Kathryn’s Blog: Joe Gets Lost

I’ve been minding my good friends’ pets while they are at a wedding. It keeps me popping back and forth from my place to theirs.

I always let Joe the turtle have run of the apartment. When I call him, he may take his time, but he comes out, and I put him back in his tank. Well one day, he just disappeared. I called and called. I checked out every hiding place and resting spot he hangs out in. Nada. He’d been gone 24 hours and for him, that is too long.

When he didn’t answer, I tried the thing that never fails to get him out: the vacuum cleaner!  It’s a Mighty Mite, a slick little yellow-and-black affair that rolls low to the floor. It’s got a very long, black cord with extensions so I can move around the whole place without having to re-plug it in. He loves it. I think he thinks it’s one of his long-lost relatives. After 30 minutes of vacuuming, still no Joe. So, he has to be stuck somewhere. I make the whole place very quiet. I call him, and I go by the window where he sits  on his log or his tropical island—and I hear his scratching claws.

That little rascal had climbed up inside the air-conditioner hose! Easy to climb up, impossible to back out! He spent 24 hours in there! He was freaking out for sure. I had to catch him, to stop him from leaping right out the top for a three-foot drop to the floor! The total panic I felt thinking he would go into the unit nearly floored me, but thank God, there is a fixture there to prevent that.

I put him right in his tank and he ate three helpings of his food sticks. He’s 29 years old and still making kid mistakes!