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Monday 24 February 2014

Welcome Cookie

I can't believe he's been in our home for almost a month and I still haven't introduced him here on Little Hiccups. Just who am I talking about? Well...

He's little.

He's scaly.

He's yellow.

He's spotty.

And he's the newest member of our household.

Meet Cookie, Ava's brand new pet gecko!

Hello Cookie!

Cookie is a leopard gecko. You may have guessed from the fact that I kept using "he" that Cookie is a boy. He's still quite young, maybe 7 to 10 months old, and still has a lot of growing to do - although he has already grown an awful lot in the time that we've had him. By the time he's fully grown Cookie should be between 8 and 11 inches long.

Ava keeps an eye on her new little friend the day we picked him up

What's this clear stuff blocking my escape?

We picked Cookie up from East Bay Vivarium on February 1st so he really has been with us for almost a month. Because he's still quite young he was pretty skittish and not quite comfortable being handled when we first got him, but he has calmed down a lot now. We gave him plenty of time to get settled into his new home before we started handling him. The first few times I picked him up he squealed at me and bit my fingers! His little bites don't hurt at all but I was more than a little worried that he'd freak out and lose his tail! 

After a week of Cookie being in our home we let Ava hold him for the first time. She had been so eager to give him a cuddle since we brought him home but I figured it was best to wait until he had been held by a grown up a few times before letting her have a go. Cookie didn't seem too fussed by Ava holding him. He's a pretty fast runner though so we had to be very careful that he didn't get out of her hands and run away! 

Ava's first hold

Happy on Ava's arm

Climbing over Ava's arm

Little spotty head

Doing the splits!

Cookie really seems to like climbing on my belly. I guess it's a big, kind of horizontal area that he can cling to easily!

A lizard and a bump

Cookie's favourite place to sit

The girls have been eager to play with Cookie as much as possible, but as I mentioned earlier he's pretty fast so we've got to be careful that he doesn't get away from us when he's out. They had a lot of fun building Duplo mazes for Gecky (Ava's class gecko that we looked after over Christmas) and have been keen to do the same with Cookie. Cookie wasn't too sure what to think about the Duplo but he did seem to like climbing over it. We've been amazed at just how high he can climb. At one point the girls made a little house for him that was about 6 Duplo blocks high the whole way round. Somehow he scaled those slippery blocks with his little clawed feet and was out within seconds!

Trying to blend in with the giraffe and seal

Climbing over the flowers


Going through the door

In the time that we've had Cookie he has shed his skin twice already. I guess he's growing so fast that he outgrows his skin in no time. Unlike Gecky who was super lazy about removing her loose skin, Cookie chews it off and eats it (which geckos are supposed to do). We do find tiny bits of the shed skin left in his vivarium but not much of it.

Half way through shedding

Ava checks out Cookie's skin

Comparing freckles?

As well as eating his own shed skin (mmm... delicious!) Cookie eats about ten crickets per day. No wonder he's growing so fast! When we looked after Gecky we fed her two or three crickets every second day. Younger geckos need to eat a lot more, so for now Cookie is a total guts and eats a lot. At some point the amount he eats will start to decrease and eventually he'll just need a few crickets every second day. By the time he gets to that stage he can also eat a pinky mouse every now and then. The idea of feeding him a baby mouse grosses me out but the girls seem quite intrigued by it and can't wait to feed him one. Yuck. Then again, the crickets aren't the nicest thing either!

Ava holds the container of crickets

Cookie chomps on a cricket

So, now you've all met Cookie. Not much longer and we'll be introducing another new member of our household - let's just hope she won't ever eat a cricket!

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