Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Pet Panic

Stella (left) and Ferdinand (right). January 2012.
In hindsight, the story I am about to tell you is extremely amusing. At the time however, it was no laughing matter...

Last night I lost my pet turtle Ferdinand. Lost as in, missing from the tank without a trace, no sign of the little bugger ANYWHERE. You see, on Sunday, Dr. H and I decided that baby Ferd was ready to live in the big fish tank with our older, and much bigger turtle, Stella. It was a nerve-wracking decision (we'd been warned by the "turtle experts" on Canal Street (Ferd and Stella's point of purchase) that Stella might attack tiny Ferd), but we felt he had grown big and strong enough since buying him in January to make the move. We placed Ferdinand in the 10 gallon tank and were pleased that our two pets seemed to get along "swimmingly" (hehe). Their first overnight was a success and I left for work yesterday morning fairly unconcerned... but then...

I came home and yelled "Hello babies!" (as I've been known to do) and rushed over to the tank. No Ferd. No Ferd wedged behind the filter or next to the rock or ANYWHERE. Panic sets in. "Stella what did you do to him!?!?!" I hastily plunge my arms elbow deep into the tank, checking the filter, searching for a hollow shell or any sign of my tiny turtle. I call Dr. H in a panic: "Where are you? When are you coming home!? Ferd is MISSING!!!!" I grab a flashlight and start crawling everywhere... "Ferd!! Where are you!? Ferrrrrddd" (yes I was actually calling his name). As I'm checking under the fridge and behind furniture, visions of a dried up little turtle carcass flood my mind. I am a terrible pet owner I think... How do you LOSE a turtle on the 22nd floor of a Manhattan apartment!? But then, behind the bags under the kitchen table, eyes closed, shell dry, was my tiny Ferd. I picked him up and his eyes opened before he sucked his limbs into his shell. Clutching my tiny (daredevil? suicidal?) reptile friend, I contemplated how on earth he got OUT of the tank, survived the fall and then wandered over to my kitchen table. Crazy little bastard.

Before I went to sleep, I went a little Macgyver on the tank to ensure Ferd could never pull a stunt like that again:
The perfect use for that hamper top
flap thingy that no one actually uses.

And I'm happy to report that Ferdinand seems to be recovering nicely and continuing to develop a close friendship with Stella.
I admit, I am VERY anxious to get home from work tonight.
Am I a crazy pet lady? Absolutely. Would anyone who has ever known the love of a pet been less freaked or upset than I was? Doubtful. Pet love is serious love.

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