As I’ve mentioned before, fools, it’s tortoise, not turtle. Testudo hermanni. Protected species: I practically have a license to kill.
Important difference: turtles are aquatic, tortoises are not. I wish someone would tell that to Mig’s loopy father-in-law, who give me “swimming lessons”. Christ, I shit myself with fear every time that guy comes near. And when he actually dips me in a bucket full of water – my heart’s beating so fast I sound like an electric razor. We sink like stones, dude, that’s why we have a fear of water. Jesus.
The thing I hate about living in Austria is it’s so fricking cold. Here we are, mid-September, too early to hibernate, and I’m already shivering my little ass off out in my cage at night. So okay, they put me inside, but what are my options – running laps like a neurotic wolf in this little tub-like contraption with some bark and leaves sprinkled on the bottom of it, trying to escape by climbing the walls until I get stuck in a corner at a 45-degree angle or reach vertical and fall over onto my back and sit there with my tail exposed, counting the spiderwebs on the ceiling until some idiot finally notices me, or running laps around the baseboards in the fricking kitchen.
I try to will my metabolism slower, I really do. But there’s no fighting millions and millions of years of evolution. Things happen when they’re meant to happen and not before. Have to wait for the digestive tract to empty itself out, for one thing. And how’s that supposed to happen when I’m still hungry and they keep feeding me? Lettuce this morning, little pile of it in the middle of the kitchen, with some protein pellets, the small kind, sprinkled on top.
Protein pellets, you know this, right? Protein pellets are a bit sticky when they’re damp. Softer, easier to chew, but they stick to your fucking head. Put yourself in my position, hungry, all you’ve got to eat is this pile of bland lettuce and the last delicious protein pellet is stuck there in the middle of your forehead driving you cross-eyed. It’s like having a full bank account and you can’t remember your PIN code to withdraw the money – it’s a bit comforting to know it’s there, even if it’s not doing you any good, and no one else can get it, especially if you withdraw your head into your shell.