In at least two of Nalo Hopkinson's short stories that I've read, the main characters are women with an interest in ... unusual creatures. Namely, "Can't Beat 'Em" (Marisella keeps a 'glup', a sort of sink drain monster, so that she can consume it to become immortal) and "A Raggy Dog, a Shaggy Dog" (Tammy loves her orchids, and keeps a rat which is slowly being taken over by an orchid growing inside it). I'm curious whether this element of her writing was inspired by any unusual pets of her own.
What pets has Nalo Hopkinson had? Did they influence her writing at all?