We had to do, before he hibernated for the winter. We're straddling two houses at the moment, which really complicates Turtle's life. Only one house, our current house, has an acceptable turtle burrow. The Other House isn't ready for us to move into yet, but we can't leave Turtle hibernating at this house and move into the other house without knowing Current House's fate. New owners moving in while Turtle is asleep? That seems unfair for all humans and reptiles involved.
Alternatively, we could build a preemptive burrow at The Other House and move Turtle in before hibernation season. But this is troublesome, because we're not there full-time to keep an eye on him and make sure he eats enough before the long sleep and he's a kind of picky eater, which you wouldn't probably expect from a turtle but there it is.
And either way, he needs a new home before we move to Colorado, because there's no hibernation deep enough for him to make it up there.
Turns out Miss G's friend's grandma has a desert tortoise habitat in her back yard. We waited till Turtle came out for his morning walk, scooped him up, took him on an exciting car ride, and deposited him at his new home across town.
You wouldn't think a tortoise added so much presence around this place, but his absence is glaring. I didn't realize how often I checked the burrow when I walked through the backyard to see if Turtle's head was poking out, sniffing for greens. Every single day when I'm greeted instead by cold granite blocking what used to be his burrow entrance, I feel-- well, a little choked up.
Honestly, I'm not Turtle's biggest fan. I find him a little creepy, with his unsettling little human tongue. And I don't like how he zeros in on me when he hears my voice, aims right for me like a tank. And I don't like how much work it is to feed him, how he'll only eat if you sit there and talk to him during his meal, and how kale has to be smeared with tomato or cucumber pulp before he'll touch it and how you can't give him lettuce because it's got too much sugar and it's bad for him and then he won't eat anything else.
But I guess, I kind of liked rubbing his scaly foot while he ate. He liked it, I could tell. And I liked that he'd come say hi; it was friendly, I guess, even if I did feel uncomfortable about it. It's not really fair to pin those emotions on Turtle; those are clearly my issues, not his.
Oh, Turtle. I miss you. Sort of.
It's a heavy thing, the first real step.