This story begins a long long time ago when The Man was just a boy. His mother came home with a surprise for her sons -- two small turtles. I'm not entirely sure how it transpired or if it was a June Cleaver-esque type thing: "Hi boys, I was in pet store and brought you home each a turtle. Here have some soy milk and vegan, ancient grain beet carob cookies" or if the guys nagged her into it. (Don't buy pets in pet stores.)
We ended up with both turtles when The Man's brother moved to the States.Then in the 90s, a girl who was trying to woo The Man asked him to take care of her turtle. "Hey Baby, want to take care of my turtle." Then we never heard from her again.
Sucker written all over us.
In the last ten years, two have died. We also lost track of who is who. Really, they do all look the same and they quickly grew to be all the same size. And then there was one... it's like a discount Agatha Christie novel. (Seems like a waste of that line.)
Given that they need a spot to bask, she has a stack of rocks that she can up on to get close to the light (and heat). The rest of her aquarium is filled with water. (This, I understand, is not the way most people keep red ears. Then again, most people's red ears don't live to be at least 30. So fuck 'em.)
In the spring and in the fall, the turtle goes on these walk abouts (sex and hybernation we think). She climbs onto her rocks and props herself over the side to freedom. Once out, she'll explore things like the bathroom (a favourite spot) and the hallway. Or the middle spot under the bed where I won't stick my hand because of monsters. (And the turtle bites if you put your hand in front of its head. Under the bed it's hard to tell which end is which.)
Now if we miss the original escape. (You can hear it.) Or we're at work and she has a good long walk about tracking her down can be problematic, leaving turtle pee ponds for me to walk in. From time to time, she's waiting for me in my shoes (no doubt peeing in those as well).
This season, for whatever reason, the turtle has been particularly active and got out of her tank FOUR times last Saturday. Which is, quite frankly a pain. There have been a number of slow speed turtle chases. Then if The Man catches her she happily succumbs and let him put her back in her tank. If I catch her. She'll hiss and pee on me...and you hear all about it on twitter. (@natsbrain)
And as I was writing this, the turtle fell out!