Thursday, July 14, 2005

Farewell to our little redfooted friend

Well, Ndugu is moving to Wenatchee at the end of the month. Surprisingly, he had strong objections to being shipped to England in the manner of other tortoises, possibly because the accepted transport method is to place the tortoise inside a sock, place the sock inside a padded box, poke a few airholes and label "do not turn over."

There is no way for us to take him along for the journey: England lacks the variety of foods he needs (good luck finding endive and mustard greens in winter, let alone tropical fruit). Moreover, the climate is just too cold; he needs to get outside whenever he can, and even here he's limited to approximately a four-month window. Then there's the whole issue of not having pets in student housing...

I can't believe how upset I am. I've grown so attached to our furious little baby and his indignant glares when I scoop him up...Coalescent Boy and I are both somewhat embarrassed by the hours of entertainment he provides by investigating new substances and attempting to consume them, battling small insects, wreaking havoc in his pen...he has a gregarious personality, which is typical for the redfoot species -- but I don't think we anticipated just how personable he'd be. Plus, Ndugu and I developed quite a bond during his prolonged illness last year. When the vet traumatized him beyond repair trying to get a jugular blood draw, all she had to do was return his tightly closed shell to me -- and Ndugu would relax instantly, come out of his shell, and sniff my fingers as if to say, "Save me, woman!!" He always trusts me, even when I'm poking him with injections or trying to scrape something inedible off his beak.

CB's mom will take excellent care of him, and he might provide a nice balance to the hyper terriers who will be his (well-segregated) housemates. Still, I get choked up thinking about saying goodbye. He probably won't care at all, but I certainly will.


Kelli said...

Leaving of the pets is definitely one of the hardest things ever to do. I'm happy that he doesn't have to go through a too stressful move though.. he'll love you for that when you come back :) Idea... give Bryan's mom lots and lots of disposable digital camaras so that she can send you lots of pics!

Meg said...

She's apparently getting DSL, so we're going to make her set up an NduguCam. ;)