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A True Escape
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Thread: A True Escape

  1. #1
    Website Admin Bell's Avatar
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    A True Escape

    I once had my rosie leave her enclosure, only to go back. This is about a spider that went missing for real, though.

    Eric and I were living at his dad's for a few months up until Oct. I had put all of my tarantulas and my gecko into a side room. The room served multiple purposes, one being it was where a cat box was kept. So, we couldn't close the door or keeps the cats out of the room. In Oct, Eric's dad's cat, GiGi, started taking notice to my spiders. (It only took her four months.) I started seeing her sitting on my Payson Blonde's cage. The screen is a sturdy metal, so I wasn't worried about her falling through. I was more worried about Fang, well, fanging her. When I'd see her on it, I'd scold her. But I could tell she was going on it more times than I saw because the sling vials I kept on top of it kept getting knocked over. I told Eric and his dad that GiGi was sitting on my spider's enclosure but neither seemed concerned. I told Eric that Fang could potentially paralyze the cat but that still didn't seem to phase him.

    Late Oct Eric and I left town for a week. I begrudgingly left the cats and my exotics in Dave's care. (Dave once let a betta fish I left in his care die over the course of a four day trip.) When we got back (this would be Oct 24th) I immediately checked on the animals. Cats are alive. Spiders are alive. Gecko is alive.

    Over the next week I didn't have much time to do a lot of cage maintenance. Except for my daily dealings with the gecko I didn't really pay attention to the enclosures. Whenever I'd go in that room, Georgia, my cat, would come with me and she kept looking at something behind a desk. I could never see what she was looking at, though, and chalked it up to being an escaped cricket driving her crazy.

    Then spider feeding night came. I was standing by the spider table doing my thing when I glanced down and saw an open spider enclosure laying on the ground. My first thought was that "I know I was rushed the last time I did cage maintenance but it's not cool for me to leave a dirty container just laying around after transferring the spider to a new home." Then I thought, "What spider was in that, anyway? ... Oh...."


    The A sp "Murrietta" I won at the ATS was in that enclosure and I certainly did not re-house her before I left. I didn't think to make sure that not only are the spiders alive but all are accounted for.

    Talk about 0 - Livid in 60 seconds.

    I had already had my rosie, Mars, for a year before we even got Georgia. The spiders came first so OUR cats have always been around them. Yet they pay them no mind. I can set my rosie in front of Georgia and she completely ignores it. GiGi, though... GiGi is the only one of the three cats I've ever seen on top of the spider table. GiGi must have knocked that spider's enclosure off the table, thereby freeing her. The thing is, though, I didn't think they killed the spider. I know those cats and if they killed that spider, the spider's body would be laying where she died. Once any creature they're playing with starts dying they lose interest. Also, I don't think they would have killed and eaten the spider because, well, it's big and that's a lot of itchy hairs. I couldn't even find a tarantula leg!

    So where IS the spider? I started looking in every nook and cranny in that room. I dug all around the desk where Georgia kept looking. I couldn't find anything, though. I'd get up in the middle of the night to see if she's out prowling and being all nocturnal. Nope. The spider escape-by-cat was the last straw on the amassed haystack of issues I had living at Eric's dad's house. So we moved that weekend. Still, after clearing our stuff out of that room I couldn't find that spider, either dead or alive.

    Yesterday morning Eric emails me:
    My dad emailed me this morning saying that last night Gigi found your tarantula, and my dad captured it in a box.
    Astonishment. One month later that spider is still alive?? No food or water provided. She still had a cat (sometimes two) to avoid. And the house gets so cold it can kill a betta fish in four days. Still alive?? I can't believe she survived the fall off the table and the, I'm sure, harrowing escape from three cats.

    Eric went out to his dad's house to pick her up last night. I get an email from him saying, "Call me." I knew immediately something was wrong with the spider. "She's on her back and death curling." I asked him to send me a picture and this is what I got:

    Scratches on her abdomen. Missing a leg. Man, had I known she was injured I would have gone to get her, also. She needed medical attention and ASAP. I really wish Eric's dad would have contacted us the moment he found her. I know to most folks a spider is a spider but she's more to me. If this was my lost cat he would have called me that night, right? And how do you look at a 7-legged arachnid and not realize it's missing a leg? Having eight legs is part of what makes a spider and spider! I guess I should feel lucky he didn't squash her on sight.

    She lost her leg right where she needed to for it to seal up properly, but Eric told me he could still see wet hemoglyph on the stump.

