Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: December 2014



December 24, 2014

So this is Christmas

It's early Christmas eve and Greg and I doing what we usually do for the Christmas Holidays....avoiding the Christmas Holidays.

It's not that we are Bah-humbug, but Christmas is the longest holiday we have to endure.  It starts well before Thanksgiving when the first tv commercial features the sounds of Christmas bells or an outright Christmas song. The array of things to do for Christmas for the next 45 days is so vast no one family can do it all. We pick and choose what we do but the rest still comes at me like bad celebrity news. It is exhausting.

Our plan for the next two days is to watch commercial free TV, stay outta the stores, make home-made pizza (both days), relax and pretend it is January.

The only other thing to be done is take care of Frankie, the cat, and the geckos.

It's getting cold tonight so Frankie is inside in the big bathroom.  I was prepared.  Room cleaned, rags and newspaper available, cardboard palace set up.  I went out and picked Frankie some grass.  I mixed it with some lettuce, vitamins, and calcium.  I brought Frankie his Christmas Eve din-din.

Frankie sat, rear blocking the the door, munching on his feast.  He was happy.  And then he peed.

I've said this before, it is absolutely astonishing how much pee can come out of the back end of a 100 pound sulcata.  I can hear it from the gecko room.  I arrive in time to grab rags and inspect the damage.

One can never have enough rags with a 100 pound sulcata.

Now this has never happen before:  Frankie's pee went under the door and into the hall where there is a rug.

I start throwing rags at the door to sop up as much pee as possible.  It was too late.  Although I could not open the door (Frankie is blocking), I can peek out enough to see that the rug just outside the bathroom door is getting soaked.  I squeeze through to door.



"Can you bring me the rug cleaner spray, NOW?"

You see, as much as sulcata poop seems to bother people, there really isn't anything, including sulcata poo that smells as bad as sulcata 24 hours.  Getting the sulcata pee out of the rug is a Holiday emergency!

I sop up what pee I can from the rug.  I start spritzing the rug with rug cleaner.  Then I just open the rug spray container and pour it where the pee is.  Rub, rub, rub, pat, pat, pat, pray, pray, pray.

I finish all the rug cleaner and go through a dozen rags.  I squeeze back into the bathroom, pushing Frankie butt away from the door.  Good timing.  Frankie just finished up another round of pee.

At this point I am ready to have Frankie move so I can get under him but he refused. 



"Can you bring me a carrot.  Frankie will not move."

I've been criticized for feeding Frankie carrots.  They are not appropriate sulcata food.  Carrots are a tool.  I make sure Frankie gets them as a reward and a bribe.  In instances of Frankie refusing to move, carrots come in real handy.  

Frankie still made me wait for a while before he got up and moved off his pee.  But he did move.  Thank you carrot.

I cleaned up the last of the pee.  Put all the pee soaked rags in the washer machine (there were a lot of wet rags).  Opened the bathroom window.

Now if that rug starts stinking, and it may, I will be forced to do something I did only once in 1982:  go to a store the day after Christmas to rent a rug cleaner.

In 1982, I promised myself I would never, ever, ever again go to the Day After Christmas Sale.  Sulcata pee:  What a way to spoil a perfectly quiet Christmas.
Best wishes for the new year.