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March 11, 2014

As slow as cold

Really, really haven't had much to write about.  Frankie's been mad at me and when a sulcata tortoise is mad there is not much fun to write about.

February was so cold.  More freezing nights.  Freezing nights mean Frankie stayed inside. Staying inside in a very small gecko room means Frankie didn't get to walk around.  Frankie got desperate to walk so he would repeatedly ram the door insisting on going outside.  Outside was freezing cold.  Frankie outside means Frankie walks as slow as cold.

A slow-as-cold sulcata tortoise is a pitiful sight.  Frankie wants to walk but he can barely lift himself off the floor.  He wants to move forward but his feet just aren't getting much of a forward lift.  The back feet drag across the floor like an agonizing slow soft shoe shuffle.  When a back foot drags too slow a front foot moves forward too soon and Frankie's walk looks a bit like a drunk-on-beer wobble.

Frankie pins the blame squarely on me:  I moved him here under false pretenses. Winter is supposed to be warmer in Mobile but clearly it is not.  Frankie's new yard should be full of green grass but  hard freezes killed everything.  There are no squirrels.  There is no Petco.

There was a sun ray of hope this last weekend.  Temperatures were above 80º F, the sun was crispy hot.  Frankie slept outside.  In the morning he was all about finding the best basking spot.

Once Frankie got a good hour bask something else happen:  He was very hungry. There is nothing in the yard to graze. 

To appease a starving Frankie I trekked out looking for grass and weeds somewhere in the greater county of Mobile, Alabama.  There wasn't much green out there.  I had to drive and walk to a lot of places. It no longer bothers me when people gawk at me as I am stooped over pulling up weeds on road meridians and ditches:  "Look at the homeless woman.  What is she doing out there? Is she collecting aluminum cans or something?" 

I prevail and deliver Frankie a large Publix sack full of weeds.  Frankie devours the bounty in less than two minutes.  He is still hungry.  I check the refrigerator for any wilting salad greens and am forced to judge a perfectly good bag of Mixed Greens as not fit for human consumption.  The fresh greens are mixed with Frankie-would-rather-die-than-eat-Vitakraft-Orchard-Grass.  Since Frankie has to pick out the fresh greens from the dry hay it takes him five minutes to eat that batch. 

After his two course meal I watched Frankie circle about the yard twice.  There is no feet dragging.  He is sure footed up and down yard inclines and slopes.

Frankie is no longer slow as cold and I must consider driving for greens up to twice daily until his yard grass comes in.

Today it was raining all day so Frankie stayed in his cave. I feel bad for Frankie after his two days in the sun but if that rain brings us some green grass then it's a fair trade. 

As I said, not so funny or interesting.  Once it warms up Frankie will forgive me for everything.  But for now, it's that in between time period between Frankie-slow-as-cold and my ram-bam-get-me-a-carrot-'mam summer Frankie.


To my absent friend, Greta Maloney who has grass and weeds plenty for Frankie if we were still in Birmingham.  

1 comment:

  1. It sure has been a tough winter, hasn't it? Here's hoping spring comes soon for Frankie and all of us!