PORT TOWNSEND — On anybody’s scale, Hissta and Axel rank as the ultimate in low-maintenance pets.
They only have to be fed once a month and their cage doesn’t require frequent cleaning.
They don’t liked to be walked, don’t have to be brushed, don’t bark, don’t jump up on visitors and don’t mind being left home alone.
They do shed, but it’s all in one piece.
“They have a lubricant under their skin that facilitates the process,” Skip Cadorette says.
“It peels off like a sock.”
Cadorette is pastor of First Baptist Church and father in a family that shares their North Beach home with a pair of boa constrictors.
Now, with the boas’ principal caretaker off to college, Hissta and Axel are looking for new owners who want interesting, educational pets that won’t smother them with affection.
“They recognize you’re too big to squeeze,” Cadorette says.
Smaller species of boa
The name boa constrictor conjures up the largest member of the species, the anaconda.
But the Cadorettes’ pets are a smaller species native to Columbia.
Estimated to be between 10 to 15 years old, Hissta and Axel are about 5 feet long and 4 inches round.
And no, they can’t hug their owners to death — they are not as strong as a human. But for sustenance, even in captivity, they do what boa constrictors do — strike and squeeze their food.
If you’re squeamish, you don’t want to know what the Cadorettes feed Hissta and Axel.
“They each get one live rat a month,” Cadorette says.
“It keeps the instinct alive and makes their life more interesting.”Reporter Jennifer Jackson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.