Saturday, April 9, 2011

Coming Out of Our Shells

With spring closing in on us, we're happy to be shedding our coats and gloves and getting outside. Apparently, Cash feels the same.

For those of you who have not been formally introduced, Cash is our red-eared slider turtle. He occupies a 65-gallon tank in the laundry room and would like more space if we had the room for it. When we bought him at a carnival, his shell was slightly larger than a quarter and he was bright green. Hence the name Cash. Well, that and because $15 seemed expensive for a pet we were pretty sure would have the longevity of a goldfish you win at a fair. But nearly four years and three tanks later, he's still swimming, but now he's about 10 inches nose to tail.

Keith gets all the credit for keeping him alive (especially because I make frequent suggestions about putting him in the creek for an "adventure" so that I can reclaim 20% of the laundry room). Cash consists on a custom blend of chicken, fish, fruit, vegetables, mealworms and crickets that Keith cooks and chops and freezes a couple times of year. He also gets live feeder fish on occasion and usually eats a couple and then we are convinced that he likes the company because he has four little buddies swimming around in his tank that have been there for months. 

Back to the shedding part though. Cash is evidently going through a growth spurt, because tiles of his shell are falling off. Kind of gross. They aren't as hard as you think, and are quite thin and papery as they dry.

No, Killian's is not part of his regular diet. The bottle cap is just there for size reference. Neither of us are sure what to do if he gets any bigger because we frankly don't have any place else for him to go. Keith has suggested an enclosed habitat with a pond in the basement. (I think that sounds like a creepy thing that middle aged bachelors have in their houses.)

Oh, did I mention that red-eared sliders can live up 90 years under ideal conditions? Let me tell you, we had no idea what we were committing to when we bought this little guy. Impulse pet purchases are generally not a good idea. We are going to have to put Cash in our will, and not the kind of cash that anybody is looking for as an inheritance. 

Let me end by saying:

4 yr old turtle. Comes with 65 gal. tank and stand. Free to good home. 

Oops. Did Keith see that? 'Cause he would never get rid of Cash, his claws are in too deep.

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