If you follow me on twitter, you are familiar with my tortoise. A BTV friend/former co-worker of mine fondly refers to #tortoisetalk.

What can I say? I’m smitten.

This is McCoy, named for the Doctor. He’s a little gruff, but charmingly handsome and homey.

I’ve read that Russian Tortoises (Testudo horsfieldii) are supposed to be spunky and outgoing; they enjoy dandelion greens and rose petals as treats. McCoy is a grouch (which I find charming). And he refuses to eat anything but lettuces (which I find frustrating).

He is particular to romaine, stomping and digging, and enjoys old country-western and bluegrass. Sometimes I sing “Blue Moon of Kentucky” to him. He likes retreating to the closet and sleeping on my shoes (sometimes while I am singing “Blue Moon of Kentucky”).

We’ve known each other for about seven years, now, and I’ve been his caretaker on and off for about five of those years, as he originally had a home with T. He’s probably in his late-twenties, and will very likely outlive both of us by decades.

Tortoise Facts!

  1. Turtle and tortoise shells do contain nerve endings (McCoy occasionally likes to have his shell petted).
  2. Several species can live to be well over one-hundred years old.
  3. Russian tortoises can adapt fairly easily to most environments and are the most popular pet tortoise for beginners.
  4. The first tortoise in space (one of the first animals of any kind in deep space) was a Russian Tortoise, sent by the Soviet Union on a circum-lunar voyage from September 14 to September 21, 1968 (No transporters were used HAHAHA).
  5. According to the Chinese “Book of Ceremonies,” the tortoise is one of four creature-entities that possess spirit, and is one of the Four Fabulous Animals (Tiger, Black Tortoise, Phoenix, Dragon).
  6. The largest Galapagos Tortoise ever recorded was five feet long and weighed about 550 pounds.

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