Well, speaking of cobras...
Actually, Paul, I'm not really afraid of snakes at all.
I mean, of course wrt the poisonous ones, I regard them with a healthy respect, and I keep my distance; but I'm not afraid of them the way some people are.
My ex-husband was/is an electrical engineer in research and development (back then, aerospace; now, biomedical). But on the side, he was good friends with a biology professor from our university who was a herpetologist. They would go out into the wilds looking for snakes to capture for the university biology dept.
Anyway, my ex spent a few months traveling in Asia, and at the request of his professor friend, he sent back a bunch of snakes. We had them in our apt. for a while, in various aquarium-type glass cages.
IIRC, we had a bamboo viper, a leaf-nosed viper, a nine-foot reticulate python, a puff adder, and a brown spitting cobra.
*In* our apt., in glass cages.
This did not bother me in the least.
In fact, I had to drive on our motorcycle to the south part of the city to a chicken farm, buy two young roosters (alive), which I carried in a paper bag attached to the back of the bike. When I got home, I had to dump them, one at a time, in the cage with the python, and he would proceed to do his python constriction activity on the poor creatures. It was pretty awful.
That python always had the most malevolent look on his face. He had a 'really' bad personality, and he would pack his water bowl with his 'excretory products', as if to say to me "Howd'ya like *that*, bitch!?"
So, anyway, snakes don't bother me. If you hold one, the skin is cool, smooth, and clean. Little snakes are really quite cute.
I personally *do*, of course, prefer puppies, kittens, and soft, cuddly pets like that.