|2005 the first Hermit Crab that we had ever seen|
It's a fascination that has become an obsession, an obsession sparked by a casual comment of a vacationing guest at Villa Mar Caribe. Apparently once the miniscule hermit crab babies leave the ocean to live on land they are constantly on the lookout for new shells. They are unable grow their own shells, and must find progressively larger shells that have been discarded or washed up on the beach.
|Water, some cat food as a treat - and they will come!|
|The best shells - this batch marked with pale pink nail polish|
|Worn out, broken, holed, plastic bottle caps - trade-ins.|
|Went walk-about from our house to our friends, 10 lots north|
|Two hermit crabs stealing a quick snack from our cats' kibble|
Fortunately the cats don't bother the hermit crabs because they are no fun to harass - merely snapping back into their shells with a loud clack when poked by a furry paw. My crazy little Mexican cat, Chica, delights in slapping the crabs (like mini hockey pucks) along the patio in the evenings. Occasionally a crab or two will wander into our house looking for cat food or a refreshing bath in the cats' water dish. This activity does not sit well with our two spoiled felines.
The embarrassing part of this whole fascination is that I can no longer keep up with shells from beach combing. We have in excess of 300 crabs visiting the Crab-a-tat on a regular basis. I now have a local shell supplier who makes house calls once a month to restock my supplies, and various friends have dropped off donations of shells that they have found!
It's a little out of hand, but what the heck it's a harmless obsession.