Thursday, September 25, 2008

Nemo's little friend

Nemo is still being monitored and his next vet appointment is next week. He is now bathing on his own each morning, sometimes with a little help. But he does his complete Zen bath and we haven't had to place him in the inescapable soaking tub for about a week. He has also been eating most of three shrimp every other day. I still give him 2 ml of baby food with his vitamins mixed in to make sure he's getting the proper nutrition.

With Nemo's lethargy, possibly empathy pains from my lethargy (?), we've talking about getting him a companion. We didn't want another box turtle because of aggression with another mail and mating with a female. While looking for live earthworms at Petco a week ago (ewww), we saw two Russian tortoises. Their care was nearly identical to Nemo's. Brian and I bantered back and forth about it. What if they didn't get along? What if it helped Nemo by having another creature who was eating and running around being curious in his territory? Pros...cons. Yesterday, we made the decision.

Lucy (name goes with Linus and Schroeder) is our new addition. She is one fast little tortoise. She is much lighter than Nemo even though she looks stocky. Her shell is the size of my palm and I am the size of an average 11-year-old. First there was curiosity on Nemo's part while Lucy hid inside an igloo prepared with reptile bedding and misted moss. Nemo knew something was in his territory. He was funny stalking around. He finally gave up looking and went into his big garage. Lucy came out of hiding, saw Nemo in the garage, and raced toward him literally bumping her nose into his side. I'm not sure if she was trying to snuggle or climb on top of his shell, which we later learned is a penchant of hers. In any case, Nemo wasn't about to budge. He just stood his ground and the two remained under the garage napping.

Later, when Nemo relocated to behind his summer home, Lucy once again ran over to him and climbed atop his shell perched there like it was her safe place. Nemo wasn't amused but didn't fight it either. Each found their own sleeping spots last night and stayed there till I came down this morning. Lucy likes being on the basking log. Nemo prefers his snuggly blanket under the summer home and now with a warming pad. Lucy voraciously ate a grape and then a piece of watermelon. I moved her food dish with a huge pile of leafy greens near her but she ran for cover under the iguana. About an hour later when I checked on her, her dish was empty except for a single blueberry. I guess blueberries are out. lol. Nothing wrong with her appetite.

And so the adventure begins. Will Nemo warm up and befriend Lucy? Or will he continue to tolerate her presence? Either way, it looks to be a good fit. Lucy is young enough not to be afraid of people. I think she's going to enjoy being handled and possibly follow us around. Russian tortoises only get to be 8-10". More to come. Will try to be more active with posting. I especially would like a photo of Nemo and Lucy together.