My ball python Jasmine passed away yesterday. She was going to be 20 years old this year, and though that might seem old for a pet, ball pythons can live from 30 to 40 years in captivity.
I adopted Jasmine from a friend of a friend when he needed to travel to South America, and couldn't take her with him. He had her since she was a baby, and I adopted her when she was about to turn 16. My roommates in my first apartment and I had a miscommunication, and though they said they were fine with me having snakes, they said (after I brought her home) that she was too big. So she stayed in a friend's apartment until I could find another place to live a month later. Since then I've brought her with me no matter where I've lived, and she has always been with me, even causing some friction when I moved back into my mother's house and insisted in bringing Jasmine and my younger ball python, Spectre, with me.
I was even planning to take a family photo with myself, my boyfriend, and my snakes, all dressed in victorian finery.
I was planning to move my current sewing studio into a trailer so I could travel with my supplies, and was in the stages of gathering supplies to build her a big victorian looking terrarium, and yesterday I found that she died suddenly.
It has been a rather rough year, and I suppose animals tend to effect me in a more gut wrenching way than people do. Having been though the deaths of my favorite Uncle, my grandmother, and taking care of my mother while she was undergoing cancer treatment and a difficult divorce, it seems only appropriate that this loss, which would seem so small to other people, has been affecting me enormously. Perhaps it is the straw that breaks the camel's back, so to speak.
I haven't had it in me to bury her yet, and I am currently not letting my Spectre out of my sight. The idea was brought up to send her down the river on a burning pyre, and I kind of like the idea of such a service for a snake that was such a sweet, scaly beast. She didn't know her size, and was curious about yarn, and other strange objects her owner had laying around. She liked sitting on my shoulders, and the way water came out of the faucet.
I will miss her immensely. Here is a painting I made a few years ago of her snuggling with my friend Edward.