By Rebecca Lewis @RebeccaSLewis

MEET Pandora, the furry TARANTULA taking social media by storm

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Videographer / Director: Jonathan Pow
Producer: Rebecca Lewis, Nick Johnson
Editor: Sonia Estal, Ian Phillips

Hairy: Cassie is fearless when it comes to creepy crawlies

Cassandra Tainsh poses her Chilean Rose tarantula in an array of hats and scenes and her one eight-legged pet is simultaneously delighting and frightening followers.

The 23-year-old account manager from Leeds then posts pictures of the spider shopping at a supermarket, trying on hats and skateboarding to social media.

Unbelievably, just a few years ago Cassie was terrified of spiders and shivered at the sight of the hairy creatures.

Bedroom zoo: Cassie's 55 animals all sleep with her in her bedroom
Exotic: Cassie owns seven lizards which live in her bedroom in Leeds

But now she has nineteen tarantulas that live in tanks around her room – side by side with 23 snakes.

Together with one scorpion, five giant African land snails and seven lizards, Cassie has 55 exotic animals living just inches from her bed.

Cassie said: “I started collecting my animals when I was sixteen.

“I got my first snake at that age and I went onto tarantulas about four years ago just to get over my phobia of spiders.

Eight-legged basketball: Pandora takes to the court

“We went to a rescue centre and they had a few tarantulas and I held one.

“It was so cute and fluffy I thought if I can hold one I can definitely own one.

“Ever since I got my first tarantula, Pandora, I’ve branched out and got nineteen spiders, all different shapes and colours.

Slippery characters: Cassie owns 23 snakes
And 19 tarantulas

“I’ve gone from having arachnophobia to having an arachnid obsession.”   

While Cassie loves all of the inhabitants of her house of horror – including a Boa Constrictor and Burmese Python – Pandora has a special place in her heart.

She said: “I first posed her wearing little dolls hats and put them on Facebook, Instagram and Tumblr where I have 2,600 followers.

She shoots, she scores: Pandora dominating the football pitch

“Now I get her in dolls houses pretending to go to the supermarket or playing a guitar.

“When I put the pictures on Facebook people who were afraid of spiders before realised there’s nothing to be scared of because she’s so cute.

“She’s a very chilled out tarantula, I hold her as much as a kid would get a hamster out and hold and play with it.”

Shopaholic spider: Pandora scuttles along with her loaded trolley

Cassie’s love of animals started at a young age with cats and dogs.

At sixteen her parents gave her permission to buy a snake and now her bedroom walls are stacked to the ceiling with tanks and cages.

She feeds her snakes dead mice, rabbits and chicks, whilst her spiders feast on crickets, mealworms and locusts – all for £26 a month.

Pandora can also count bowling as one of her many hobbies

But her unusual obsession with reptiles and poisonous spiders is not to everyone’s tastes.

Her boyfriend Zachary Varin, 23, was wary of spiders and snakes – but he now has fifteen reptiles of his own.

But Cassie hasn't managed to convince everyone to appreciate her bedroom menagerie, and a number of her friends keep a wide berth from her home.

Riding in style: Pandora leans up against her shiny red car

Cassie’s grandmother has visited the family home just once in seven years because of her fear of snakes.

And Cassie’s mum, Penelope, got a fright when a Burmese python – known for growing up to 20ft – slithered into her bed in the dead of night.

House proud: Pandora cracks on with the cleaning

Cassie said: “It got out of my room and into my mum’s bed. I got an incredible telling off and I’m never going to live it down.

Cramped: Cassie's childhood bedroom is stacked with reptile tanks

“She always tells the story to her friends that a massive Burmese python got into her bed at night and how she woke up the next morning with her face right next to it.

“Her friends look at me like I’m crazy.

“But she fails to mention that it was only a baby and was just a few feet long at the time.”

Cassie is fast running out of space in her childhood bedroom but cannot wait to move to a home of her own where she can dedicate a room to her animals.

Cassie says her spiders and snakes are her first loves

And Pandora and her other pets have pride of place in her heart.

She said: “I love my exotic animals, it’s time consuming and can be quite expensive.

“But I love them more than I love my boyfriend – they came first.”