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Tuesday, October 21, 2008

The story of Cody the Crab!

I don't think I've posted the story about our Hermit Crab Cody. It's a pretty neat story and the boys love telling it.

Back in July I posted that I let the boys pick out Hermit Crabs down in Va beach. Corbin named his Cody and Landon named his Mark/Max/Shadow...we'll call him Mark.

We bought the little cages, sponges, food, even a childrens book to learn how to care for them. I was pretty excited being that I have never owned one or held one for that matter. So I was just as excited as my boys.

Unfortunately Mark did not make it through the night. I was told that this very well could happen...and that it was pretty common. So we decided that Cody would no longer be "Corbin's" but the family Crab.

I read up on Hermit Crabs, and tried to figure out ways to keep him alive in fear that he would die soon as well. I heard that Crabs don't like to be alone so I was determined to get Cody a playmate.

Back in August or September when we took the boat out to the island and camped out a night I ended up finding 5 Hermit Crabs. 3 little ones and 2 large ones. These suckers were UGLY, nothing like Cody. Clearly they were a different species of Crab. But because I had talked to people who had the beach kind I went ahead and took the home to be playmates for Cody.

I kept the little ones in the cage with Cody and the larger ones in a seperate cage to themselves.
It didn't take long for me to see that Cody wasn't liking his new company. He was literally trying to attack the other little crabs. I felt so bad for them so I had no choice but take the risk of putting Cody in with the big guys. This actually went over great. The big guys left Cody alone and Cody just climbed all over them like they were his own personal jungle gym. Everything was going well.


I woke up one morning to Corbin saying "Where is Cody?". I got up to check it out. Cody was no where to be found. The top of the cage as a little window that opens.....well it wasn't shut all the way. Cody had escaped =(

We were very upset and searched the kitchen which is where we kept the cages. We figured he couldn't have gone far and he had to be around somewhere. We had NO luck....he was gone. I figured at some point we'd smell something funny and eventually find him but we gave up trying.

In the following week each one of the beach Crabs died off one by one. I felt so guilty bringing them home to those cages just for them to die. Especially the big ones. I read Hermit Crabs can live up to 30yrs. As far as I know those big ones could have been 20yrs old already =( I learned my lesson I will never bring home a beach crab again!

Eventually they were all gone and I cleaned the cages out and put them away. It was an experience and I'm glad we did it.

About 2 or 3 weeks later the boys were playing in the kitchen. I don't remember what they were doing but they were playing on the floor. I was in our TV room...most likely watching TV lol Corbin came running into the room screaming "I found Cody". I was surprised and thrilled at the same time (no dead crab hiding somewhere in my house). I guess he had made his way near the dryer and fell in between a cabinet and the dryer. I took one look at him and he was clearly dead...had dust all over his shell and you could see his claw inside the shell all discolored.
The boys wanted to bury him but it was dark out so I put the shell on the back of the sink to wait until the next day. The boys were sad he was gone but happy we finally found him.

Later that night after the boys were in bed I was in the back room reading a magazine...the house was quiet so I could hear pretty much everything.
I heard some noise coming from the kitchen, I went in there to check it out. I didn't notice anything at first until I looked at the sink and there was Cody walking around.

How in the world did this Crab survive being without food for that long, or being in a horrible climate like the side of a cabinet with no water or moisture. He didn't look well and he was moving very slow so I could tell he wasn't going to last very long.

I got out one of the cages and set it up again...put some food and water inside of it. I wasn't holding my breath but I knew the kids would find it amazing that he was still alive when they saw him in the morning.

We lost Mark within the first night, we lost the beach crabs all in one week. And from what I had heard from other people these crabs didn't usually live past 2 weeks in captivity. Cody had all odds against him but this little guy was STILL ALIVE!

We watched him closely after that. Just waiting, waiting for the day that Cody would die.....that day has not come yet.
Our Cody is still alive after 4mos as our pet it's been a rocky for 4mos for him.......losing a dear friend in the first 24hrs, battling with newcomers, escaping, and being trapped in a horrible place for 2 weeks....He is now back to being alone in his own cage which honestly is how I think he likes it. He seems happy =)

Thanks for reading!


Janna said...

Wow! I'm glad for you (and Cody) that he made it. That's pretty remarkable. I don't know if I could handle thinking about a dead crab in the house. Just reading your story made me get slight heeby-jeebies!