Turtle Power

In the midst of all that’s going on in the world right now, I feel the need to share a story that I hope will bring smiles to faces today. We all need a reprieve from life every once in a while yeah?

This is Turtle:

Let’s rewind back to oh, 2008ish. I was a freshman in college. I lived in a dorm with a roommate and my high school Biology teacher had imparted the gift of a baby corn snake to me. I named him Y because he had a Y on his head. Y didn’t last long because the stupid snake wouldn’t eat no matter what I tried. We buried Y outside under one of the trees in front of Miller.

I was following the school forum and came across a student who found this turtle in the river and didn’t want it anymore. I don’t even want to explain the lecture I gave this person about how they should have left the turtle in the river… Anyway, the turtle wasn’t doing well because she had it in a fish bowl (!!!) and basically got bored of it. It’s a turtle.. not a dog. Of course it’s going to be a bit more boring! So I got it into my head that I would rescue this turtle and give it a better life.

I decked Turtle out. Got a big 40 gallon tank and had a waterfall fountain and all these pretty stones on the bottom! It was awesome! One time I decided to try and give Turtle live fish; little comets you can get from the pet store. I bought three of them and put them in the tank. Turtle didn’t seem interested at first and then a few days later two disappeared. The last one stuck around for months! My husband named the fish Philip and I’m sitting here like don’t name the fish. Turtle needs to eat him! Philip grew and grew and I panicked because I did not want a pet fish. I tried starving turtle out for months but, I learned, turtles hibernate! One day though we did look in the tank and Philip was gone….

Back to turtles hibernating! Turtles can hibernate! This means they give their owners heart attacks because they stay underwater for days and look dead! I remember walking over to the tank and he was just sitting on the bottom. I didn’t think anything of it at first until he was still doing it the next day. I freaked out and yelled at my husband to reach in the tank and make sure Turtle was alive! I just couldn’t do it. He reached in there like a good gentleman, and gave me the same look Turtle did like “can’t a man nap in peace??” I found out later that not only can painted turtles hold their breath for an extended period of time but that when they hibernate, their metabolism slows way down to the point where they truly look dead but they are able to absorb and process oxygen from the water through their skin!

Now, I did have one other incident where Turtle gave me a heart attack. I woke up one morning to see this floating in the tank:

Once again, I could not bring myself to look into the tank for fear I’d see a dead turtle. I screamed for my husband, “I’VE DONE IT FOR REAL THIS TIME! TURTLE IS DEAD! I KILLED HIM!” I was perilously close to tears. I thought maybe a big rock or something fell on turtle and crushed his shell somehow off of him. I’m not logical when I’m panicking. My husband comes to scope the situation and just starts laughing at me. He tells me to look in the tank. I’m in denial of course so I’m begging him to just tell me and he’s enjoying my hysterics so he just keeps repeating that I should look in the tank.

There was turtle. Alive and well. I freaked out for nothing. Turns out turtles can shed. When they shed pieces of their shell, they’re called scutes. I guess it’s rare for a turtle to shed a whole scute so I had to grab him and check out his shell and make sure it wasn’t soft because it could be a sign of metabolic bone disease. Turtle was not amused and tried to bite my finger off, which btw, turtle bites hurt!

To end this longer-than-I-thought post, I want to say that Turtle did have an original name. It was MichaelAngela because an old roommate of mine insisted Turtle is a girl but that and “she” is too many syllables so its Turtle and he.




28 thoughts on “Turtle Power

  1. You named the snake Y because it had a Y on its head? Gee, I wonder what you’ll name your first baby! πŸ˜›
    “don’t name the fish!” (πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚), I totally get it! By naming it, you’re attaching feelings to it – “someone elses” food! who does that?! πŸ™„πŸ™„
    I didn’t know they shed too. Interesting!!

