Iz is desperate for a pet of her own. The Frantic Fish doesn't count, and neither does Pat the Cat. She wants a critter in her room.

I told her that she needs to demonstrate sufficient responsibility beforehand, as I am certainly not willing to add another item to my caretaking plate. I said that if she could keep a plant alive for a year, she would then qualify for pet ownership.

What kind of plant did she then request? Why, a carnivorous one, of course. We made our way to the wonderful East Bay Nursery in Bezerkely, where the knowledeable and helpful staffers talked her out of a Venus Flytrap (as they are annuals) and into a lovely pitcher plant.

After a nice long stop off at the East Bay Vivarium to look at potential future roommates (Iz: "A crocodile monitor is the biggest lizard in the world! It gets bigger than a komodo dragon! Can I have one? Well, then, can I have an emerald tree monitor? How about a chameleon?" Mali: "Toi-tul! Shhhnake!" Me: "Ooooh, your daddy and I used to have one of those, until we had children."), we then brought the plant home to repot it.

Iz has christened it Smoothie, as that is what it will make out of its bug victims.

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