Chuck Norris is a medium-sized gecko, missing his right rear leg, who lives in a pied-a-terre behind the cookbooks in our kitchen. Last year he would sometimes keep me company when I was up late correcting papers, yelling at me ("chichak, chichak") from his nook on the wall. It was companionable, even though that's probably gecko for "Turn out the light and go to bed already, I want to hunt." Despite his disability he is a champion cockroach hunter and when we got back from France, it was clear that he had enjoyed having the run of the kitchen while we were away (gecko droppings everywhere, hooray). But then we didn't see him for weeks, and we started to think, what if Chuck was gone? What if it was some other gecko, one we didn't even know, who was running around eating the roaches? How long do geckos even live? It was almost too much to consider.
This morning Rex went to turn on the radio and there was Chuck, hanging upside-down from the ceiling of the nook where the microwave and radio live. We're so relieved. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for him and get a picture sometime soon.
ETA: Chuck Norris is a Common House Gecko (Hemidactylus frenatus). According to this site, "The average lifespan of the House Gecko is 5 to 10 years with proper care." Hooray! Granted that we don't know how old he is now, still, Chuck could be with us for a good long time yet.