Well I found him and pulled him up and then I shrieked when all his legs came flying out in a heap. Okay, calm down...he wasn't dead. He had molted, but he hadn't eaten all this old exoskeleton. So for a bit I was relieved, but still worried that my intervention would lead to his demise. I put him on top of all his bits and reburied him a tad. The next morning, we noticed he was naked...completely shell free and taking a bath...then I watched him climb back into his shell...all was well, right?
Crabbie was dead by evening :( At least I'm 99 percent sure he was dead. I should never have started the googling. It made me second guess our little backyard burial ceremony. Was he just post-molt paralyzed? He did have a slight odor before we put him 6 inches under, but was it just a molting odor? OH crap, I wasn't sure...so after I got home from choir practice at 9:30, I told David that we had to dig him up and see. I know David thought I was crazy; he probably always thinks I am! But he agreed to help me exhume Spiderman. First the flashlight was not working, so we went out in the backyard with a garden spade and our cell phones for light. We found him...realized I'd buried him shell opening up and it was full of dirt. But hey, they bury themselves all the time and they come up fine, right? I couldn't see in the dark so I brought him back inside. The cats were suddenly VERY curious in what was going on and about tackled me to get to him. That should've been my first clue...stronger odor. But no, I had to start plucking the dirt out of his shell....but then thousands and I mean THOUSANDS of microscopic bugs started to march out of his shell onto the paper towels I'd laid out. OH yes, he was SO DEAD. So we reburied him and hopefully got those paper towels out of the house before any of those mystery bugs got on anything.
Such drama. I felt so bad about "killing" Spiderman, I decided to let Z go to the pet store the next morning and get a new one. We got there before they opened and were the first ones in the door. I am almost ashamed to admit I let him get THREE new ones. The pet store lady assured me they did not need to stay isolated from our surviving crab at home...that they would just naturally get along well....hmmm, I think she was wrong, but I digress.
So, not even five minutes down the road and they all had names--Dottie, Cowboy and Star. We got them home and at first Superman could not have cared less...but by last night, he was in full on wrestling match with Cowboy. I guess they worked it out...by this morning, Cowboy had on a new shell and was sleeping on top of Superman.