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Operation Gecko Rescue

We woke up this morning to find Lina had gotten sick in the middle of the night (poor thing). The Irish-Colombian took a closer look to see if she’d snuck any bones or trash off the beach, but instead of chicken bones he found a baby gecko. We were both horrified! How the hell did lazy Lina manage to catch and eat a gecko?!

Then it moved!

It wasn’t dead at all…in fact, we don’t think it came out of Lina. We think baby gecko thought Lina barf was a meal.

Ok, stop gagging now.

So little baby gecko squirms a little to show us he’s still alive. But he’s stuck. If anyone has seen Lina eat, you know she is a slobbery mess. Contrary to her typically demure behavior, she drools like a drunken mastiff and we’re convinced we could market her drool as all-natural cement glue. Alas, little baby gecko – we shall call him Nugget – is stuck in the viscous nastiness.

Commence Operation Gecko Rescue!

The Irish-Colombian grabs some paper towels (“kitchen roll” in his language) but he can’t get little Nugget out of the liquid. I grab the matchbox on the table and empty it out. Between nudging him with the cardboard matchbox and coaxing the paper towel under his front legs, we get Nugget onto the paper towel and safely out of his viscous mess.

“Give him some time to rest and dry out, he’s probably exhausted,” the Irish-Colombian says on his way out the door, now that he’s officially late to work. But he takes one more minute to watch over the little guy and make sure he’s ok. (Insert collective “awww” here.)

Off goes the diver to frolic in the sea, leaving Lina and me as caretakers. Lina couldn’t care less about Nugget though, which also tells me she didn’t actually try to eat him. I let little Nugget rest for a while on his paper towel bedding before going back to check on his mobility. Much to my relief, he wiggles around a little! Except his tail and back left leg aren’t moving. I try to nudge his tail with the empty matchbox again only to realize he is now essentially glued to the paper towel where there were remnants of the viscous liquid still stuck to him. Oh, Lina…you are so cute but so, so gross.

I use a spoon to leave little droplets of water on him, hoping that will loosen up his tail and leg enough to free him.

He is not pooping. Anyone who has seen gecko poop knows it does not look like that. It is not that gross.

After three rounds of water droplets and very cautious coaxing of the leg from the paper towel, Nugget is free once again! He hops onto the spoon and I can see him taking huge breaths of relief from his tiny little lungs.

Nugget stays on the spoon for a few minutes to rest before trying to kill himself by jumping off the edge of the table. I am now convinced that he thought barf was food. I also think he would make for a good ACME cartoon character.

Wile E. Coyote is probably a more appropriate name than Nugget.

Wile E. Coyote is probably a more appropriate name than Nugget.

He catches himself at the last second, long enough for me to get the empty matchbox beneath him and let him drop into it safely.

For a few hours Nugget rests inside the matchbox right next to me.

Nugget in his matchbox bed helping me tell his story

Nugget in his matchbox bed helping me tell his story.

I put him on a Tupperware lid with some water in the grooved parts so he has dry and wet places to rest. I also flip the matchbox over part of it so he can hide in the dark if he wants. It’s now hours later and he still hasn’t left.

Little Nugget hanging out on a Tupperware lid. That lid is about 1.5x1.5 inches.

Little Nugget hanging out on a Tupperware lid. That lid is about 1.5×1.5 inches.

I know I told him I’d take care of him, but I hope he realizes I will not be catching his dinner for him. Mosquitos and moths really aren’t my thing…


While this story was meant to be light and fun (Little Nugget has been sitting here helping me tell it), we actually have no idea why Lina even got sick in the first place. After reading this, I’m concerned about her food. She isn’t eating Purina Beneful, but she has been eating a different type of Purina for a few months now. Worrying to say the least!

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