A Banquet for Turtles

Actually, you could probably serve real pizza, as is, to turtles, and they’d eat it. That’s a thing about turtles. Once they settle in as your pets, and get used to being hand-fed, they’ll eat just about anything you offer them. And you have to take care because they’ll do it whether it’s good for them or not.

Every night my little painted turtle got a bit of my supper. And he’d climb out of his tank if he smelled lobster (those were the days!).

Bonus Video: Turtles Do It, Too

Just in case you thought only cats can climb… well, turtles do it, too. They’re surprisingly good at climbing up; going down, not so much.

I love snapping turtles. They’re intrepid. They’re rather easily tamed, especially when they’re young, and they can make good pets. Their fearsome reputation is due wholly to their unwillingness to be messed with.

Turtles With an Anti-Dog Agenda

Dogs and humans don’t understand that tortoises and turtles can be very assertive and are not the least bit afraid of any dog, no matter how big the dog might be.

My box turtles used to frustrate our family dog by eating his dog-food off his plate and drinking the water in his dish. He barked, he yapped, he made threatening gestures… but what good were those? He was dealing with box turtles, and they knew he couldn’t hurt them.

Who Says Turtles Can’t Be Cozy?

Our little painted turtle loved to have his head scratched–and his chin and lower jaw, too. I always fed him by hand, so he was quite people-oriented. He also lived in hope that Henry the cat would someday bring him food, too, but in this he was disappointed: Henry just liked to sit there and watch him.

A lot of different kids of turtles make very nice pets.

Cats & Turtles: It’s All a Misunderstanding

I’ve had lots of turtles, and none of them could be described as playful. My painted turtle kept expecting Henry the cat to feed him. My box turtles annoyed the family dog by eating his food. What was he going to do about it?

Cats play. Turtles don’t. Very hard to have a meeting of the minds. Turtles do respond to affection, but they don’t care to be pounced on. Cats may be surprised at how assertive a tortoise can be.

Cats & Dogs… with Turtles

My box turtles used to annoy out family dog, Rags, by helping themselves to his dog food. What could he do? They completely ignored his most strenuous objections. In truth, there’s very little that a dog or a cat can do to a box turtle. The turtle holds all the cards.

Going by my experience with turtles, in most of these videos, the turtles have unfriendly intentions and the cats and dogs know it. But there is one apparent meeting of the minds that might have blossomed into friendship…

Yes, Turtles Can!

You asked for it, Erlene, so here it is–a turtle climbing up a sheer wall.

I know I originally promised you the sight of a box turtle climbing a fence, and there are plenty of videos on that subject. But I didn’t want to post any video of the turtle falling down. Turtles are very good at climbing up a fence, but they’re just not built for climbing down.

My box turtles, when I was a boy, were always climbing up the fence around their turtle pen. Moving it to a cinderblock wall did no good; they climbed the cinderblock, too. Replacing the chicken-wire with bricks: no help, they climbed up the bricks. Turtles may look clumsy, but they have sharp claws, they’re immensely strong for their size, and they have both patience and determination. Those are assets that’ll get you to the top.

Cats and Turtles

Cats don’t know quite what to make of turtles. Our cat Henry used to sit contemplating our painted turtle, who would swim around and around in hopes that Henry would feed him, because he was always fed by hand. Henry never came across with any snacks.

The turtles in this video have absolutely no fear of cats. They have given up hoping for snacks from that source.

Bonus Video: Funny Turtles

I remember my box turtles cheesing off our dog, Rags, by eating his dog-food and ignoring his objections. What could he do to them?

One of these tortoises is attempting to mate with a basketball; but the others appear to be… well, playing. We even see a tortoise, perhaps an Aesop’s Fables re-enactor, trying to catch a rabbit. That reminds me of my nice pet land crab who became the object of a small tortoise’s amorous ambitions, resulting in the world’s slowest romance on the floor of my iguana cage.

There’s a lot more to the mind of a turtle than we might think.

It’s God’s stuff, and it always works. A lot better than any computer, we might add.

Memory Lane: My Turtles

My wife and I love turtles, and this video of someone’s baby turtles brings back happy memories. I always fed my turtles by hand, which made them very tame.

When I was a boy I had a big tank for my turtles, all babies–a baby snapping turtle, a very personable diamondback terrapin, a painted turtle, and a little musk turtle the size of a nickel.

One summer night I didn’t bring the aquarium back indoors, and we had a heavy rain which caused the tank to overflow. Come morning, there were no turtles in it.

Would you believe it? One by one, they all came back–even the tiny musk turtle. The snapper went wandering around for two weeks, but in the end he came back, too.

And I must add a salute to our painted turtle, Clemmy, who enjoyed a long career of sharing our suppers with us and also lived in hope that Henry, our cat, would someday feed him. I am happy to say that Henry never did anything more than watch the turtle.