Hello. I don't believe I've ever introduced you to Sam's pet frog or toad or whatever it is. He got this little guy for his birthday a couple years ago. Lava is one of those indifferent pets. He doesn't snuggle or do anything cute and endearing. He's just there. It is pretty cool when he eats his worms. That's always a good party trick. For the most part though, Lava just hangs out in his little habitat, waiting for worms to drop out of the sky.
I am the one who cleans out his habitat and to do this I scoop him out and deposit him in the tub while I dump the old water and wipe out the tank. Mudge walked into the bathroom once when I was doing this and noticed the small critter cautiously hopping around the bathtub. All at once, Mudge's ears went up and he cocked his head to the side. I could practically hear him thinking, "WHAT THE HELL???" I shooed Mudge out of there ASAP but the damage was done. He knew there was another animal in that habitat and made every effort possible from that moment on to find out what it was and if it was edible.
I sometimes bring Lava's tank out of Sam's room to show off the aforementioned party trick to the childcare kids. Usually it sits on the kitchen table for the day and I return him to Sam's room at night. I did this just yesterday. Unfortunately, I forgot to make the return trip. We were in a hurry to get out of the house and run some errands and Lava, being the non-presence that he is, just got overlooked.
We came home and laden down with bags and boxes made our way into the playroom. Sam instantly let out a shriek of horror. I dropped every box and bag I had, scared out of my wits and terrified at what could possibly be making Sam sob in that way. And I saw it. The plastic habitat, that had so recently held Lava, laying on it's side in the middle of the playroom. The dogs had the good sense to look ashamed of themselves. Daisy huddled under the kitchen table and Mudge peered out from behind the chair in the living room. Teresa and Katie started to cry as they realized what had actually gone down while we were out and Sam continued to sob.
I grabbed the dogs' collars and unceremoniously dragged them through the house and out the back door. Then I sent the kids into my room so I could clean up the mess and possibly spare them the sight of poor Lava's mangled remains. I doubted I'd find a trace of him anyways but you just never know. I picked up the parts of the habitat and put it together and then used towels to clean up the nasty water on the floor and table. I concluded they must have swallowed Lava whole since I found not a sign of him.
Sam came out of my room, tears streaming down his face, to ask me if Lava made it. I wrapped my arms around my sad little boy and delivered the bad news. Sam cried for his lost little friend, his whole body shaking with his sobs. But then, wonder of wonders, Sam screams "LAVA!!!!" and I turn to see the miraculously lucky amphibian hop from beneath a bookshelf in the kitchen. He was covered in dust and cat hair but he was alive. I don't know how he did it, and Lava is not offering any details, but somehow he managed to elude the dynamic duo and survive. I really think Lava should play the lottery.