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We returned from a long weekend at the beach to find that our stupid cat had used a corner of the playroom and my closet as his new litterbox. After cleaning the carpet three times and using Nature’s Miracle, I am finally cat pee free.

The next day my sister called to tell me that the Princess had asked her for TWO TURTLES for her birthday present. She kindly (and WISELY I must add) wanted to vet the idea by me before making an animal purchase. I told JP that I was fine with it, but I didn’t think it would be much fun if she got an aquatic turtle.

We already have a Betta fish in his own aquarium, two White Cloud fishies in their own aquarium, two African Pygmy Frogs in their own aquarium, and a cat. The fish and frogs are fun to watch for a while, but how fun is a pet you can’t touch?

Two hours later, JP pops in with a 40-gallon aquarium, a fluorescent light, a heat lamp, four bricks of compressed coconut fiber (which reeks by the way), a water dish designed for drinking AND swimming, a hollowed log for hiding and a Russian Tortoise which the Princess promptly anointed “Carly”. Yes, we watch a lot of iCarly here, people.

She also bought food, a carrier box and a book about all things tortoisey. It’s been a week-long science lab learning how to care for our newest family member and finding foods she likes. Strawberries, grapes, pansies, squash and dandelions are big hits so far.

The first two days she was rather intimidated by the Princess who felt a need to constantly touch the Carly. Every time I turned around, Carly was “helping” with homework or “watching” HRH brush her teeth. The tortoise has loosened up a bit and seems to be coming out of her shell this week. (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)

I’ll admit she IS fun to watch, but my very, very, mostest favorite thing about Carly is that she can HIBERNATE up to nine months! What a PERFECT pet! No pet sitter for the tortoise, folks. When we are away, there is no need to find someone to come over everyday to feed her and keep her little habitat clean. No sirree.

Just pop her in the fridge!

And if he keeps marking MY house as HIS territory, that’s where you’ll find the cat too.