Category Archives: Pets

Watching Closely as Midori, Our Turtle, Readies for Winter

I posted this on FB the other day, and it got a positive response from pet and animal lovers, so I’m expanding upon it a bit here. It rings a tad sanctimonious, but really folks, a pet IS for life, and you shouldn’t consider having one if you can’t fulfill that responsibility.

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We’re keeping a close eye on Midori, our turtle. It’s getting colder at night, and she’s starting to follow us around, wanting “uppy” for cuddling and warmth. We’ll be putting her on a heated gel pack in a basket overnight soon.

No, we’re not spoiling her, we’re keeping her healthy. If she gets too cold she starts shutting down. Yet on the other hand, she can’t get cold enough in the house to properly hibernate. We’ve discovered over the years that this “not quite here/not quite there” situation over winter is not good for her, as she starts to lose calcium etc.

We had a bad scare a few years ago when her limbs began puffing up during a semi-hibernation. After a costly vet visit, it turned out that in her semi-somnolent state her body was still “consuming” minerals, etc., but since she wasn’t eating anything, her system was sucking the calcium out of her own bones.

So the last few years we’ve kept her warm all winter. It’s a lot of work, but she’s much the better for it.

As I’ve said many times before, we do NOT recommend turtles for pets. Keeping them healthy and happy is a lot of work, and they can live for 40+ years. We didn’t know that when we got her 21 years ago.

But we will never give up the responsibility we took on when we made the (then admittedly uninformed) choice to take a red-eared slider into our lives.

And we will never dump her in a local pond or creek. She doesn’t belong in the Canadian wild. She’s not a native species. And she’s so used to humans that she’d likely follow anyone she saw, begging for food. And we all know that not all members of “our” species are good to other animals, eh?

She is ours, for better or worse, in sickness or in health . And you cannot divorce or just dump a pet, eh?

Choco the Cat Gets Annual Checkup – Declared ‘Senior Citizen’

Choco the Cat had her annual checkup and vaccination today. Here I’ve just scooped her up and am heading for her carrier. She knows what’s coming and gives me a clingy “Daddy don’t put me in there” wriggle.

Choco the cat on way to vet

 

Choco was a Burnaby, BC, SPCA adult female rescue when we got her on August 12, 2005. Wow, that means it’s exactly nine years to the day since she stole our hearts : -). At the time, they thought she was about three  years old, so she’s around 12 now, putting her at the human equivalent of around 64-65.

So the vet greeted her with a cheerful “she’s a senior citizen now!”

She’s still a wonderfully bouncy, active cat, though. Drinks lots of water, eats well, and in nine years of annual checkups, her weight has never varied by more than 1/2 a pound from around 7.5 pounds.

She looks bigger, but most of it is incredibly soft  fur that she’s always kept impeccably clean and smelling wonderful. She’s had only one bath in her life with us, the day we brought her home from the pound, because in her initial stress she’d soiled herself.

She’s an indoor cat, only goes out on a harness for short stints of eating grass. She’s always been a bit afraid of the outdoors, and has never wanted to explore too far. We’ve always spent lots of time playing with her, so she can happily burn energy.

There are lots of photos of Choco and other pets on my old blog in the pets category.