“Scratch my neck . Pet the top of my head,” and I will coo said Gertie the turtle to its humans. Well, not in so many works but apparently the message was clear. The turtle leaned into the human and made a cooing sound. This was reported to be by one of the humans who lives with Gertie.
It was a conversation that I recently had with a nurse as she held the needle up to my arm to draw blood. I must have started the conversation to distract myself from being poked with the needle. I don’t remember how the two of us began talking about turtles. Can’t recall how “Do you big plans for the day?” led to the sharing about Gertie the turtle. (I do believe that Gertie is a turtle and not a tortoise.)
This Gertie knows her name and answers when she is called. (I failed to ask how this pet was given the name of Gertie.) No, it isn’t a lap animal, meaning it can’t ‘ sit in a lap, but the nurse who told the story is just so sure that if there was a way for Gertie to climb in a lap she would!.
Gertie lives in the house and also has living space in a garage. Her humans escort her between the two places. Gertie’s humans know that she isn’t full-grown. When asked how big this creature is, the nurse stretched her hands out to what looked like a good eighteen inches. “I told her if she grows too big, we may have to find her a new home.” “That would be sad” I said. The nurse nod yes. She and her family are crossing their fingers that their beloved Gertie can continue living with them and that they have many years with Gertie the cooing turtle.
I don[‘t know if she meant a turtle or a tortoise.
Tortoises and turtles are both reptiles from the order of Testudines, but in different classification families. The major difference between the two is that tortoises dwell on land, while turtles live in the water some or nearly all of the time.