Pet Travel: Travels with my Turtle

March 25, 2016
Pet Travel: Travels with my Turtle

For twenty years I owned a turtle. Her name was Onofria and she was round, shades of dark and light green with some yellows dots on the shell and red stripes on her face. At night and in the morning she would walk up to my mother’s room and scratch at her door to ask for warm water. I used to put her on my pillow sometimes, or in my lap, and she would close her eyes and sleep. Once, I brought her to the beach and she enjoyed walking on the warm sand. However, she did not like swimming in the water because it was salty and she was a lake turtle. 

I travelled with her all over Italy, and even as far as Slovakia, by train. I put her a pink cat cage, with a warm wollen blanket inside. It is very important that turtles do not catch a cold, because they can die if they do. I would also put a small pillow inside the cage.

With the turtle cage in one hand and my luggage in the other, I was ready to travel.

With the turtle cage in one hand and my luggage in the other, I was ready to travel. Once inside the train, I would take the turtle out of the carriage and put her in my lap. Since she was a water turtle, I would have to pour water on her from time to time to prevent dehydration. People sometimes would stare at her, especially because she had grown up to be quite big (almost the size of a small cat), but for the most part they would not notice her.

I often travelled with Onofria to Sicily to visit my grandmother. She really enjoyed the warm sun. I would put her on my grandmother’s terrace and she would stretch her legs and warm up in the sun. I also would put a piece of floating wood inside her pot so that she could hide beneath if the sun was too strong for her.

When my turtle was small I had two of them and I bought a fish tank adequate for travels to accommodate them in those occasions. Then, I gave one of the two turtles away to a friend of mine and so I was left just with Onofria.

Pet Travel: Travels with my Turtle.

Often, we went to Slovakia bringing the turtle along. One time, when we went there with Onofria there was still a patrolled border between Italy and Slovakia. At the border they noticed the turtle, even though the container was inside a brown paper bag and they did not want to let my turtle in. I did not know what to do since I could not possibly leave my beloved pet at the border alone in the cold December weather. Eventually, my mother managed to convince the guard to let my turtle in. Luckily, I had brought a health certificate with me for the turtle that stated that she was a healthy animal and we showed it to the guard. When they let her in, I felt so happy.

We had a very nice vacation afterwards and I thought that the border guard had been really nice to let my turtle in, as they are usually very strict with animals as they can carry diseases. Luckily, our friends with whom we were staying were very understanding and they did not have a problem to let me bring the turtle to their house. With stayed for a few days and an hotel and they did not fuss over the animal.

My turtle was a wonderful friend for many years and it was really sad when she caught a disease and died. I still miss her today, many years after she left us.


Photo for Pet Travel: Travels with my Turtle by Unsplash.

About Giorgia Scribellito

I hold a B.A and an M.A in Literature from Ca’ Foscari University. I have studied and lived in Europe, southern Africa, and the United States. I have self-published three books.

One thought on “Pet Travel: Travels with my Turtle

  1. Rachel
    February 24, 2022

    This is the first story I’ve read about anyone traveling with a turtle. This is really cute!

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