Imagine this scenario, if you will. You wake up at 6am and manage to stumble bleary-eyed into the bathroom to take a shower. The water finally hits the perfect temperature and you reach for your bottle of shampoo. At that moment, you realize that you are not alone.
Yes, you have a bathroom guest in the form of a gecko. This friendly critter has been showing up in my shower randomly for the past few weeks. I never know when he will appear, and he never fails to surprise me when he does.
If you have a keen eye for detail, you might notice from the picture above that his tail seems to be unusually short. As a defense mechanism, some lizards will “drop” their tails to trick predators into thinking they have caught their prey. The tail continues to wiggle for a few minutes after it falls off – which is extremely interesting to see in person. This tail drop happened as I was trying to gently remove him from my shower. He decided I was a threat – and off came his tail.
I don’t believe they feel pain from this defense mechanism, but it can cause them to have issues with balance as they get used to the change. It also makes them more susceptible to predators – they no longer have a tail to drop. The tail will eventually regenerate, but I still felt terrible for being the “predator” in this situation.
I honestly don’t mind geckos, or any bug eating creatures really, hanging out in my bathroom – but this little guy was right in the path of the shower stream and I didn’t want him to drown! I still had to catch him. After a short struggle, I finally managed to grab him.
Once he was sitting on my hand he was relatively calm – though I am sure it was just because he was terrified. I took a quick picture (after all, we do live in a time when everything must be photographed) and I placed him in a safer area. As soon as he had the chance he quickly scurried out of sight.
After I sent the picture of me holding the gecko to my sister, my 5-year old niece decided his name was “Iggy”. Iggy still pops up occasionally in my shower just to freak me out and keep my showers interesting, but I have noticed fewer bugs since he started visiting regularly so I’m cool with that. Free meals and no predators for him, and no annoying bugs for me. It’s win-win!