Goodbye Cricket

Well, I’m sad to report that Cricket, our green anole, has gone to the big terrarium in the sky.

In case you’ve missed the Cricket saga, this was the lizard who jumped on the hood of our truck and who inexplicably refused to hop in the grass when I offered escape. Instead he took one look in our truck two years ago and leaped inside to the delight of the kids.

I was, of course, horrified that now we had a pet that required live bugs for dinner.

Cricket survived the demise of not one, but TWO pet stores in the area (so now I had to drive 20 miles for BUGS). He also survived the best efforts of our cat at assassination, and at least two accidental falls.

He was often carted off to the bathroom for tub time and every now and then I’d hear a scream and know that he had almost jumped out – or onto Mireya. Sierra, our oldest, taught him to jump through a pony tail holder, Mireya slowly got to the point where he could crawl on her arm without a total meltdown.

This was a green anole that loved to be petted, he’d close his eyes if you rubbed his head. And although we toyed with the idea of releasing him many times, he never seemed interested in leaving. We worried about him being too much of a target in a world that wouldn’t really appreciate his poetic nature.

But when he stopped hunting crickets last week and stopped ducking from the water droplets, we knew the time was coming. We tried to make him comfortable in the sun. We petted him and he lifted his head to the touch, closing his eyes like always.

We got back from a brief trip and he was gone, his body half brown as if he was just in the middle of a final color change.

We found a box and filled it with cotton balls and tissue. We stood around a small hole where we set him and remembered all the funny stories. The time he jumped from my arm to my shirt and I shouted “He’s jumped! Where did he go?” and everybody was laughing, pointing at my shoulder where he hung on for dear life while I whirled around looking for him. Then there was the time he got tangled in Daddy’s hair. The time we snuck him into a restaurant because we wanted him to have an adventure.

What an adventure he was. Rest in Peace, Cricket.