Ali the tortoise writes a letter to her new family...
Anyone that knows me, knows that I generally prefer animals to people, so imagine my upset when I find out that I am having a new kitchen fitted, and the new kitchen layout will not leave room for Ali the tortoise... I rent a one bed flat from a housing association, and there really is no room to spare anywhere else. I rack my brain, I contemplate having a large shed built in the garden but it will need to be heated and the garden will also need to be flattened before I can do that because the whole thing slopes, and it's the middle of winter so there's no hope any time soon and my kitchen is being fitted at the end of March. I have had Ali for 10 years, so parting with her was hard, but was also a relief that I could stop stressing about it after weeks of already doing so.
So, I'm asked for a list of foods she likes and info on her that may be useful, but half way though this care sheet, I got bored, so I told Ali she would have to write it herself.
I'm Ali, and my mum says
you're going to be my new family now so I thought I would tell you my demands.
I have leafy things (not
spinach, I HATE spinach) and grated carrot or apple most days, and every other
day I get more mushy wet stuffs too like tomatoes, peeled cucumber,
strawberries or kiwi. Strawberry dyes my face red, don't worry, I haven’t cut
myself or killed anything. Mum sprinkles my vitamin powder on when I have the
wet stuffs cos she thinks I won’t notice when I can't see it, but I do because
I'm not stupid! I don't really mind though because it keeps me strong and stops
my shell going squishy. I love
dandelions in the summer and will eat them aaaall day if I'm allowed, but I
especially like dog poo and will eat that all day too if you don't stop me! I
WILL pee in the food bowl... sorry, but I will.
My water bowl lives in the
front left corner, because I sleep in the back left one and I will avoid the
water if it's in the middle. I just happen to get in it when it's in the corner
because I use the corners when I am trying to climb out. The water helps me
stay hydrated because I absorb water through skin near my bottom.
I walk around all day on sand
about an inch deep. I used to have a mix of sand and top soil but when I got my
legs wet I created sludge that stuck all over my legs and bottom so the sand is
better because it just falls off when it dries. My basking spot is just a 60W
spotlight and my tube light is a 5.0 UVB Repti Glo which gets replaced every 12
months as the effectiveness of it wears off. I need a new one in April, please
and thank you. In Winter when it's cold I get overwintered which means my light
and heat stay on for longer. My lights usually come on at 7.30am and go off at
8.30pm, and in the summer you can reduce the amount of time they are on. I am
only overwintered because mum is too much of a pussy to hibernate me because she
is scared that I won't wake up. I did have plastic plants hanging in through
the bars but I just wanted to eat them and apparently I'm not allowed.
I don't get routinely cleaned
out, I just get cleaned out when I make a mess, which is quite often because I
climb in my food bowl to eat and throw it everywhere. My sand just gets sieved
to remove all the bits.
I have a bath once a week
(unless I've pooped on myself). I get bathed in a casserole dish because I can
get stressy if the container is clear because I can see out - and I want to get
out! I just sit in it for 10-15 minutes (or I run around the edges creating a
whirlpool) and then get scrubbed with a baby toothbrush to remove dead skin and
dirt. If I stick my head under the water, I am drinking - not drowning. If you
look closely you can see the muscles in my neck move as I swallow. I will often
pee whilst, or straight after drinking because I store it until it is replaced.
My wee can have a white chalky residue in, which is OK, unless there is a lot. If
there is a lot then up my water intake.
My poop should be soft but
formed still. If it gets runny, cut some of my mushy stuff out for a few days.
You'll often see skins of what I’ve eaten in it, because I don't chew my food,
I just swallow whatever I can fit in my mouth. I will eat from your fingers if
you offer me tasty things.
I should probably tell you
that I got sick a few years ago. My mum wrote the story on the interwebs here.
I like to climb the bars of my
cage like a teenage mutant ninja tortoise, I can get all the way to the top
now! I usually just hang there until I get tired and then drop off on to my
back and flail my legs around for a bit. I scratch because I want to get out
all of the time, but then I get cold and bored really quickly and fall asleep
in a corner of the room. I also like to try and eat everything I shouldn’t,
including fluff, shoes and cats tails.
Thank you for taking me and
looking after me. I will let you stroke my head when I'm in a good mood. xxxx
So, we packed her little back pack and off she went. She has gone to live with a lovely lady I work with and her family so I get constant updates and videos and can visit whenever I want.