Frankie Tortoise Tales Frankie Tortoise Tails sulcata care tortoise sulcata husbandry Frankie Tortoise Tails Frankie Tortoise Tails: 2017



May 1, 2017


Frankie and I are gonna have a big discussion. Big Discussion real, real soon.

No matter that Frankie wants me to believe he doesn't understand English.  He does.  Ask any pet owner.  Pets understand what we are saying.

And I have something to say to Frankie. Something must be done.

It's about the back door.  The French Door to the backyard.  The French Door that double opens wide, the main thoroughfare between Frankie's kingdom and our human domain.  That door is used A LOT.

If that door was a grocery store it would be the busiest store in the whole city: demanding people coming and going 24 hours a day gettin' what they need, staff working to stock shelves and help customers, cars coming and going....busy, busy, busy. You get the picture.

I use that back door all day, in and out, over and over, going out to give Frankie hay, opening Frankie's greenhouse in the morning and closing the door at night, watering the grass, watering Frankie, checking on loud noises, feeding the box turtles, giving Frankie a carrot, checking why I haven't seen Frankie in an hour....busy, busy, busy, all day.

It's a key door in my life.

Most irritating is I only use 1/2 of the French door. Only one side.  The other side is blocked by a cat tree so that Newt and Scrat can watch Frankie, the birds, squirrels, and nocturnal visitors like raccoons and possums.  I only need the one part and the cats have the other.  One door is enough.

Here lies the problem.  Frankie is claiming territory.

When Frankie does something the first time it can be considered a random event, just something that happens, and usually not a repeating offense.

I open the back door and find a huge Frankie poop and pool of pee right smack-dab at the base of the busiest door in the house.  Its worth a roll of the eye and a huff of disgust.

The large pool of pee spread the length of the door means I have to jump to avoid getting the smelliest urine in the animal kingdom on my feet.  The poop is not so bad.  It's the least offensive smelling animal poop I know. In 24 hours Frankie poop can just be punted off the porch just like a football.

I walk to the front yard, turn on the water, and drag the hose back to the patio. Thirty seconds later the offensive smelling pee is off the patio.  Small side track from a day's worth of chores. Irritating but not so bad.  Task done.  Onto other things.

Next morning I open the door and there lies a pool of Frankie pee with a side of Frankie poop. Eye roll and huff of disgust accompanied by a deep disturbance that today may signal a very unwelcome Frankie behavior.

The second time Frankie does something is worth noting.  If Frankie rams the lime tree two days in a row then it's time to move the lime tree out of Frankie's reach.

Come on, Frankie!  You have the whole yard!

Every day I gotta scoop poops in the greenhouse, even in the summer, because morning poops in your greenhouse house are a rule.  I accept that.  The Purple Pooper Scooper lives in the greenhouse to accommodate this poop habit.  Accommodation at hand.

But, Frankie, the back door?

Day three.  Yep.  Again.

The greenhouse means never having to clean up poop and pee off the bathroom floor ever again.  Summer means all poop and pee are in the yard...WHERE THEY BELONG.

Day four.  Nothing.

Day five.  I am doomed.  Frankie has staked claim to the back porch right by the back door. His to do as he please.

Maybe it's just be a message.  He may want more attention.  Or carrots.

My mind is made up.  Tomorrow morning: coffee by the back door.  I am laying my own claim.  If he wants that spot he will have to push me off, chair and all.

The gauntlet is tossed.  Gloves are off.  Challenge made.

Don't lay bets on me.  The odds are always in Frankie's favor.

Dedicated to Anne O'Bryon who is married to champion pooper-scooper Marcus O'Bryan. Peace and love to you.