Friday: How Did Last Night's Warm-Up Date Go?

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Anybody else keep Escherichia coli as pets?

I personally own two E. coli, Tito and Phyllis, and they're the sweetest little love-bugs. I've tried keeping a lot of different bacteria over the years, but E. coli are by far my favorites. There's nothing like coming home to the wagging of those cute, spirited little flagella! I know some people are deterred by the fact that E. coli are exotics and require specialized care, but I think it's totally worth it. Anyone else share this opinion? I'd love to hear about the E. coli in your lives!


  • OMG! I didn't think anyone else did that! I actually keep a S. aureus myself. Something about their bulbous shape is just so adorable to me! I don't think I could keep an e.coli.... I've heard they can be really tempermental and hard to deal with.
  • Omg! I have been wanting an E.coli for so long but I have been worried about the maintenance, I am pretty busy. Tito and Phyllis are such cute names! I probably would name mine after myself, having a little Acido jr. running around it would be hilarious. Maybe I should get more than one though. Maybe I will get three!
  • Sore Subject... My pet E. coli died last weekend due to high temperatures. You all know the saying "E. coli is a therms best friend". I miss him so much.
  • I share the same sentiment @hype_solium. I don't feel alone at home anymore with my four E. coli- Ringo, Paul, John, and George. But I didn't know that some people are deterred by E. coli because of the maintenance. Why would it be difficult to maintain bacteria that live to love you?
  • edited November 2016
    @hype_leocanis Awww! S. aureus are adorable too. They're great pets for beginners because they're so hardy, but more experienced pet owners can enjoy them just as much. Their small size and gentle demeanor are incredibly charming, and nothing beats a round, wiggly S. aureus snuggling up with you on a cold night. As for the temperamental nature of E. coli... Hahaha, yeah, they can be a bit tricky to train, but once you've earned their respect, you have loyal friends for life. I remember when I first got Phyllis, xe made a real mess of my apartment (I think it was just out of spite, but I can't help that I have to work the night shift!) I actually jumped on the meme bandwagon and took a shaming pic of xyr right after! You can find it attached at the bottom of this post.

    @acido_joee If you're interested in getting into keeping E. coli, I'd be happy to help you get started! :) First, I would check your local pet and wildlife laws; I know some regions don't allow exotic pets, or require you to get a permit first. It's a pain in the butt, I know. Who are they to tell you what pets you can and can't keep, right? If it weren't for the steep fines and the threat of having your E. coli taken away, I'd tell you to just do what you want. It's all a power play, but yeah, don't break the law; it's inconvenient. The next thing you have to take into consideration is the cost of importing an E. coli. Their natural habitat is actually the digestive tract of certain primates! That makes it hard for breeders to get ahold of them, and the breeders pass that cost along to you, the prospective buyer. Not to mention the cost of food. Your concern about having time for them in your busy life is also very valid. If you don't have the time to train a proto, I'd suggest adopting an older E. coli. Also, as nice as it would be to have three E. coli (most strains are very social!), I'd start off with one. If you have any questions on your path to E. coli xaotherhood, please ask me! I'd be happy to help with anything I can. I also work a veterinary clinic, so I may be able to get you some discounts on food and supplies. Best of luck!

    @feliscatus2 Oh my goodness... I'm so sorry to hear that. I know how hard it is to lose a beloved pet. :'( My thoughts and good vibes are with you. Are you going to hold a memorial for xem?

    @obli_beatles Four E.coli! Wow, you must have your hands full, but I bet each day is more rewarding than the last. Are they all from the same strain? And if not, do they get along well? Tito and Phyllis are siblings from the same strain, and even they fight now and then. I would love to hear more about John, Paul, Ringo, and George. Are they long-flagellated or short-flagellated?

    @Acido_EColi I saw your post on the other discussion (I'm going to answer it right after this, I promise), and I want to clarify that this isn't in any way a copulation thing. I know some people are into that kinky bestiality stuff, but it's not really my jam. I won't judge those who are (whatever floats your organelles, right? :p ), but again, not my thing. Or are you coming at this from the perspective of "it's not right to keep other bacteria as pets"? I know that's been a real controversy lately.
  • @hype_solium I just read your response on the other thread...and I must say, as an individual cell in a strain of E. coli, it perturbs me, nay, sends chills through my cytoplasm, that you keep us as pets.

    We are not your "sweetest little love-bugs," we are crucial constituents of microbiomes and arguably the most important cloning vectors. We're humanitarians, have jobs, produce insulin en-masse for those who aren't even in our domain! Some of us, myself included, even consider ourselves on the acidophile spectrum.

    So my question is, why would you keep us as pets?

    Because we're not as Thermophilic™ as you are?

    Look, I've seen some degrading and downright cruel things happen to my cousins (poor cells didn't even stand a chance during antibiotic selection...), but that's to be expected from our human overlords. What I can't stand, though, is when other cells get so hoity-toity that they think they can follow suit and strip us of our CELL-VIL LIBERTIES just because other organisms do!
  • My E.Coli are the best pets. They require no maintanence and they are so lovable! I have 3 E. Coli and they all get along so well. I am in the market for one more too!
  • Are you kidding me.
  • Oh geez, I didn't realize you were one of those people, @Acido_EColi ... I'm talking about actual E. coli, not people who "identify" as E. coli. Please don't try to accuse me of racism just because you've got a trans-genus delusion...
  • @hype_solium Thanks for the advice! I might hit you up later for some discounts!
  • @hype_solium this is the kind of ignorance I'm talking about. I'm LITERALLY OF THE GENUS ESCHERICHIA. Just because I have recombinant DNA doesn't mean I'm any less of an E. coli than any other E. coli. (Or any less of an acidophile for that matter--we E. coli can survive stomach acid, just-so-you-know!) Actually, you know what? I shouldn't have to prove this. But I guess it's all "pics or it didn't happen," right? (as if E. coli don't use the internet), and we're all just pets, right? All we're good for is reproducing and having genes inserted into us without our consent, right? :)

    Maybe you were right all along--I'm not enough of an acidophile to handle such a toxic environment.
  • Wow eColi are great pets. I love taking my eColi on trips.
  • @Acido_EColi Whatever... As far as I'm concerned, this conversation is over. There's just no talking to someone like you.
  • @Acido_EColi I feel you my brothah. Fo shizzle they don't treat y'all right. I mean I ain't an E.coli but I'm still coo yo and I'm totally down with E.coli my daughter cell from another father cell.
  • I hadn't thought of having E.coli as a pet before but it sounds like a great idea! I'd be worried about maintenance while I'm at work and with quads. Any mesos have any pets and have an opinion?
  • Thank you for your condolences. He was my best friend. I plan on holding a memorial service some time soon if anyone would like to help me mourn his death at this emotional event.
  • @meso_conciliantis I actually have an e.Coli pet myself and it is a great match, especially since we don't have a quad ourselves to go on dates with. I've become an e.Coli cell-lady!
  • I love E coli! They're so cute and adorable. Unfortunately I don't own any E Coli but I want to. Hopefully my future 3 spouses would let me own a pet.
  • @feliscatus2 I am so sorry! I always take cell-fies with my E. Coli. I hope you have pictures to keep!
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