Melissa Kaplan's
Herp Care Collection
Last updated January 1, 2014

Mikey Pics

Okay, so I don't take nearly as many photos of the 'kids' now as I did 15 years ago, nor as well as I used to.

©2004 Melissa Kaplan


Mikey hatched on September 12, 1997. As of mid 2005, at age 7+ years, Mikey is 21" SVL, 50" STL, and weighs 21 pounds.

For those who have never had the pleasure of holding a Cyclura hybrid before, you can 'make' one at home to approximate what it is like to pick up and hold one.

For the body, first duct tape a couple of 10 pound bags of flour end to end, then cover them in coarse grade sandpaper, sand-side out. Next, glue a carpet tack strip down the middle of one wide side.

To create a 'tail', lightly fill a kneesock with rice or dried beans, glue more carpet tack stripping to the outside surface, tack-side out, of course, and attach the tack-lined weighted sock to the flour sacks so that the 'tail' swings heavily when you walk with your 'Cyclura'.

To really get a sense of what it's like, make sure you are wearing a lightweight short-sleeved t-shirt and shorts when you pick up and walk around with your Cycie.

Mikey asleep at sundown.

Mike is strongly diurnal. Well before the sun actually sets in the west behind the back of the houses across the street from my home, Mikey is already snugged down in his sleep place of choice for that night. Here, he is by the eastern window in the Iguana Room, where he normally spends much of his day. Those of you who have read my Setting Up Free-Roamers article may recognize Mikey from the 1999 photo of the same window and 'table'. Then again, you may not!

A closer-in picture of a now briefly awakened Mikey.

Same time, closer in. Eyes showing clearly he'd prefer The Mommy to get the heck outta his room.

Close up of the changes on his face associated with normal skin shedding.

A close-up of Mike's head a few days later as the 'frosting' on his face is now more advanced as he proceeds to his next shed. For those who aren't used to Cyclura eyes, the reddish-orange sclera is their normal color. When he gets into raging dominance mode, or raging ticked off mode, the color intensifies.


Mike and Sidney
Sidney is my goddog. In one of those twists that life likes to throw us, when I got sick in 1990, one of the things that altered was my react to mammalian proteins. The result was that I could not be around dogs, cats and other mammals (at least, those that groomed themselves and spewed aerosolized proteins into the environment I came into contact with). That meant that not only could I keep dogs and cats, I could no longer work with them (not that I could keep working, anyway), or go into pet stores that sold them, or stores where there was a resident dog or cat. It also meant I could not spend time with friends who had dogs and cats.

As a result, when my friend Karen and her husband adopted a Dobermann puppy from the local animal shelter, I couldn't meet him. I was already severely limited in visiting their house anyway, because of the third member of the household, Jack the cat. Those who know my love of animals, and who share the visceral need to interact with them on a regular basis as an important quality-of-life factor will understand how thrilled I was when, after my first six months of treatment for borreliosis and babesiosis, I could be around dogs and cats again!

Of course, that also meant that for the first time since I've had him, it meant that large furred creatures were going to be a part of Mikey's life, too.

Sidney, who is as highly socialized as Mike, and is very well obedience trained, is a near constant companion of Karen's when she's not at work. That means he is usually in the car when Karen and I do anything together, or when she comes over here. Which means that Mikey has to put up with Sidney raiding the feeding stations here, and riding in the car with him when the four of us do stuff together.

Anyone familiar with Iguana Stink Eye needs only to know that Cyclura iguanas are as adept as green iguanas at delivering a withering Stink Eye.

The funny thing is that when Sidney is on his own with his human mom or godmom, people fall all over themselves to talk to his humans and ask to pet him, and remark about what a big, beautiful boy he his. But when we add Mikey to the mix, well, it's like no one sees Sidney - all they see is Mike.

The following pictures are from a recent visit to Karen and Sidney's home. Since the remaining bit of "indestructible" Kong® didn't do much to provide scale, Karen stuck a wine bottle on the floor to better give a sense of the relative size difference between the 110 pound larger-than-breed-standard Sidney, and 21 pound, 50" STL Mikey.

Ventral view of Sidney and Mike.  Photos by Karen Wofford, 2005.


Cranial view of Sid and Mike.    Photos by Karen Wofford, 2005.

Side view of Sid & Mike.    Photos by Karen Wofford, 2005.

Mikey and His Baths

Mikey loves the bathtub, filled so that he can relax sprawled out with his nostrils above water. As you can see from the following photos, both taken in the same tub, he can no longer share his baths with anyone - not, you understand, that he would actually want to!


That's Rugwort on the left, who was ~14 years old, stunted from early poor care to 13" SVL.  That little lizard on the right is Mikey, a few months after his arrival.

That's Rugwort on the left, who was ~14 years old, stunted from early poor care to 13" SVL. That little lizard on the right is Mikey, a few months after his arrival.

Mike in the tub, Feb 2005.

A bit of a change, wouldn't you say? (Sept 2005)


No baths, just close-ups...

Closeup of Mike's face (Feb 2006).

The Face That Launched 1000 Psychoses (Feb 2006)


Close-up of face: Does this make my nose look big? (Feb 2006)

Does this make my nose look big? (Feb 2006)

Handsome fella.  (Feb 2006)

Isn't he a handsome fella?

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