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My Tortoise Catalina

Updated on March 30, 2013

A Different Pet For The House

When somebody says "pet", most people think about dogs and cats, but there are other creatures that can lighten up your house.

Tortoises are not as lively as other pets, but are fun to watch (if you can bare slow motion action), eat healthy and don't mind if you leave them alone.

They are ancient creatures that can show you a couple of things, if you pay attention.

Besides, they are stealthy and silent, so you won't hear any complains from your neighbors.

A Tortoise For The House

Catalina is our tortoise. I should look up what species is it, but we really don’t care that much: she is just Catalina (at least we know it’s a “she”).

As other pets in our house, she is a refugee, just as Simon (one of the Basset Hounds), some fish we found in a puddle on the beach, and a Ginea pig (long gone…).

We have no idea of her age or whereabouts before us, so maybe she has lived a lot of adventures before living with us.

Take Good Care Of Your Tortoise!

Slowly Eating Our Garden

As other earth tortoises, Catalina is a herbivore. Some say that tortoises don’t care much about what they eat, but ours has a very marked preference for cucumber and lettuce.

She also grazes on our backyard, preferring those unnamed weeds that you don’t want showing up. So, we have a little place where the lawn is not exactly fair but has those things for Catalina to eat.

If we have those dog houses, why she can’t have a place of her own?

Who Said Tortoises Are Slow?

Tortoises are famous for moving slowly.

So, taking care of a tortoise must be simple, right? I mean, dogs run away and cats can climb on trees, but tortoises?

Well, I thought that twice... and lost her.

Fortunately we found her, but it's surprising how fast can they go away, right in front of you.

Watching her I have noticed that she seems to be paying attention: just as you turn around, she makes her escape.

And they said it won't cause me any trouble...

What Kind Of Pet Is That?

Tortoises are not exactly fun guys. As other reptilians, they spend most of their time doing nothing.

Yes, they take some long and slow walks through the house and the garden but don’t expect thrilling action from them.

Although, when you pay attention, you can have some slow fun watching then overcoming obstacles or slipping in the floor (their paws, effective on soil, are not exactly adapted to the kitchen floor).

Still, they don’t learn any new tricks, they can’t be house broken (yes, they do what every other pet does and it’s not fun cleaning up…) and they don’t specially care if you are around or not, except when they are hungry.

So, what kind of pet it’s that?

So, What Do You Learn From A Tortoise?

Dogs and cats have personalities and can teach a couple of lessons about love, loyalty and having fun.

But what about a tortoise?

Well, I have thought about it and I think that the principal lesson I get from those neutral eyes and attitute is Chill Out!

It reminds me of simpler times, when there were no cell phones and dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Good for an afternoon philosophy session, specially with a pitcher of margaritas...

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      Adorable! We've had Chinese Water Dragons and squirrels, but never a tortoise for a pet. And actually, it's neat because we have a friend who has the heaviest/largest tortoise as a pet. I believe he was invited to appear on the Letterman or Leno show. Can't remember all the details; it's my hubby's friend and it's been awhile since he told me the story. Anyway, fun article!

    • goldenrulecomics profile image

      goldenrulecomics 4 years ago

      When I was a kid my uncle brought one home he found by the side of the road. We kept it in a pen in the yard for several years. Not a lot of fun but it was kind of cool to watch him.

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      julieannbrady 4 years ago

      Gosh, we had little painted turtles for pets when I was a kid. They easily fit into the palm of your hand. Catalina looks like an interesting tortoise. I've actually encountered a few turtles in my yard ... one of them was digging like crazy in my front yard.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I would love to have one in my garden.