Frankie survived thirty of the coldest days I've seen in Alabama....well, sort of. During the last few weeks he didn’t spend a total of ten minutes outside. But for the fist few weeks all he did was try to get outside.
Being inside is just unacceptable to Frankie, having a large yard and outdoor shelter and all. Frankie thinks he can do well outside in all weather.
During the first few weeks of the cold snap, Frankie demanded daily to go outside. The time outside was short as all Frankie could do take a few bites of grass and then head back inside. This is not enough time outside for Frankie.
It didn’t take long before he suffered from the effects of cabin fever. I would go downstairs and Frankie would be waiting at the door. “Get outta the way, woman. I’m going outside.”
"Fine," I think to myself. "It is 16 degrees out there. Let’s see how far you get."
Sometimes he would make it passed the gecko room door and into the garage but never did he make it all the way to the grass. Most days he would turn around inside the garage. Life was looking bleak.
It got to the point where Frankie would have to see sunlight coming through the door before he attempted to go outside. He figured it was worth the try since sun equals heat. But when temperatures are in the 20's, no sun is enough sun for a tortoise.
During the last week, Frankie quit asking to go outside. He knew hay, although not to his liking, would be hand served. If he looked pathetic enough he may get graded carrots and chopped lettuce in his hay. Frankie got good at looking pathetic.
Last weekend he got to go to Petsmart. He was unhappy because he had to go into the cold garage.
Frankie had given up all hope. There wasn't such a thing as warm sunlight, fresh green grass, and acres of land to walk. Nope. All he had was a small gecko room. a miniature obstacle course, a heated igloo and a silver dome girlfriend named "Stella": Frankie spend so much time with Stella that I was starting to wonder if I was contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
So today I had the opposite problem - I couldn't get Frankie outside. And for the first time in a month, outside is warmth, sunshine, and a little fresh grass. I have to drag the big-shelled-lump out. I have to drag him to the grass, and I have to lead him to the backyard.
He is out there basking. Four hours now. He looks toasty warm. It’s getting late. I don’t think he wants to come back inside. I think he has strapped himself to a tree.
It will be in the 30’s tonight.
He’ll be knocking at the door before the sun goes down.