    This is why I don’t like pets. I would sound like you, minus the husband who can deal and laugh at the hysterics


    1. LOL maybe I’ll follow in my mom’s footsteps and name it after something that doesn’t make me vomit!
      I know right! Philip survived on turtle poop because I refused to buy fish food. That would definitely turn him into a pet!
      Get a cat. Cats are awesome if you’re not allergic anyway


      1. WOW!! Philip was a real survivor!! And he lived off it for months! On the bright side, Philip made it so you wouldn’t have to clean the tank… But the disgusting part is basically how Turtle ate his own poop when he finally ate Philip…

        I like the idea of a pet that doesn’t shed hair. Although I like cats, I fear I will buy one and by the time I turn 45 and be single (God forbid)- the darn thing will have had 8 kittens and I will be the ‘cat lady’ by default!


        1. Lmao I didn’t even think of Turtle eating its own poop! He probably does that anyway. You can always get a cat that’s already fixed! Then you won’t be cat lady. I’m more cat lady than you are and I only have 2! You can have Isabel. She’s really sweet even though she’s a pretty dumb cat who chases shadows. πŸ˜€


            1. She chases all shadows, her tail and shiny lights even if they’re on the wall and she can’t reach them, she’ll try! He likes pets; mostly because I bring them home and he doesn’t have a choice in loving them because I give him sad this animal will die without me eyes. Besides the snake, turtle and cats, I’ve had a dog, iguana and chinchilla throughout our time together hahahaha


              1. Hahaha she sounds adorable though! “The sky is the limit” must also applies to animals too, right? So it’s not that she’s not bright! πŸ˜›
                Pleeaaasssee tell me you had those animals at different times… please


                1. Oh god yes. I had the snake and then he died. I got the turtle. And then like 2 years later I got the iguana but he had a weird bone issue and his back legs didn’t work right so he died. Then I got milliardo and then cinnamon, my childhood dog was put to sleep while I was in Hawaii cause he was old. Then I got the chinchilla but she was too expensive and too much maintenance so I gave her away to someone who had just lost her chinchilla and then I got Isabel 2 years ago. 😁


                  1. That is a loooot of animals! And I just had to google what a chinchilla is. Interesting. I have a fear of rodents. Just saying! And how is a rodent too much maintenance? Ate your red bottomed shoes? πŸ˜€


                    1. Bahahaha yes I am! The main thing is you have to keep a chinchilla cool at all times to the point where you have to keep a fan on them. They also have dust baths they have to have regularly and my chinchilla was mean so if you tried to move her to clean she was stand on two legs and projectile pee on you!


                    2. Mice with weight issues?!?!?! Hahahahahaha they look like alien bunnies. Like someone tried to make a bunny the genetic code didn’t computer right so the result is the chinchilla


    1. Yep! Usually it’s individual the individual plates on their shell or her bellies. They need tons of vitamin D to keep their shell structure strong and a UVB light which emulates the sun.


  2. Great post! I totally understand your yelling to your husband that you’d done it this time! I feel your pain. I am telling Bill quite often that I think this fish or that is dead. The fish often reemerges and Bill smirks and tells me I’m overly dramatic regarding the aquatic world. Stupid smirker! Wait, I mean wonderful husband, yes that’s it! πŸ˜‰


    1. Hahahah! It’s hard to look right away because for once you dont want to be right! Need reassurance from the man. We can’t do all the work! Plus it’s their pet too whether it was theirs willingly or not so they have to care more about about pets welfare!


  3. Oh gosh this is such a lovely story!! I’m so glad you rescued Turtle in the first place once that girl decided to get rid of him (though why she didn’t leave him in the river I don’t know?!!) and I would have been just as freaked out every time something like that happened!! I’m so glad to hear nothing was wrong with him πŸ™‚


    1. Yeah it’s kind of a habit of mine when people don’t listen and take things out of the wild they should leave. I have a friend who has a groundhog because of that reason and had a possum before that!


      1. ahh wow- I don’t know anyone that does that- the most exciting thing any of my friends have owned apart from cats/dogs has been chickens (and it was only exciting cos they lived in a townhouse). Good for you for rescuing these animals!!


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