarious reaching and then climbing on laundry baskets.. anyways. Got bin out. Got bin back in. Got zipper up pretty far on right hand side. - Decided to leave it at that. ***mistake.
You see, I have left the top left corner open on countless occasions. He is up so high, and there's nothing to really reach out onto, and he's never shown any interest in coming even to the front section of that corner. Maybe that's cause that's where the big scary lady comes in? Anyways, never an issue at all. So I assumed if I left the other end open it would be the same.
Now, I did see him come up to the front of the vine on the other end yesterday while it was open. He looked curious. I offered him my hand to see if he wanted to come out. Oh, hell no! He retreated. Same thing a little later.
I should have recognized that curious up-frontedness as a sign to watch out. But I didn't think too much of it, because he never tried anything, so I thought he just enjoyed the "freedom" of the clear view for a change.
Anyways, I zipped it up as far as I could reach from standing in the clothes basket, (about 8/10 of the way up) and then zipped up the other side to the top, but left the whole top edge undone. I have left the top edge undone like this (although only 3/4 of the way) many times without event. I also have a towel that hangs in front to block the view of the light from the bed, and this towel kind of partially covers the open top section.
Anyways, he was fine like that overnight, and this morning, I opened up and watered, and fed him crickets, everything was cool. Watered again, still cool. Watered again, still cool.
Now for the actual story.
I'm out here in the living room area, typing away on this forum, actually, while waiting for something to download.
I hear this commotion from the bedroom, a couple of small scrambles, but I recognize that scruffling sound as the ferret scrambling around behind my bedroom door, trying to get behind my dresser, and possibly the young cat behind that bedroom door trying to get the ferret (he's getting to the point where he doesn't fit behind the dresser anymore like he used to so there's often a bit of commotion while he goofs around behind the door waiting to pounce on the ferret when she comes out.
There's a few things stacked up against the wall behind the door, so it usually makes some scruffling noises. No big deal. My husband wasn't waking up so I didn't worry about it. I let them have their fun.
Until I heard it again, and realized - I never let the ferret out today.
Yeah, been feeling kinda crappy, didn't feel like chasing her around, thought I'd wait til the kids got home and they could play follow the ferret.
So what was the kitty chasing?
Probably a cricket. lol. I have dropped two the last couple days.
But it is making a bit of a racket, don't want hubby to wake up, so I go in there and pull the door away from the wall. Sure enough, there's the cat, eyes peeled on the corner.
"whatcha got buddy? bug? have you got a crazy cricket? good boy, round up those crickets!" I didn't see any cricket.
I was going to catch it for him so he could get out from behind there. I took a look going, I should really move this crap from behind here so I don't have to listen to noise anymore. There's a big miniblind leaning there, and a piece of cardboard of some sort behind it, what's that green thing, a hornworm hanging there? "did a hornworm get loose, is that what you're after?" It's huge if it is, lol. No, that whole top of the cardboard is green, must be one of the kids art projects...
OH MY GOOOOOOOOOOOODDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD!!!!
Yeah, no. that was my upside-down chameleon, pinned behind the miniblinds, resting on top of the piece of cardboard. The first noise must have been him falling back there (the scratching sound that is usually a ferret) and the second one was my cat going back there saying WTF??
Heart stopped. Breathing stopped. (mine)
I scooped him up, now heart pounding in fear but relief because that frozen creature was now grabbing back onto me with all his might. Holy crap.
I checked him over, and amazingly, he seems totally fine, his death grip thanking me.
Cat obviously didn't touch him (the other two have no front claws, but this one does and isn't all that careful about not using them when pawing at things, although I do keep them trimmed frequently so not so puncturey, they do still scratch when you get pawed at unexpectedly.) he has however caught mice before and not broken the skin even after multiple catch & releases (thanks alot cat, would you kill that thing already, I don't want it biting me!) So I don't know if he would be gentle with a chameleon the same way or not, but I take no risks, I don't even let him LOOK at the cages for too long at a time.
Still not sure entirely how he made it that far over, I suppose from the outside of the cage he could reach the towels hanging on the hook on the door which was open, then must have climbed to the top edge of the door, and along, then fell over the back edge, upside-down, landing behind the leaning miniblinds as he slid down the wall.
He seems okay, nothing seems broken or scratched that I could tell.

Anyways, sorry for the extended, director's cut version.

Poor guy though. Seriously, you could tell he was distraught. But honestly, you could also tell he was relieved. It was different from when I've taken him out of the cage, this was a grateful, thank god kind of reaction to me holding him. So maybe there was a small lesson there? Like I'm not just the torturer, I can be the saviour as well. I CAN be trusted to help.
Actually, when I went to put him back in his cage, it was weird, I thought he'd be FINALLY!! and scramble in like a freak, but he didn't, he kind of went half in, then stopped. Wouldn't let go of my hand with his back feet, even though his front was safely in, had hold of a vine. Like "will you stay with me for a while??" Almost broke my heart.

Anyways,

Moral of the story - ALWAYS DO UP YOUR ZIPPERS, ALL THE WAY.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
OMG! Hilarious story with a happy ending! You could have just shortened it and said you left the zipper open, cham got out, cat almost got it, I saved it YAY now it likes me???!!!! They are curious little buggers that is for sure. Give them an inch and they will take a mile!!!
 

Echoezra

Established Member
LOL, I know, but your version wouldn't have built up the scene and suspense... I like to set the mooood... hahah.
Also, I was trying to incorporate the lesson that I didn't just forget to close it, it was actually a combination of laziness & cockiness. Both bad things.
And the explanation that the setup that caused it was only temporary, and I have learned my lesson. :(
...take a mile. Yeah, a mile straight DOWN! Head first!! (dumbass.):rolleyes:

I still don't know about him liking me just yet. lol. May have been a bump on the head kinda moment. We'll see. ;)

OMG! Hilarious story with a happy ending! You could have just shortened it and said you left the zipper open, cham got out, cat almost got it, I saved it YAY now it likes me???!!!! They are curious little buggers that is for sure. Give them an inch and they will take a mile!!!
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
Maybe the fall knocked some sense into him and he will like you now!;) I am glad the liitle guy is ok!
 

Echoezra

Established Member
On a side note, is 11 months old like the "teenage years" to chameleons?
Feels like it.
- - Hates my public displays of affection...
Catch him sneaking out of the house...
Have to go pick him up out of a dangerous situation...
today I found our first "manly deposit".....:eek:
 

Tandra Lee

New Member
OMG echoezra!!! lmao..what a long long long story!! hahaha but yes you did manage to build up the suspense thats for sure:D i have been tempted too but not after your looooooooooooooong story :D glad im not the only one on here who does that hahaha...glad he was ok:eek:
 

dagy24

New Member
Ahaha oh god. Poor thing. Good thing the cat didn't go for him. Today I thought I lost mine, I forgot to fully close the cage and couldn't find him in there. Apparently he was sleeping in a plant as I frantically tore the cage apart looking! They're such little creeps.
 
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