It was a sunny June afternoon when I met Toasty.
For some time I knew I wanted to get a terrarium pet of some kind. I had a lot of ideas but nothing decided for sure, maybe some kind of arachnid. I went to the pet store to look and there I saw they had this species. They were really interesting so I went back home and did some research, bought some supplies. Then I came back, and they still had them.
There were a few scorps in a shared terrarium together. It was a little scary at first to pick her up since I had never interacted with a large arachnid before. I got over it and did it. Out of the ones there I felt a special connection to that one.
I put her in a temporary container and drove carefully straight home, and in about 10 minutes I put her in her new terrarium I prepared. There were some rocks and plants, a 'cave', humidifier, heat lamp and heat strip in a gradient.
For her name, officially her name is Kundry from an opera. Toasty is a nickname and that's an obvious reference to Mortal Kombat.
Toasty was Pandinus Imperator or "Black Emperor" scorpion. She was rather large, about 6 inches long. She was an adult when I got her, so I didn't know for sure how old she was but would guess about 2 or 3 years comparing to others. She was fully molted already. I don't know where she was born.
A sidebar. About this species: they are native to west Africa. They are popular to adopt as pets because of their easygoing personality, and if you are tagged the venom is unlikely to cause serious harm. Compared to other scorpions they are bigger and heavier, have larger pincers and narrower tails.
The carapice is a dark blackish-blue color, or sometimes blackish-green. They have eight eyes, with six toward the front of their face and two on the top of the head. I don't know if they can see that well but they can sense movement really well.
Toasty had a lot of unique personality traits. When picked up she would like to remain on your hands or arms if they were warm. She preferred to rest during the day and be more active at night. She liked to dig tunnels underground, and was very meticulously clean, grooming her pincers often. Her favorite food was cockroaches.
I only seldomly handled her. That said, on the times I did she was very easygoing around people. I would get asked a lot 'how much does it hurt if you are tagged'. Truthfully I don't know. She never pinched or tagged anyone. When it seemed like she was anxious I let her out in the apartment to explore things. One time I watched part of a movie with her on my lap while she ate a snack.
If you have a pet other than a cat or a dog, you get asked if the pet even recognizes you or what they think about you or if they even see you as a living being. E.g., for snakes, lizards, sometimes fish. It's hard to communicate with them. For those, really the bond between you and your pet is what you make it as a different kind of investment.
I think Toasty did acknowledge me in ways that she could. Like I would get associated with good things even if it's through so many different levels of indirection. You know how some people love dogs and hate cats. Their reason is because cats are not as friendly. Cats' affection are conditional, not given as widely as it will be for a dog's. It's gotta be earned and even then maybe not reciprocated. But personally, for any creature I don't view the quality of a relationship in simple terms of how much they fawn over me for no reason. What I did get was earned and I'm glad for all I got to learn and all I invested in her.
Toasty lived out her natural lifepsan and reached an age where I had to help her with eating and finding water. She passed away at the advanced age of around 7 or 8 years. She is dearly missed.
Though Toasty was not a "normal" type of pet I cared for her like you would normally. I am so happy for the memories I have of her, where I got to know such a beautiful and special creature.