Here he is, shortly after I got him in May 1999, sitting in the palm of my hand:
And here he is today, getting ready to shed:
I do not know what possessed him last night, but at 11PM, as I was about to go to bed, he climbed down from his bed, where he'd been sleeping for several hours, and started wandering. When I picked him up to put him back to bed, I realized he was quite 'full', and remembered that he hadn't pooped in the afternoon. I put him in his potty place, and eventually he let go with the second of the day's deposits (enough poop for a medium-sized dog, plus several ounces of urates). Then, instead of going back bed, he decided to eat again. After scarfing down another plate of food, off he went, roaming, trying to find a place.
Couch? No. On the lovely soft pillow under my desk that Stacy gave him? No. Please, Mike, on the couch? No again. Back to his own bed? Nuh-uh. He came down and roamed some more. Under the chair in the living room (as I enticingly held up the skirt for him to make it easier for him to crawl under there)? No. Under the living room couch? Nope. Back to his bed I put him again. Down he came again, as I wait to see if any of the still-up neighbors have called the police about the suspicious flashlight beam moving around in Melissa's house (because Melissa didn't want to wake up the tortoise or turtle who share the ig room with Mike). How about the den couch (third time's a charm, right?)? No way.
Apparently, deep in the part of the lizard brain known as Haven't Annoyed The Mommy Enough Today, we kept this up for over an hour. Well, Mike kept it up while I followed along, periodically rounding him up and putting him to bed in the ig room.
Now seriously past the time I needed to go to bed, I turned off all the lights and put him on the den couch again, covered by the flannel blankie his Auntie Juliette gave him, and I went to bed, only to have to get up again 20 minutes later as I hear the sh-sh-sh-shhh sound of Mike's tail coming down the hallway towards my bedroom.
Up I get, throw on a robe to protect my bare legs from said tail, and off we go to the ig room and his bed for the fifth? sixth? time in the past 90 minutes.
A half hour later, the sh-sh-sh-shhh of his tail is masked by the klump-klump-klump of Mike's feet as he comes tromping down the hallway. (It is fascinating how Mike can move soundlessly down the hallway, and what noise he chooses to make when he chooses to announce his approach.)
As the ambient room air temperature was within the okay range for him, I decided I'd give up if he chose to sleep under the bed, so I just lay there, waiting to see what he would do. He navigated around the furniture and shoes and stuff in the dark, went under the bed, and after moving around a bit under there, slept under the bed, with just his head sticking out from the corner of the bed, the dust ruffle draped around his neck.
Happy hatchday, brat!