Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Karma Chameleon

So on September 30, 2011, I walked into the home improvement store where I work and all the cashiers were freaking out because a lizard had jumped off of one of the tropical plants. The way that they were acting, I thought a Komodo Dragon was wandering around the store, eating people. At the very least, I thought it was a good size lizard, maybe a gecko. I look under the registers and see this tiny little lizard that was about two inches long and about 1/4 inch thick. After making fun of my colleagues for being afraid of something so harmless, I put her in a bucket and declared her my new pet. My friend (who for the purpose of this blog will be called J) had her mom bring up the terrarium that used to house her tarantulas and gave it to me. We decided to call her Karma after the song, Karma Chameleon. Now, I am aware that Karma was a Cuban anole, not a chameleon, but I love 80's pop music, so I didn't care.
Karma, just relaxing.

Karma, next to a penny.

Today, September 10, 2012, I turned Karma's heat lamp on and started spritzing her new terrarium down with water to wake her and the crickets that we had given her up. Usually, when I mist the tank, she ran under her plant to get away from the water, but today I saw no movement. I looked around the tank and there she was, floating in the little pond that I built for her new, bigger tank. I cried and called for my fiance. Then I tried misting her, just to make sure. It didn't work, she was dead.

As I write this, I'm going through the grieving process. I know it's weird, grieving for a tiny lizard who hated me and I'm pretty sure wanted me dead, but I was attached. As atheists, we must go through watching the people and pets that we love die with no hope of seeing them in an afterlife. This makes it harder to deal with death, I think. I know that I won't see my loved ones after I die, but it makes it so much sweeter because I can fully appreciate the time I had with them here. I can remember the silly times with my grandpa and uncle, that first time I laid eyes on my amazing puppy that I would love for 17 years, and the time I rescued a lizard from eventually dying of starvation or cold. These experiences make us who we are, and I'm glad that I am having them without religion clouding my memories.