My wife bought a rabbit run to pen him in, but every moment he’s in it is spent trying to figure a way out. I find this hard to watch
In the 23 years we lived at our old house the tortoise was an undemanding pet: in the summer he stalked the garden freely; in the winter he held the kitchen door open. He’s not affectionate, but he’s quiet. He’s also about 50 years old – my wife has had him since she was eight – and will probably outlive us. When you know you’re going to have to bequeath a pet to someone eventually, the fact that it requires very little maintenance is a plus.
Things are different in the new house – the garden is full of seedlings and unestablished annuals, with no raised borders. Left to his own devices, the tortoise will mow through a whole bed in an afternoon. What he can’t eat, he squashes. My wife bought a rabbit run to pen him in, but every moment he’s in it is spent trying to figure a way out. I find this very hard to watch.
Tim Dowling: our tortoise is running amok, and I’m on his side