    I told Eric to flip her over and put flour on her wound.


    Eric brought her home and I put her back in her old enclosure. I never cleaned it out because I was hoping to find her alive. Her abdomen was half the size it was when I last saw her. I had to pick her up to move her. She was very limp. When she did move she was very jerky. I soaked part of the soil and gave her a full water dish. Then I put her in my dark and warm spider closet.

    Well, last night was feeding night. A couple hours later when I went into the closet to feed my buggles I saw she had moved. She had somehow climbed over to her plant and was using it to prop herself up perpendicular to the ground. I was very surprised to see she was moving. Then she climbed off her plant and walked over to her water dish. When she walked she moved normally, she wasn't jerking anymore. She proceeded to drink from her water dish the rest of the time I was feeding the other animals.

    This was her this morning:

    Unless she climbed into that position and died, she's still alive.

    That poor thing. I'm glad to have her back. It's good to have some closure as to what happened to her after her escape. I at least wanted to find her tarantula body. I've decided to name her "Champ" because she's a champ for surviving as long as she has. She's still a ways away from molting as her abdomen isn't very dark (I can see her exoskeleton through a couple bald spots she's apparently kicked off during her freedom), so she's got a while before she can repair herself. I'm crossing my fingers that she makes it.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator widowman10's Avatar
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    Re: A True Escape

    nice! spiders are hardy critters, aren't they?! i've been amazed by one or two that i was sure were goners, but came back and thrived. well done!

  3. #3
    Website Admin Bell's Avatar
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    Re: A True Escape

    They're, like, hardy, little water balloons. Haha. They can be so delicate, sometimes.

    This made me privy to some weird T behavior I haven't seen before. So, last night when I saw her on her plant straight up and down she was, like, hanging on the leaf but then she'd bend the leaf around, sit, bend the leaf around, sit. Like, I have no idea what she could have been doing? She needed to be at that angle to get the blood pumping but not to her wound?? And I wonder if she was doing the same thing in the box and maybe when Eric picked it up to look at her she fell on her back (hence that first pic he sent me)...?

    Then when she walked over to the water dish she didn't start drinking right away. She spent a few minutes scraping the dish with her front legs. It almost looked like she was trying to scoop water into her mouth...? Then she pulled herself on top of the water and started drinking.

    I don't often have injured spiders so I haven't seen anything like that before.

  4. #4
    Website Admin Bell's Avatar
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    Re: A True Escape

    She's still alive!!

  5. #5
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    Re: A True Escape

    How's your girl doing? I'm totally rooting for her!

  6. #6
    Website Admin Bell's Avatar
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    Re: A True Escape

    She's still alive! I fed her and she seemed interested in eating (was pouncing on crickets) but didn't actually eat. I don't know if her missing leg is preventing her from catching crickets or not. Before she was set free she had stopped eating so she may just be fasting... and was irritated with the crickets' presences? But, yeah, she seems to be doing well! Thanks for asking!

  7. #7
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    Re: A True Escape

    I was just looking around on Facebook for you to see about her! I still don't remember my password to the forum - but this particular computer knows it = hurray

    Is she still doing well?

    All of the A. Sp. I have had/have are superb fasters - I don't believe I've had one of them take food in a couple months now. They binged initially, being wild caught, but now that they are settled in - nada.
    Lisa B.

  8. #8
    Website Admin Bell's Avatar
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    Re: A True Escape

    Yeah, I only went back to FB to take care of some business. I'm gone again! It's the devil, I tells you! If you use Firefox you can get your saved password from Tools > Options > Security. If you're not using FF, I'm no help there, haha.

    Yup, still alive and moving around! I may try feeding her again tonight but I suspect she won't eat. Hmm... maybe I'll post updated pics. She somehow got all the flour off of her, too.

  9. #9
    Website Admin Bell's Avatar
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    Re: A True Escape

    Well, I guess she didn't get ALL the flour off of her... there's still some in her fovea. But here's Champ as of tonight, still alive and kicking:

  10. #10
    Super Moderator widowman10's Avatar
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    Re: A True Escape

    nice!!

  11. #11
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    Re: A True Escape

    Go Champ Go!

  12. #12
    Website Admin Bell's Avatar
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    Re: A True Escape

    Darlene (arachno-girl) and Colette adopted Champ last night. I know Champ has gone to a good home. Darlene has had a handful of my spiders over the years.

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