Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Turtle Invasion

Poor Uter, she reminds me so much of Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh. I mean, just look at that worried face, and this picture was taken before the other turtles arrived.

Turtles, you may or may not know have very specific environmental requirements. Obviously they need a tank, but they also need a basking rock or log and basking light, and finally they need food. They don't really need love, but they do need their owners to keep them on a schedule.

My brother, who is moving out of his apartment tomorrow, but not into the new apartment until Saturday, came over last night with his two turtles and we started a game of musical tanks. Uter has been removed from her tank, and has lost her basking bulb. Today she will have to make do with a regular 60 watt, which will give the illusion of sun, if not the benefits of an actual basking bulb. This is unfortunate but necessary, as I was afraid that putting a basking bulb in the only lamp I had left could cause a fire.

Johnny Cakes, I know he's named after some sort of food, but I don't spend enough time in the states to know what that food thing is, or if he looks like one. He has always made me think of a hamburger,or a Dagwood Sandwich. This picture isn't the best, but I can tell you that he is easily 3 times bigger than Uter. As such he had to be given the biggest tank. Poor Johnny Cakes, he's such an easy going turtle, but last night he was headed for a meltdown, too much change, and now to have to spend the day with a dog (he's not used to dogs). I started to worry so I sent Uncle Tim a text message and he told me that if Johnny Cakes doesn't settle down I should sing to him, apparently his favourite song is "Let it Be". It's funny, who knew that turtles were so sensitive.

Bender is another story. Because Bender is very close in size to Uter it was a bit of a toss up as to which one would be given the medium size tank. However, we had some set up work to do so I told Uncle Tim to put them both in the medium tank until we had the chance to get the 10 gallon set up. So he did, and luckily he was standing there fiddling with some cords because it wasn't two minutes from the time we put Bender in until she climbed on top of my poor Uter. I'm sorry, but I will not tolerate that kind of behaviour in my home...not even from turtles who can't be expected to know better. So that decided the issue, Bender, who should be named "tiger", was given the smallest tank.

Bender is by far the most adaptable of the lot. Predictably Uter started freaking out. I didn't worry too much about that since Uter freaks out about going to her feeding bucket. Johnny Cakes was freaking out as I said already, and Cadie didn't know what to make of the whole thing, she just wandered from room to room sniffing, trying to figure out what was going on. At one point she stopped in front of the big tank and seemed shocked to find there was a giant turtle in there, but then, I like to think that she recognized Johnny Cakes' distress because she turned around and came back to the living room. At the same time Bender was just hanging out on her basking log.

This morning everything is better. All the turtles are settled, though only Uter and Cadie (the dog) ate, at least I'm pretty sure that we'll be able to get by until Saturday

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